Fundamentals of Conflict Studies - Notes for the first class
Fundamentals of Conflict Studies - Notes for the first class PAI 601
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alonso López de Castilla on Sunday September 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PAI 601 at Syracuse University taught by Catherine Gerard in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Fundamentals of Conflict Studies in Public Administration & Policy at Syracuse University.
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Date Created: 09/04/16
PAI 601 09-01-16 Conflict Studies Class 1 This is not a skill building course, it´s a course that helps you to understand how to analyze a conflict and how to deal with a conflict. We will be looking to conflict through many different lenses. We will use anthropology, sociology, international relations and other subjects in our analysis. We have to choose which lenses can give us the rights focus to do solve each conflict. For our project, you are going to choose a conflict to resolve, you are going to describe the conflict, and after that, you are going to provide an analysis through multiple lenses, and how each actor is intervening. Finally, you have to come up with your own theory of change: What could happen if you implement your idea? Then you have to evaluate your intervention. We are trying to model the work in the same way that some organizations are looking for it, in a practical way, it will be a quite realistic proposal. Conflict studies are 90% analysis and 10% intervention. We will have speakers. Robert Rubenstein from anthropology department, he is the former director of PARCC, he will talk about the different aspects of poverty in Syracuse. th October 27 – The chancellor, he teaches the negotiation course. Co-author of the book you are reading, he will come for the last class, talking about conflict resolution, he is 90 years old, pioneers of conflict studies, talking about people like Gandhi. He is one of the founders of the Conflict studies theory. *You also have to attend to three different activities apart from this class and write a paper about it. *For next week we need to know what is your conflict ideology and why this on one page. *In a couple of weeks, you need to write about which is going to be your proposal What is a conflict? Group dynamic highlights: Disagreement on a situation Opportunity to innovate, see things with other lenses Complicated/Layers Values and Beliefs Bad communication Limited resources and multilateral behavior to get them Conflict definition: “A social conflict arises two or more persons or groups manifest the belief that they have incompatible objectives.” (K&D 2012) Examples: Community disputes, the political violence, immigration policy-making. POWER POINT (Not yet sent): Notes about each slide showing the crucial points Some conflicts are violent and others not, as they can be based on ideas, inside an institutional framework. 1. Conflicts are part of human nature, is a human condition. Some authors said that without conflict human race would not be where we are now. Organizations have different views of conflicts, some think that conflicts are inherently bad, while others said that is behavioral and we have to train people to manage them. 2. Conflicts can be waged constructively or destructively: Minimizing violence is a way to make conflicts constructive. Examples: Sierra Leona: Part of society feels that the conflict is not resolved just because they got an agreement, where rich people got most of their demands and poor people stayed poor, that is why they don’t believe that the resolutions were fair. Destructive conflicts happen when the social fabric is cut down, this is why wars are always destructive conflicts. Destructive conflicts are easier sometimes, unfortunately. Civil rights movement in the USA from the 60’s and 70's: Was a constructive and peaceful conflict because was not directly related to violence. It's when the aim of it is a win-win resolution and its perceived as“fair”. We always have a choice about how we waged conflict. We act sometimes as we don’t have choices. 3. Transformation as a guide for action: This is the theory of change. If a group believe that the other can’t be trusted what can they do? In order to understand a conflict, you have to define it first. Example: In the war between Palestine and Israel, who are the actors? Are the Arabs a single group? 4. Theory – Practice: Depending on the theory on what we believe as conflict practitioners. We have to look deeply at the theory. We have to be more nuanced about our theory of change. If you only have a hammer everything looks as a nail. 5. Social construction: Nothing have any meaning but the one that people gives. We really have to construct what the conflict is about. We can have a lot of different views about it, because of traditions, cultures, and views. The actual presidential run is very interesting from a theoretical point of view because we are revealing what people really think, and which are really the concepts behind the important topics. Who is right and who is wrong? 6. Social conflicts are dynamic and tend to move through stages: Bases, emergence, escalation, de-escalation, settlement, outcomes Group dynamic 2 highlights: Arab Spring: (Nationalists and Capitalists) Even though the conflict is not yet resolved there are outcomes. Sometimes in the transformation there are significant changes, in this case legally as well as economically, they have better education and more freedom of speech. Civil rights movement in the USA: o Base: race or slavery. o Emergence: abolition. o Escalation (building tension): treatment of color. o De-escalation: Abolishment of Jim Crown/segregation o Settlement: The creation of new laws o Outcomes: more equity. 7. Conflicts rarely end, they are most often simply transformed. Some just get depressed because the conflict was not completely resolved. Each case is different; it depends on the context. 8. Even though, all conflicts can be analyzed using the same framework.
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