You are invited to participate in and contribute to an online discussion of how those with conflict resolution and peacebuilding expertise can do more to defend liberal democracies while also helping them live up to their ideals.
A Beyond Intractability / Conflict Resolution Quarterly Joint Online Discussion / Blog
- CRQ Feature Article Framing the Discussion: Applying conflict resolution insights to the hyper-polarized, society-wide conflicts threatening liberal democracies — Burgess, Burgess, & Kaufman
- CRQ Commentaries on the Feature Article from: Menkel-Meadow, Ozawa, Jordaan
- Secondary (newer) Framing Article: The Key to Revitalizing Liberal Democracy: Think of It As a Conflict Handling System — Burgess & Burgess
- BI/CRQ Discussion Project Origins: The Constructive Conflict Initiative
- More on the Focus of the Discussion
For those with limited time, here are quick summaries (and links) to some of the discussion's most valuable insights.
- Executive Summary of CRQ Feature Article: Applying Conflict Resolution Insights to Today's Hyper-Polarized Societies
- Additional summaries to be added.
- CRQ Editor's Invitation
- Beyond Intractability Co-Directors' Invitation (with information about how to join the discussion)
- The Best Way to Follow the Discussion Is by Signing-up for BI's Free Substack Newsletter
A growing collection of pages highlighting discussion posts related to more focused topics
- Oppression, Justice, Advocacy, Neutrality, and Peacebuilding
- The Hyper-Polarization Threat, How Serious Is It Really?
- If It Has Been Done, It Must Be Possible — Successful Efforts to Solve Problems Across Political Divides
- Strategies for Effectively Dealing with Scale and Complexity
Chronological listing starting with the most recent posts
- Summary of "A Framework for Understanding Polarizing Language" -- Polarizing language demonstrates features that are readily identifiable. Can such warnings can be heard and action taken to enable people to shift from violence to problem solving before it's too late? — Sept. 27, 2022
- Summary of "The Case for Principled Impartiality in a Hyper-Partisan World" — To abandon impartiality completely and simply join the fray as partisans will likely only further erode our political culture and exacerbate the problems of polarization, distrust, and misinformation. - Sept. 25, 2022
- Ken Cloke: Neutrality, Omni-Partiality, and the Evolution of Political Conflict — We must overcome the hostile, adversarial, authoritarian forces that separate “us” from “them;” and realize that there is no “them,” there is only us. Then we can face our conflicts and crises together, as a diverse and cohesive community of problem solvers. - Sept. 23, 2022
- Ken Cloke: Mediation in a Time of Crisis -- The introduction to Ken Cloke's latest book focused on the many concurrent crises facing the United States and the world. It demonstrates compellingly how our only way out is through collaboration. — Sept. 22, 2022.
- Summary of Lisa Schirch: Transforming the Colour of US Peacebuilding: Types of Dialogue to Protect and Advance Multi-racial Democracy -- A summary of an article focused on how peacebuilding dialogue and the movement for social justice should be complementary, not at odds with each other. — Sept. 22, 2022.
- Neal Kohatsu: For Less Divisiveness, We Need More Humility -- Kohatsu suggests we follow Adam Grant's "rethinking cycle" -- a progression through humility, doubt, curiosity, and discovering, circling back to humility. — Sept. 20, 2022.
- Jack Williams: Reaching out Within and Beyond the Classroom -- The President of the Institute for Global Negotiation shares his thoughts on how the education system writ large can help entire societies learn and use better conflict resolution techniques. — Sept. 20, 2022
- Greg Bourne: What Do the Times Require? -- We’ve seen up close the results of hate, discord and violence. We must choose the better path – and the first step begins with each of us making that choice. — Sept. 17, 2022.
