Conflict Resolution Quarterly

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  • Competitive victimhood as a lens to reconciliation: An analysis of the black lives matter and blue lives matter movements

    Literature on intergroup conflict and identity is well established; this literature includes work on competitive victimhood—the process by which groups attempt to establish that they have suffered more than opposing groups (Noor et al., Personality and Social Psychology Review, 2012, 16(4), 351–374) to restore feelings of moral identity, or cache often for use in a political context (Sullivan et al., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2012, 102(4), 778). Within prior work on competitive victimhood, models of reconciliation based on the particular needs and identities established within the competitive victimhood dynamic have also been posited (SimanTov‐Nachlieli et al., European Journal of Social Psychology, 2015, 45(2), 139–145; Shnabel et al., Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 2013, 49(5), 867–877). While competitive victimhood theory has been applied in prior work to several cross‐national settings, there exist other important areas of intergroup tension that have not been explored. We propose that the concept of competitive victimhood can be fruitfully used to understand movement‐countermovement dynamics, including those related to conflictual race relations in the United States. Specifically, this article will examine the dynamic between the movements “Black Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” as a salient paired research case of a movement and countermovement for investigating identity and victimhood. In our present article, we map the discourse of the Black and Blue Lives Matter movements as illustrations of collective victimhood (Schori‐Eyal et al., Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 2014, 44(12), 778–794) and competitive victimhood (Noor et al., Personality and Social Psychology Review, 2012, 16(4), 351–374). We find that while both movements demonstrate competitive victimhood, they are also qualitatively different. Due to differences in threat, power, and history of those the movements advocate for, each movement demonstrates different needs (Burton, Conflict: Human needs theory, Springer, 1990). We posit that the identity dynamics of competitive victimhood within social movements specifically lead to important and different identity needs for agency and morality (Shnabel & Noor, in Restoring civil societies: The psychology of intervention and engagement following crisis (pp. 192–207), Wiley‐Blackwell, Chichester, England, 2012). We examine what these differences would mean in these particular movements, as well as for potential avenues of community building based on addressing these needs. In all cases, we aim to show that what has largely been considered a criminal justice phenomenon in the United States is fundamentally political, with roots and possible solutions in intergroup identity dynamics that can be fruitfully explored within political psychology.

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  • Moving beyond personal change: Using dialogue in ethnically divided communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Dialogue has proved to be an effective tool in changing people's perceptions and attitudes. The article adds to the discussion about the potential of dialogue to contribute to more than only personal change. It analyzes the dialogue approach implemented by the Nansen Dialogue Centre Sarajevo, a nongovernmental organization working in ethnically divided communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the aim of rebuilding a functional society. The analysis focuses on the effectiveness of dialogue in influencing broader sociopolitical changes. The article concludes that the Centre has created a viable model that contributes to the de‐ethnicizing of everyday problems local communities face.

  • The role of conflict resolution in a major urban partnership to fight human trafficking

    This article takes a singular case study to explore the formation, structure, and impact of a complex urban partnership to address sex trafficking in the San Diego‐Tijuana border region. It explains the relationship between the partnership's structure and subsequent policy outcomes, and argues the two are linked through a staged network formation process in which conflict resolution practices were central in overcoming institutional and cultural barriers to collaborative governance. It contains portable insights about how leadership and decision‐making unfolds and institutionalizes in situations characterized by complex forms of violence that nobody is singularly “responsible” for handling.

  • Avoiding violence: Eleven ways activists can confine violence in civil resistance campaigns

    Nonviolent resistance is a powerful tool but can also turn into civil war when repressed. Based on interviews with activists from Bahrain, Tunisia, and Syria and experts on nonviolent resistance, this article investigates how activists can reduce violence in demonstrations. Five approaches to countering regime violence are proposed: (a) disrupting violent action, (b) constructing dilemma situations, (c) avoiding direct confrontation, (d) inviting civilian peacekeepers, and (d) respecting the opponent's traditions, as well as six ways of reducing activist violence: (a) delegitimizing violence, (b) managing material availability, (c) managing emotions, (d) providing alternatives, (e) changing practices of violence, and (f) enhancing cohesion.

  • Building peace through systemic compassion

    More than an individual emotion experienced by conflict resolution practitioners, compassion constitutes a primary norm of the field of peacebuilding. Three domains of peacebuilding practice are showcased: first, the human rights agenda of the United Nations, second, the practices of everyday peace, and third, the strategies among professionals of interactive conflict resolution. Motivated by the compassion‐related programs in these domains, we propose that peacebuilders develop strategies that are intended to foster compassion among the conflict parties. The notion of systemic compassion is introduced and illustrated with examples within current practice.

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  • Mediation strategies in the face of custody conflicts

    Systematic analyses of initiatives and responses from mediators working with parents in intense conflicts about child custody and care brought forward variations in effective strategies. The findings are presented along six dimensions: The topics that were addressed, how the agenda for the sessions was decided, focus on agreement vs relational topics, oral vs written orientation, limited vs generous time, and parental vs system focus. Effective mediators handled these dimensions with flexibility, recognized and validated both parents' perspectives, accepted and explored differences, differentiated topics, focused on relational issues when needed, tracked the process by written summaries, and encouraged testing solutions.

  • Illuminating interviews: Insights into the hearts and minds of conflict resolution practitioners

    This article shares insights gleaned from interviews with nine experienced, successful conflict resolution practitioners engaged in a variety of interventions from a variety of organizations. The interviews were conducted first with graduate students participating in a class on “Reflective Practice.” Subsequently, the authors conducted a second round of interviews to appeal to a wider audience. Questions and topics addressed by the respondents included childhood disposition for this kind of work, critical milestones along the way, helpful characteristics/attributes, satisfaction they derive from their work, greatest challenges, lessons learned, and examples of “reflecting‐in‐action” utilization.

  • Knowledge and practice of peacemaking

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