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Title: The journey from intergroup emnity to peaceful conflict handling : peacebuilding experiences of local NGOs in the former Yugoslavia : multiple approaches for undermining intergroup animosities and dealing with differences
Author: Schaefer, Christoph Daniel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2730 7280
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2011
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Classical approaches to conflict resolution assume that inducing conflict parties to analyse conflict constellations precipitates that the disputants recognise mutually shared needs or interests. Partially in critical reaction towards this assumption, a more recently emerging approach envisages setting up a communicative framework within which the conflict parties are supposed to harmonise their conceptualisations of the conflict. This dissertation, in contrast, argues that work within the frameworks of these classes of approaches is impolitic as long as war-related hostilities stay intact, since conflict parties which see the existence of the adversary as the core of the problem are unlikely to engage in a process of open communication or open analysis, so that trustbuilding is a sine qua non. Practice experiences of local NGOs in the former Yugoslavia suggest that the following activities can be conducive to trustbuilding: 1) supporting exchanges on personalising information, so that the internal heterogeneity of the opponent's group is rendered visible; 2) bringing intergroup iii commonalities to the foreground, either through cooperation on shared aspirations, or by unearthing interpersonal overlaps e.g. common feelings, values, and war-related experiences; 3) undermining the imagination of the own side's moral superiority by fostering the recognition of crimes and suffering inflicted by the own side. For those cultural and religious differences which persist after basic trustbuilding, a contingency approach is proposed: 1) Fostering the exploration of commonalities and differences; 2) If disagreements remain despite a better basic understanding, tolerance of these difference can be based on a better understanding of the values' background, and on an acceptance of differing beliefs as equal in valence; 3) Supporting the discovery of joint values to raise awareness for options of cohabitation with differences; disagreements which cannot be solved might be continued within an accepted communicative framework based on these shared values.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Peacebuilding ; Intractable conflict ; Prejudices ; Trustbuilding ; Cooperation ; Needs ; Cosmopolitan values ; Pragmatism ; Conflict resolution ; Former Yugoslavia ; Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) ; Local NGOs ; Shared values