Discussions

Use for MOOS discussion pages.

Fundamentals Discussion (FD) 4 - Delegitimization

FD4 - This question grows out of Daniel Bar-Tal's essay on Deletimization and Heidi Burgess's "Current Implications" section accompanying that essay that explores the deligitimization that was demonstrated over the August 12-13 weekend with the White Nationalist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA and the aftermath which continues to unfold.

How might this conflict --between the White Supremacists and their opponents in the U.S. be de-escalated?  Certainly it would be nice if the White Supremacists would follow Bar-Tal's precriptions to 1) legitimize their opponents, 2) equalize them, 3) differentiate them and 4) peronalize them.  But can and should their opponents --people of color and Jews particularly-- but also moderate and liberal White males--take those steps with relation to the White Supremacists?  

What happens if they do?  What happens if they don't?  Is Bar-Tal right to suggest that these actions need to go both ways? (Or is he not suggesting that?)

Discussion 16: Neurobiology and Conflict

These questions relate both to Guy's video on Social and Psychological Complexity and Heidi's two videos summarizing Mari Fitzduff's monograph entitled Introduction to Neuroscience for the Peacebuilder. (Part 1 and Part 2.) 

Mari ends her mongraph with ten questions that boil down to "now what?!"  We have a slightly more elaborate version of that basic question, but still less daunting than ten questions, below.

  • What can and should peacebuilders do about the cognitive biases and predispositions described in these three videos?  Particularly,
    • how do we address people's emotional needs as well as their rational interests and needs in our peacebuilding work? And,
    • how can we work within the constraints of non-rational/emotional thinking, rather than engage in a futile effort to convert all thinking to the rational approach?

(If you are so, inclined, we welcome you to address any of Mari's questions instead or as well:  (All of these come from Mari Fitzduff, An Introduction to Neuroscience for the Peacebuilder. 2015.  https://www.academia.edu/10234805/An_Introduction_to_Neuroscience_for_the_Peacebuilder. p. 22.)

1.How comfortable are we at accepting the limitations of a “rational’ approach to peacebuilding?  What are the consequences for our work of acknowledging the primary importance of feelings in conflict contexts?

2.If people have brains that are predisposed differently towards outgroups and new ideas, how do we develop strategies that take account of this in our work?

3.How do we work with groups who are passionately committed to only their own group vision of faith or social ideology? 

4.How do we avoid getting caught up in arguments about the ‘truth’ or ‘facts’ as believed by particular groups?  How can we better understand and respond to what is often behind such arguments?

5.How can we ‘nudge’ our societies into their best inclusive behaviors? How can we decrease our tendencies to fear “the other”?

6.What kind of peace agreements can best deliver on feelings of equity and inclusion, as well as ensuring the quantifiable reality of such agreements on issues of land, rights, participation, etc.

7.How do we change our peacebuilding work so that our strategies can take account of the frailty of our inherited human nature that tends towards fear and exclusion of others – as well as our human capacities for cooperation, altruism and courage?

8.How can we help to create/choose/assist leaders who foster community and structural inclusion rather than divisions?  How can we increase the power of such leaders with their constituents?

9.How would we describe our own predispositons along a conservative/liberal continuum?  Do we have moral feelings of superiority about our particular places on that continuum?  Do we appreciate the need for society to have people at both ends of the continuum?

10.How can we pitch/target our messages and campaigns to different audiences in full awareness of their differing neural dispositions?  How do we frame message about our work so that they appeal to the whole brain, and not just the rational part of it?

 

 

D17 - Conflict Pathologies

What do you think are the most important and treatable conflict pathologies? The things that go wrong? The mistakes that people make, especially mistakes that they, in hindsight, will think of as mistakes?

Discuss these questions here! 


To Join the Discussion

In order to post a comment to this Discussion, you need to be "logged in" as a registered MOOS Participant.  For those who are not yet registered, but would like to be, our MOOS Discussion page explains the nature and purpose of the registration process.

We also ask everyone to keep our posting guidelines in mind:  All posts must be civil (no personal or group attacks, obcenity, profanity, no SHOUTING or incendiary comments), no commercial promotion, and no requests for personal assistance. In addition, posts must be proofread, clearly written, and on topic.

D15 - Constructive Management of the Commons

What do you see as promising strategies for promoting “power-with” efforts to govern the commons in ways that advance the common good?

What do you see as promising strategies for promoting a more enlightened view of self-interest – one that protects the commons and everyone from devastating “I’ll fight you for it” conflicts?

Please discuss these questions here.


To Join the Discussion

In order to post a comment to this Discussion, you need to be "logged in" as a registered MOOS Participant.  For those who are not yet registered, but would like to be, our MOOS Discussion page explains the nature and purpose of the registration process.

We also ask everyone to keep our posting guidelines in mind:  All posts must be civil (no personal or group attacks, obcenity, profanity, no SHOUTING or incendiary comments), no commercial promotion, and no requests for personal assistance. In addition, posts must be proofread, clearly written, and on topic.

D14 - Adopting Systems Approaches to Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution/Transformation

Is there anything we can do the push systems thinking approach further into the thinking and practice of conflict resolution and transformation?  How can we move beyond a level-three understanding of feedback loops to a level seven or eight-level understanding of social systems? Do you have any examples of this being successfully done?

Are you aware of successful (or instructive) efforts to promote the more active involvement of a wider array of citizens in efforts to promote more constructive approaches to conflict (utilizing, however unintentionally) an ecosystem model of conflict response?

Please share your thoughts here!


To Join the Discussion

In order to post a comment to this Discussion, you need to be "logged in" as a registered MOOS Participant.  For those who are not yet registered, but would like to be, our MOOS Discussion page explains the nature and purpose of the registration process.

We also ask everyone to keep our posting guidelines in mind:  All posts must be civil (no personal or group attacks, obcenity, profanity, no SHOUTING or incendiary comments), no commercial promotion, and no requests for personal assistance. In addition, posts must be proofread, clearly written, and on topic.

D13: Complex Versus Complicated Systems

We started to address the implications of complexity-oriented peacebuilding in a few earlier discussions (see D10, D11, and D12). However, based on this discussion of the difference between complexity and complicated (or even simple) systems, we pose the following three questions:

  • What do you see as the key challenges posed by complexity that we need to address?
  • And, what do you see as promising strategies for meeting those challenges?
  • How can we get people to understand and engage with complex problems in the era of twitter, sound bites, and the common belief that everything can be solved with a chosen "quick fix?" 

To Join the Discussion

In order to post a comment to this Discussion, you need to be "logged in" as a registered MOOS Participant.  For those who are not yet registered, but would like to be, our MOOS Discussion page explains the nature and purpose of the registration process.

We also ask everyone to keep our posting guidelines in mind:  All posts must be civil (no personal or group attacks, obcenity, profanity, no SHOUTING or incendiary comments), no commercial promotion, and no requests for personal assistance. In addition, posts must be proofread, clearly written, and on topic.

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