MBI Newsletter

MBI Newsletter

Newsletter #3

May 26, 2017

This newsletter includes the Frontiers Seminar Unit 2 on Business as Usual and why it doesn't work on intractable conflicts, The Fundamentals Seminar Unit 2 on Core Concepts and Selected Additional Resources posts from the period between now and the last newsletter.  

Frontiers Seminar:

Unit 2 Pushing the frontier: the Limits of Business-as-Usual 

This series of 10 posts explains why so many of the attitudes, assumptions, and processes about conflict and conflict resolution don't work for complex, intractable conflict. Several of the posts suggest ways in which changing ones' attitudes, assumptions and/or approaches can yield positive results.  

  1. Business-as-Usual Introduction  Business-as-usual strategies don't work for intractable conflicts--they often make them worse!  --April 17, 2017​ 
  2. Part 1: Same Old Approach, Just More or Better. [D3] "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."  Why do we do that with conflict? -- April 18, 2017​ 
  3. Part 2: Boys Will Be Boys"  Are conflict & war inevitable? Is “compromise” bad? Such attitudes make us cynical and block learning.  -- April 19, 2017​ 
  4. Business As Usual Pt. 3: "The Blame Game" In conflict, we often blame the other. But focusing on “contribution” instead usually gets much better results! April 20, 2017​ 
  5. Business As Usual-4: Power and the Power Strategy Mix.  Sources of power and power strategies--how to make the most of each. April 21, 2017​ 
  6. Business As Usual 5 - The Interplay of Reason and Emotion Rationality and emotions both contribute to conflict decision-making--be smart about how!  April 24, 2017​ 
  7. Business As Usual-6: More Bad Assumptions  “If they’d just talk, they could work it out!” Exploring this and other bad assumptions. April 25, 2017​ 
  8. The Return of "I'll Fight You for It" Rules  Are efforts to solve problems collaboratively now losing to naked contests of Machiavellian power. April 26, 2017​ 
  9. The Backlash Effect & Coefficient  If your backlash coefficient is more than one, your cause cannot be won! Learn why. April 27, 2017​ 
  10. Recent Peace and Conflict Paradigms  Peace cultivation and massively parallel peacebuilding: two ideas for a new complexity-oriented conflict paradigm. April 28, 2017​ 

Fundamentals Seminar:

Unit 2: Core Concepts.  

The conflict resolution field has many "core concepts," of course, but here are a few that we use very frequently.

  1. Conflicts and Disputes -- Distinguishing between conflicts & disputes is essential for successful engagement in each. (April 17, 2017)
  2. Complex and Complicated Systems - Beyond complex, societal-level conflicts can be considered to be "complex adaptive systems," similar in some sense to weather, ant colonies, or jazz ensembles. The study of these systems requires us to challenge assumptions deeply embedded in the North American/European understandings of conflict intervention. (April 19, 2017)
  3. Interests, Positions, Needs, and Values  -- These are the things people fight about--and each must be handled differently. (April 20, 2017)
  4. Settlement, Resolution, Management, and Transformation -- Often considered synonyms, each of these implies a very different process and outcome. (April 21, 2017)
  5. John Paul Lederach on Transformation -- Conflict transformation sees conflict as an opportunity, not a problem needing a solution. (April 24, 2017)
  6. Reconciliation -- Once a hot topic, now a hotly-needed but controversial topic - this essay tells why. (April 25, 2017)
  7. Lederach's "Meeting Place" - Think you know what peace, truth, justice, mercy, and reconciliation mean? This exercise forces a deeper look. (April 26, 2017)
  8. Stable Peace - Stable peace, says Boulding, exists when the thought of war as a tool to resolve conflicts is not considered. (April 27, 2017)
  9. Principles of Justice and Fairness Like, beauty, "justice" is "in they eye of the beholder. " Or is it not? Can it be objectively measured? (April 28, 2017)

Additional Resources Blog Posts 

We have posted almost 100 additional resources posts since the last newsletter, so I am selecting only a few of them to include here.  If you want to look at the full list, it can be found at Additional Resources Blog.

BI Newsletters - General Announcements

Every two weeks or so, we will compile recent posts from our seminars and blogs into a newsletter that will be posted here and sent out by email to subscribers. You can sign up to receive your copy on our Newsletter Sign Up Page and find the latest newsletter as well as all past newsletters here on our Newsletter Archive page.

NOTE! If you signed up for this Newsletter and don't see it in your inbox, it might be going to one of your other emails folder (such as promotions, social, or spam).  Check there or search for news@beyondintractability.org, and if you still can't find it, please contact us