Seminar 14: Collaboration and the Power of Working Together

This seminar relates to Conflict Frontiers Massively Parallel Peacebuilding (MPP) Challenge 8 

Kenneth Boulding asserted that there are three kinds of power:  threats (coercion), exchange (negotiation), and "love" (which we translate to "integrative power" or collaboration.  This form of power least often thought of or turned to, yet it, Boulding asserted, was the most powerful form of power.  Indeed, he said, neither of the other two can operate with out it. 

Posts in this Seminar:

  • Integrative Power -- Integrative power is the power that binds humans together. Kenneth Boulding calls it "love" or, "if that is too strong," he said, "call it respect." Though seldom studied or discussed, Boulding argues that it is the strongest form of power, especially because the other two forms (exchange and coercive power) cannot operate without integrative power too.

  • Focusing on Commonalities -- Andrew Masondo wrote, "Understand the differences; act on the commonalities." This essay examines how that can be done.
  • Managing Interpersonal Trust and Distrust -- Trust has often been praised as the "glue" that holds relationships together and enables individuals to pool their resources with others. Unfortunately, when conflict escalates to a dysfunctional level, trust is often one of the first casualties.
  • Trust and Trust Building -- Trust comes from the understanding that humans are interdependent, that they need each other to survive. Third parties can attempt to use this insight to promote trust between disputing parties.
  • Networking -- This essay describes how networking can be used to build relationships and empower individuals and groups to confront difficult conflicts more effectively.
  • Coalition Building -- Coalition building is the making of alliances or coalitions between individuals, groups, or countries who cooperatively work together to reach a common goal.
  • Consensus Building -- Consensus building is used to settle conflicts that involve multiple parties and complicated issues. The approach seeks to transform adversarial confrontations into a cooperative search for information and solutions that meet all parties' interests and need.
  • Joint Projects -- Adversaries usually focus on their differences, while neglecting their common interests. One way to overcome this problem is by organizing and pursuing joint projects, which can help to repair the parties' relationship.