Cooperation Between Track I and Track II

Ron Fisher

Professor of International Peace and Conflict Resolution, School of International Service, American University

Interviewed by Julian Portilla, 2003

This rough transcript provides a text alternative to audio. We apologize for occasional errors and unintelligible sections (which are marked with ???).

The contingency model as it is laid out is a simple linear sequence just to get the logic and the rational there. It is much too simplistic because there is recycling, there can be recycling I am sure with in it, but also some people make the good point in these very complex intractable conflicts that rather than sequentially you should have simultaneous. A lot of things can happen at the same time, and be useful and cross-fertilize and so on.

I wouldn't argue with that part of the reason for the contingency model was wanting to find a conceptual place where there was an opportunity for the softer unofficial methods of conflict resolution to be involved and respected. You have to understand that part of the development of this whole field has been a small people political battle with those of us working in the unofficial domain looking to get some credibility and visibility from those in the official domain; or their supporters, if you will. Part of it has been convincing realists in international relations, as well as policy makers and government that we have something valuable to offer in a complimentary way. I think it's a good model in its own conceptual right but it also had a political motivation.