Louis Kriesberg

Professor Emeritus, Sociology, University of Syracuse; author of numerous books on intractable conflict

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 ???).

A: The other little piece that I think people in conflicts that are deteriorating need to be reminded is that conflicts get worse as each side blames the other. Blaming others is very natural because we know that we are good people and we are doing good things, therefore the problem must be the other side. The fact that the enemy who must be making things so bad doesn't recognize that he is and doesn't see our goodness is further proof of their evilness and their lack of understanding. Therefore it proves more that they are at fault and that they must change. I think some recognition that that is an interactive process is important and it in fact is disempowering to think how it abdicates the possibility of change to the other side. We're much better off thinking about what can we do that might change this interaction, which actually gives you more power than not.

Q: So you are controlling your own actions, which ultimately affect the diad or triad or however many parts there might be.

A: Yeah.