Most people probably do not recognize a distinct difference between the terms “conflict” and “dispute.” However, many conflict scholars do draw a distinction between the two terms. As is unfortunately common in this field, different scholars define the terms in different ways, leading to confusion.
Should peace be built from the top down, or from the bottom up? What roles should the different actors play? John Paul Lederach has answered this question with a diagram…a “peacebuilding pyramid.”
I’ve been teaching a class at the University of Colorado on conflict skills. At the beginning of the semester, I ask students what they’re good at when they engage in conflict, and what they’re not good at – what they might like to learn how to do better.
Years and years ago, long before the Internet, I remember reading a political cartoon that stuck with me, written by Jules Fieffer. I have been looking for it ever since and I can’t find it. So I broke down and did a lousy job of redrawing it.
The answer that Guy and I have is that almost all of the problems that they identify that are in need of fixing our underlain by conflict problems and we haven’t learned how to deal successfully with intractable conflict. Let me illustrate.
“Capacity building, capacity development, empowerment and strengthening-all describe an increase in the ability of a social organization to achieve the goals that are set by that organization.”
There aren’t many benefits to being in a bad mood, even if that’s your reliable, long-standing default mode. Being in a bad mood can make you less effective, less open to creative solutions, and due to stress, it can affect your health. Most peoples’ jobs have a degree of stress, some much more than others.
Yesterday was an interesting day for me. I spent the day in a training for a Personnel Commission for which I have served as a Hearing Officer for over a decade. At its conclusion, a very young female participant in the training took me aside and complemented me for being a “bad ass” woman whom she hoped to emulate in her burgeoning career.
What I want to do here is try to give you an overview of the rationale behind the project, as well as kind of a quick preview of what to expect.
What I want to do here is try to give you an overview of the rationale behind the project, as well as kind of a quick preview of what to expect
The MOOS seminars all take what we call a complexity-oriented approach to intractability and responses to it. While our primary focus is on very large-scale conflicts (the kind that involve millions of people), much of what we have to say is also applicable to smaller scale conflicts.