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Listed below are projects that are currently contributing significant content to Beyond Intractability and CRInfo. This content is easily accessible through special, "Affiliate" sites created for each project (see links below), and through our various Search, Browse, User Guide, and Educational tools. (Please also see our Sponsors page for a list of organizations that are contributing significant financial support.)

"This project conducted in-depth (6 hour) interviews with about twenty of the most senior mediators who worked with the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service since its inception in 1965. They described in great detail how they successfully mediated many racial conflicts that would generally be considered "intractable." These interviews are transcribed and coded by section, so it is possible to learn how all of the mediators dealt with many different challenges encompassed in racial conflicts." -- from Website

"The Dynamical Systems Application Resources project brings together academics and practitioners working to apply principles from systems thinking, complexity science and related disciplines to the challenge of conflict transformation. By thinking systemically and holistically about peace and conflict, by seeing them as emergent properties of a complex dynamic system, this project is part of a paradigm shift that offers promising new means of transforming conflict situations into constructive social relations. To achieve this the group develops new methodologies and tools, implements applied research projects, and invites collaboration with partners who recognize the potential of dynamical systems approaches." -- from Website

"The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the Governance Commons, the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, and the Beyond Intractability Project are jointly assembling this computerized knowledge base and reference tool to support the work of those struggling against acts of genocidal violence and other mass atrocities, as well as those working to help societies recover from such events." -- from Website

"The University of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies is one of the world's leading centers for the study of the causes of violent conflict and strategies for sustainable peace. Kroc Institute faculty and fellows conduct interdisciplinary research on a wide range of topics related to peace and justice. ... The Kroc Institute's mission is integral to Notre Dame, an international Catholic research university. The Church has a rich tradition of teaching on war, peace, justice, and human rights. The Kroc Institute fosters collaboration among religious and secular traditions, strengthening the capacity of all for building peace." -- from Website

"With funding provided by The Fetzer Institute, we are working to leverage the established networks of the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) and Beyond Intractability to identify, research, and highlight exemplars of love and forgiveness as part of good governance practice." -- from Website

"The Program in Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) serves students interested in the cross-disciplinary study of peace development and conflict management. PACS has a four-decade history at the University, preparing hundreds of students, many of whom are now conflict professionals in a growing field." -- from Website

"The contemporary pedagogy of negotiation is predominantly an American export product. Moreover, it is, for all intents and purposes, a 'first generation' product, in need of review and overhaul. For universities trying to influence the future of conflict resolution, a continuing challenge is to critically examine what is taught in negotiation and how we teach it, with special emphasis on how best to 'translate' teaching methodology to succeed with diverse, global audiences. To meet this challenge, Hamline University School of Law, in cooperation with the JAMS Foundation, The Leading Negotiation Institute, CONVENOR Conflict Management, and ADR Center Foundation (Italy), has embarked on an ambitious multi-year, cross-disciplinary, global initiative. The project offers a unique opportunity for international conflict resolution scholars and teacher/trainers to critique contemporary negotiation pedagogy and contribute to development of 'second generation' negotiation training design, with particular emphasis on the short 'executive' courses which have now proliferated around the world." -- from Website

"At The School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR), the whole community of faculty, students, staff alumni and partners is committed to the development of theory, research, and practice that interrupt cycles of violence. S-CAR is an innovative academic resource for people and institutions worldwide. It comprises a community of scholars, graduate and undergraduate students, alumni, practitioners, and organizations in the field of peace making and conflict resolution. S-CAR is a Commonwealth Center for Excellence, recognized for its leadership in the field and its world-renowned faculty." -- from Website

"As the old African proverb goes, 'When spider webs unite, they can halt even a lion.' No more critical challenge faces each of us, and all of us together, than how to live together in a world of differences. So much depends on our ability to handle our conflicts peacefully — our happiness at home, our performance at work, the livability of our communities, and, in this age of mass destruction, the survival of our species. The Third Side offers a promising new way to look at the conflicts around us. The Third Side is the community — us — in action protecting our most precious interests in safety and well-being. It suggests ten practical roles any of us can play on a daily basis to stop destructive fighting in our families, at work, in our schools, and in the world. Each of our individual actions is like a single spider web, fragile perhaps but, when united with others, capable of halting the lion of war." -- from Website

Special Projects

 

Beyond Intractability's approach to promoting more constructive conflict engagement focuses on synthesizing and making more readily accessible the contributions of those actively working in peace, conflict, governance, and related fields. The following section highlights the work of people and projects with whom BI has established close and mutually supportive relationships. This frequently involves the creation of specialized "portals" which are hosted and/or republished on BI, or the publication of substantial sets of new BI materials that were developed by "partner projects."

This is a twelve-unit, thirty-six-hour course designed to teach middle school students basic conflict transformation skills for personal, community, national, and international situations. The short stories, current events, class discussions, guided reading activities, and guided writing assignments make this course ideal both for social studies and language arts classes.

Dealing with Intractable Conflict in the United States
Máire Dugan and Joan Walker Scott

This project sought to identify and explore cutting edge practices in dealing with intractable social conflict in the United States, with a view toward (1) overcoming and dismantling racism, (b) creating a research agenda for the field which more adequately addresses intractable social conflict within the United States; and (c) developing ideas on how conflict resolution efforts and initiatives might better interface with efforts of groups on social issues which do not necessarily see themselves as conflict resolvers or their processes as conflict resolution.

How to Stop Fighting
Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess

This project, undertaken by the Co-Directors of the Conflict Information Consortium, produced a seven-step tutorial for people involved in relationship conflicts. The interactive tutorial invites users to "step through" fictitious (but very relatable) conflict scenarios, experimenting with potential approaches by each party. The tutorial offers helpful advice for de-escalating a conflict and making it more constructive, while warning users about approaches that may have the opposite effect.

This project examined the theories of practice of four different conflict resolution organizations which work in the area of race relations. By examining documents, doing observations, and interviews, project director Mark Chupp (then at Cleveland State University, and now at Case Western Reserve University) analyzed and compared the approaches of The ARIA Group's Action Evaluation Method, Search for Common Ground's "show-tell-do common ground" approach, the South Carolina Council for Conflict Resolution and the Community Mediation Center of Columbia's Race Relations 2020, and Chupp's own work with Appreciative Inquiry.

Track One - Track Two Cooperation
Susan Allen Nan and Andrea Strimling

Susan Allen Nan, of George Mason University, and Andrea Strimling, who, at the time, was with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), undertook a project, in conjunction with the US Institute of Peace (USIP) to examine the interaction between Track I and Track II Diplomacy. The project resulted in an article published on Beyond Intractability, a number of interviews with leading Track I and II diplomats, and a full-day conference at USIP held in 2003. The proceedings of the conference, as well as the associated papers are linked here.

The current state of theory, research, and practice on protracted, intractable conflict is robust but limited; although much progress has been made, our understanding is bounded by discipline, culture, role-in-conflict (expert versus disputant), and social class. This pilot project elicited alternative ways-of-knowing and engaging with the phenomenon of intractable social conflict that are typically excluded from the dominant discourse in this area. A professionally and culturally diverse group of nine scholar-practitioners were interviewed for this project to learn how they defined and understood the concept of intractabiliy, how they analyzed, and/or engaged in such conflicts.

 

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