- Richard Rubenstein: Talking Sense about "the Next American Civil War" -- We should work to avoid inflaming the “all or nothing” consciousness that often leads in the direction of civil violence, and focus, instead, on our real enemy--the capitalist structure of wealth and power.— Sept 14, 2022
- Jay Rothman: The Reflexive Mediator — A summary of Jay Rothman's 2014 Negotiation Journal article in which Jay suggests mediators cannot be neutral, but they can be reflexive and use "disciplined bias" to reach resolution. — Sept. 9, 2022
- James Adams: A Cautionary Tale for a Polarizing America and the World—An excerpted version of James Adams's reflection on the similarities between the United States and war-torn and post-war countries abroad where he has served as a peacebuilder. . — Sept. 4, 2022
- Not a False Flag, a More Effective Strategy for Fighting Oppression: the Burgesses Respond to Jackie Font-Guzmán and Bernie Mayer -- The conversation between Jackie, Bernie, and the Burgesses is a good example of the blind man and the elephant parable. We all need to look at the whole elephant! . — Aug. 26, 2022
- Peter Adler: Defiance at Duck Springs -- The world is made of stories, and good stories accumulate into larger narratives and make the world’s history what it is, and what it could be. Here's a story we should learn from before it becomes true. — Aug. 24, 2022
- The False Flag of Hyper-Polarization A Response to Guy and Heidi Burgess’ Critique of The Neutrality Trap -- An approach that says we should focus on peace and not justice is not only bound to fail, it is dangerous in these times when our democracy is under attack and authoritarianism is on the rise. — Aug. 24, 2022
- Introducing a Discussion with Bernie Mayer and Jackie Font-Guzmán about Hyper-Polarization, Neutrality, and Oppression -- Is America's core problem hyper-polarization or oppression? Which is the cause and which is the effect? What does this imply about how we address both?— Aug. 23, 2022
- Polarization Past and Present: What’s Changed? What’s Possible?— Join the Network for Responsible Public Policy on Thurs Aug 25 at 7:30 pm EDT for a discussion of what can be done to bridge todays gaping divides— Aug. 22, 2022
- Jay Rothman's Quick Answers to Our Questions -- Jay argues that participatory, civic engagement to promote deeper understanding of and commitment to fundamental difference (which he refers to as "agonism") is essential for successful democracy.— Aug. 22
- Larry Susskind Explains How To Get Highly Distrustful, even Hateful Parties to Work Together -- Those who want to promote dialogue or peace-making among parties who are “at war” are inviting the wrong people to the wrong kind of event in the wrong way. There are clear alternatives that work, devising seminars being one of them. -- Jul. 22, 2022
- Allison Pike-Merrell Interviews Nawaz Mohammed, Sri Lanka Country Director, Search for Common Ground -- SFCG country director Nawaz Mohamed talks about his background, how he got into peacebuilding work, and how (and why) he is working for reconciliation in his native Sri Lanka. -- Jun. 30, 2022
- Larry Susskind in the Negotiation Journal: Initiating Collaboration in the Midst of a Standoff -- Breakthrough Collaboration is different from traditional dispute resolution and dialogue in that it can be initiated on just one side and does not need to bring the parties together. It can create "ripeness" where none exists. -- Jun 29, 2022
- Larry Susskind and Shafik Islam on Complexity -- The combination of complexity theory with negotiation theory yields a powerful tool for effective water resources management--and other complex public problems. -- Jun 28,2022
- Chip Hauss: Beyond Polarization -- We’ll counter toxic polarization if and only if we offer people a better and credible alternative that they can put into practice in the lived experience of their daily lives. -- Jun 28, 2022
- Louis Kriesberg: Comments on “Applying conflict resolution insights…” by Burgess, Burgess, and Kaufman -- Lou Kriesberg, co-author with Bruce Dayton of Constructive Conflicts, offers a variety of comments, including his view that "polarization" implies equivalence of responsibility, which is not accurate. -- Jun 27, 2022
- Larry Susskind: Consensus Building in the Age of Trump What was it like in the Age of Trump? -- Listening to or caring about "the other side" has become much less common in "the age of Trump," but that just makes the roles of neutrals all the more important. -- Jun 27, 2022
- Solon Simmons: Applying Root Narrative Theory to the Republican Party and American Politics -- Only Republicans can save the party from the abyss they have fallen into; the way out involves changing their dominant root narratives that drive their behavior. -- Jun 26, 2022
- From Chris Honeyman: Statement of J. Michael Luttig to the United States House Select Committee on the January 6, 2021 Attack on the United -- Luttig asserts that America is at war with itself and if its leaders do not quickly develop the moral courage to make peace, America is doomed. -- Jun 25, 2022
- We Must Break the Logic of War Now--Before We Get World War III -- As we embrace every effort to end the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine today, we must seize this moment for what it is: our last best chance to prevent even greater tragedy tomorrow. -- Apr 17, 2022
- Talk with Shamil Idress, CEO of Search for Common Ground -- Heidi Burgess interviews Shamill Idress about his career, Search for Common Ground's work, current challenges facing Search, the peacebuilding field, and the world as a whole--and how we can meet them. -- Apr 16, 2022
- Russians Must Accept the Truth. We Failed. -- From one of the many brave Russians who tried, and failed, to stop their country from sliding into an authoritarian dystopia, an eloquent reminder of why we have to strengthen liberal democracy. -- Mar 31, 2022
- The Ukrainian War: What Happens When You Have a War That Both Sides Absolutely, Positively Can't Afford to Lose? -- The same dynamic that is driving the hyper-polarization crisis in so many countries now threatens to turn the Ukrainian crisis into a truly catastrophic war. -- Mar 30, 2022
- Extended Commentary: Applying Conflict Resolution Insights to Hyper-Polarization: “When Will (We) Ever Learn?” -- We need to focus on our interdependence, the importance of curiosity, humility, "process pluralism," and most importantly widespread education of the polity on better ways of dealing with conflict. -- Mar 29, 2022
- See All Posts
- See Earlier (Closely Related) Constructive Conflict Initiative Blog
In order to support the BI/CRQ discussion, we are starting to assemble supporting materials from the Beyond Intractability Knowledge Base and elsewhere and organize those around the framework explained in the secondary framing article.