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Critical Conflict Resolution: An Overview - Derek Sweetman & Michael D. English
Transcript of Critical Conflict Resolution: An Overview - Derek Sweetman & Michael D. English
Critical Conflict Resolution:
Practice in the New Normal
Derek Sweetman & Michael D. English
School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution
George Mason University
Arlington, VA USA
How do we know a conflict is systemic?
Where can we intervene in systemic conflict?
How can we intervene in systemic conflict?
Misam Saleh / AFP - Getty Images
Andy Manis / AP
Indignados Occupation, La puerta de Sol Madrid, May 19th
What is systemic conflict?
Are we satisfied with the answers our field can give to the Occupy conflict?
Conflicts where political, social, and economic inequalities are transformed into antagonistic, asymmetric power relationships.
Critical Conflict Analysis
Research that addresses the embedded and systemic nature of many contemporary conflicts by examining systemic violence, system reflexivity, and ideology.
Incorporates Johan Galtung's direct, structural, and cultural violence into a systems approach.
Structural violence that perpetuates a system.
Examples: inequality, discriminatory policy
Direct (physical) violence performed to maintain a system.
Examples: police brutality, lynchings, anti-LGBT attacks
Cultural violence that perpetuates a system.
Examples: militarism, myths of justice, popular representations
Systems are both dynamic and resistant to change.
The general direction of a system is toward stability. It takes strong effort and clear thought to promote change.
In this context, ideology is understood as the mediated understanding of individuals in the system, in the form of "common sense," as evidenced by their actions.
CCR envisions two complementary types of practitioners: emergent and evolutionary.
Both types work with critical conflict researchers and theorists.
The performance of political, social, and economic inequalities through what otherwise seem to be mundane conflicts.
Recognizing Systemic Conflicts
Unique conflicts are less likely to be systemic
Critical Research and Theory
Changes in the system lead to changes in systemic conflicts.
The "first responders" to systemic conflict.
Responds to the direct manifestation of conflict within a system.
Seeing beyond the immediate case
Looking for systemic reproduction
With other emergent practitioners
With researchers and theorists
With evolutionary practitioners
Communicate with emergent practitioners
Gather empirical information
Model and explain the relevant system(s)
Areas of Special Interest
Interactions of multiple systems
Attempts to intervene in the system itself to reduce systemic violence and produce positive change.
Intervention into the public discourse and "common sense."
Supports those most harmed by systemic violence
Pressures the system for change
Teaches against violent systems.
Representing (mediating) systemic violence into meaning and new common sense.