Constructive Conflict Initiative Blog
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Two years ago, we started the CCI Blog to share insights we had received about our then-new Constructive Conflict Initiative. The scope of the blog has expanded considerably since then, next focusing on COVID and its conflict implications, then on systemic racism with the murder of George Floyd, then on hyperpolarization and related challenges to democracy that have become increasingly evident (and serious) over the last several years.
In the fall of 2021, the BI Co-Directors Guy and Heidi Burgess and long-time BI contributor Sanda Kaufman were asked to write a “feature article” for the Conflict Resolution Quarterly on the topic of hyperpolarization. CRQ and we (the authors) hope that this article will stimulate a lot of discussion in our field about what more we can do to reduce hyperpolarization and the many harms it has wrought. To facilitate this, CRQ and BI are co-sponsoring a discussion on these topics, which we are blending into the ongoing CCI blog.
To contribute to the discussion, please send us your thoughts (however formal or informal, long or short) through the BI contact form. We are not opening up the blog/discussion to direct posting, since that risks falling victim to malicious bots. But we will post all contributions that are sent in good faith, (including, certainly, those that disagree with us). We’d also like to hear about work others are doing to address hyperpolarization (directly or indirectly) and studies/reports/analyses that address this or related topics. We also welcome contributions on other topics, as long as they relate to topics covered in BI (primarily intractable conflict).
Readers might also be interested in our Constructive Conflict Massive Open Online Seminar with its more extensive blog which includes additional BI content as well as links to the activities of our conflict and peacebuilding colleagues and articles exploring the larger context surrounding today's big conflicts.
- AfP Seminar--Toxic Polarization: What's the Left Got to Do with It? -- The language used to refer to the right is just making things worse, not better. The substance of the left's arguments matters too. -- Dec 02
- Developing a Vision for a Society in Which We Would All Like to Live -- With this newsletter, we start imagining a less polarized future with lessons from South Africa from Ebrahim Rasool as well as observations from Neal Kohatsu, Ken Cloke, and Duncan Autrey. -- Oct 16
- A New Book on Lessons from Peacebuilding Abroad and the Implications for Divisions within the United States -- Adams's book summary explains why he wrote the book the way he did, and what he was trying to accomplish in doing so. -- Jul 21
- We Must Break the Logic of War Now--Before We Get World War III -- As we embrace every effort to end the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine today, we must seize this moment for what it is: our last best chance to prevent even greater tragedy tomorrow. -- Apr 17
- Talk with Shamil Idress, CEO of Search for Common Ground -- Heidi Burgess interviews Shamill Idress about his career, Search for Common Ground's work, current challenges facing Search, the peacebuilding field, and the world as a whole--and how we can meet them. -- Apr 16
- Russians Must Accept the Truth. We Failed. -- From one of the many brave Russians who tried, and failed, to stop their countriy from sliding into an authoritarian dystopia, an eloquent reminder of why we have to strengthen liberal democracy. -- Apr 01
- The Ukrainian War: What Happens When You Have a War That Both Sides Absolutely, Positively Can't Afford to Lose? -- The same dynamic that is driving the hyper-polarization crisis in so many countries now threatens to turn the Ukrainian crisis into a truly catastrophic war. -- Mar 31
- Extended Commentary: Applying Conflict Resolution Insights to Hyper-Polarization: “When Will (We) Ever Learn?” -- We need to focus on our interdependence, the importance of curiousity, humility, "process pluralism," and most importantly widespread education of the polity on better ways of dealing with conflict. -- Mar 30
- Helping organizations and individuals develop conflict wisdom -- An appeal for the conflict field to go beyond interpersonal work to organizational work, particularly in businesses and business schools and an explanation of how peacebuilding "hubs" have been used in Belgium and The Netherlands to "scale up" peacebuilding to the societal level. -- Mar 29
- Adding to the call to action—A few more thoughts -- An exploration of the importance of framing and the need to take control of the destructive narratives that are so pervasive in polarized democracies. We need to replace them with a shared vision for our future -- one that is attractive to everyone including those with whom we disagree. -- Mar 28
- Applying conflict resolution insights to hyper-polarization: “When will (we) ever learn?” -- Long-time conflict resolution scholar and practitioner, Carrie Menkel-Meadow reflects on the many causes of hyper-polarization and suggests new metaphors and approaches for replacing it with constructive, collaborative problem solving. -- Mar 27
- Applying conflict resolution insights to the hyper-polarized, society-wide conflicts threatening liberal democracies -- Long-time conflict resolution scholar and practitioner, Carrie Menkel-Meadow reflects on the many causes of hyper-polarization and suggests new metaphors and approaches for replacing it with constructive, collaborative problem solving. -- Mar 26
- Applying conflict resolution insights to the hyper-polarized, society-wide conflicts threatening liberal democracies -- A call for those with conflict-related expertise to do more to help society more constructively handle the scale and complexity of today's big conflicts while also more effectively countering the efforts of bad-faith actors who are actively working to inflame and exploit our conflicts. -- Mar 26
- BI/CRQ Discussion: Welcome and Invitation to Participate -- An open invitation to participate in an online exploration of additional things that those with conflict -related expertise might be able to do to help diffuse the hyperpolarized conflict problems that are so threatening to modern societies. -- Mar 24
- The Hyper-Polarization Crisis: a Conflict Resolution Challenge -- In partnership with the Conflict Resolution Quarterly's new Feature Article series, Beyond Intractability is convening a new online discussion focused on the hyper-polarization crisis. -- Mar 23
- The Many Types of Reconciliation -- Different types of reconciliation are better at different times and places, and can be done simultaneously or sequentially. Choosing the proper order can determine success or failure. #mbi_cci -- Mar 07
- The Ukrainian War: What Happens When You Have a War That Both Sides Absolutely, Positively Can't Afford to Lose? -- The same dynamic that is driving the hyper-polarization crisis in so many countries now threatens to turn the Ukrainian crisis into a truly catastrophic war. -- Mar 06
- Reflections on Neuroscience, Conflict, and Peacebuilding -- The new generation of neuroscience insights are revolutionizing the way in which we think about a wide range of conflict problems. #mbi_cci -- Feb 10
- Priorities for Reducing Political Polarization in the United States -- An explanation of why, for a healthy democracy, it is so important that voters believe that their core interests will be protected--even when they lose an election! #mbi_fundamentals -- Feb 09
- Addressing The "Grey Zone*" Warfare Threat to Negotiation -- The "invisible hand" upon which so much of liberal democracy depends is now being undermined by a wide range of "gray zone" attacks on negotiation processes. -- Feb 08
- Universities Need to Do Better -- Universities need to teach about ways of understanding and influencing complex systems, and encourage true multi-disciplinary efforts to do so. #mbi_cci -- Feb 07
- The Power of Art in Gray Zone Conflicts -- Armies of artists can engage people in peacebuilding the way other conflict handling professionals cannot. #mbi_cci -- Feb 06
- Peter Adler: COVID Consequences: Slouching Toward Civil War -- A report on a poll regarding likelihood of civil war in America, and what that means for conflict resolution work. -- Jan 26
- Review of Peter Coleman's The Way Out -- Addressing hyper-polarization as a complex problem is essential--but figuring out how to do so successfully is very tricky. #mbi_cci -- Jan 23
- Reversing Polarization and Escalation - Part 2 -- We now have a list of 28 things that can be done to reverse or prevent escalation, but one sums up them all: respect. #mbi_fundamentals -- Dec 01