Culture and Conflict Resolution

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Overview

After years of relative neglect, culture is finally receiving due recognition as a key factor in the evolution and resolution of conflicts. Unfortunately, however, when theorists and practitioners of conflict resolution speak of “culture,” they often understand and use it in a bewildering and unhelpful variety of ways. With sophistication and lucidity, Culture and Conflict Resolution exposes these shortcomings and proposes an alternative conception in which culture is seen as dynamic and derivative of individual ...
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Overview

After years of relative neglect, culture is finally receiving due recognition as a key factor in the evolution and resolution of conflicts. Unfortunately, however, when theorists and practitioners of conflict resolution speak of “culture,” they often understand and use it in a bewildering and unhelpful variety of ways. With sophistication and lucidity, Culture and Conflict Resolution exposes these shortcomings and proposes an alternative conception in which culture is seen as dynamic and derivative of individual experience. The book explores divergent theories of social conflict and differing strategies that shape the conduct of diplomacy, and examines the role that culture has (and has not) played in conflict resolution. The author is as forceful in critiquing those who would dismiss or diminish culture’s relevance as he is trenchant in advocating conflict resolution approaches that make the most productive use of a coherent concept of culture. In a lively style, Avruch challenges both scholars and practitioners not only to develop a clearer understanding of what culture is, but also to take that understanding and incorporate it into more effective conflict resolution processes.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781878379825
  • Publisher: United States Institute of Peace Press (USIP Press)
  • Publication date: 11/28/1998
  • Series: Cross-Cultural Negotiation Books
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 172
  • Sales rank: 1,231,594
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Avruch is professor of anthropology at George Mason University and faculty member of the university’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. His recent books include two co-edited volumes, Conflict Resolution: Cross-Cultural Perspectives and Critical Essays on Israeli Society. He was a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace in 1996–97.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction 3
The Concept of Culture: A Very Brief History 6
An Approach to Culture 9
Inadequate Ideas of Culture 12
Thinking about Culture 16
Thinking about Social Conflict - and "Resolution" 24
Realism and the Absence of Culture in International Relations Theory 27
Political Culture and National Character 31
Culture in International Relations Theory: Cognitivist Approaches 35
Culture and Negotiation 39
Culture and International Negotiation: Some Skeptics 42
Culture and the Problem of Power 48
Conceptualizing Cultural Difference 57
Emic Approaches 61
Etic Approaches 63
Combining Emic and Etic Approaches 68
Rational Choice and Gaming 74
Bargaining and Negotiation 76
Third-Party Processes and Roles 80
The Problem-Solving Workshop and Conflict Resolution 85
Culture and Problem-Solving Workshops: More Skeptics 89
Reframing the Problem-Solving Workshop 95
"Restricted" Conflict Resolution and the Future of the Enterprise 100
Conclusions: Some Notes for Trainers and Practitioners 103
Notes 109
Bibliography 131
Index 143
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