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Conflict Spectrum Lecture 2

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Peace and Conflict Studies
PACS 202
Betty Pries

Lecture 2: Conflict Spectrum Dinner for Two  Peer pressure  Can’t seem to see other options that are available  It was all about themselves; no one wanted to back down  Sometimes people don’t see the damage of the conflict until one gets hurt Self Justification and Conflict  Lens through which we look @ the world or ourselves ie never totally clear  Tend to self justify our own questionable behaviour – so much that we come to genuinely believe the story we tell ourselves about what happened o E.g. car buyers and car ads o E.g. 1847, doctors and babies  a lot of women were dying of child birth o E.g. US, Bush and Iraq o E.g. Mel Gibson and drunken rant Cognitive Dissonance  We can’t hold 2 opposite truths in our heads @ the same time o Tend to self justify our actions to nullify or minimize one of those truths o Causes us to attribute the cause of our behaviour onto others, freeing us from responsibility for this behaviour  Attribution Theory  Internal vs. External motivations o Assumption: behaviour of other relates to internal motivations (personality, way of being)  Can’t be changed; conflict can’t be resolved well o Correlating Assumption: behaviour relates to external motivations (circumstance we found ourselves in)  Externals are circumstantial, therefore they’re not correlate with who we are at the core o We can judge the other for their behaviour/ essence but we can self justify ourselves for our behaviour  Blameworthiness o Assumption: failure to resolve issue is the other party’s fault  Globality (Cause of problem) o Assumption: if relationship is positive, cause is something specific; if negative, cause is “wide” (related to larger/ multiple issues)  Intent o Assumption: other party consciously decided/ planned negative outcome  Locus o Assumption: problem lies with the other person  Selfishness o Assumption: motives of the other are self serving  Stability (frequency of problem) o Assumption: If relationship positive, a one time occurrence; if negative, it will occur many times Attribution Theory and Inter-group Conflict  Refuse to allow for differences within a group  Generalizing experiences from one to many  It’s really about the individual, not as a group Conflict Escalation Stage 1 – Problem Solving  Conflict at this stage can be intense, but it is constructive – people’s eyes remain on the problem  People only focus on the problem; that is disagreement o Sometimes it’s healthy, but the moment your eyes shifts from the problem to other people, it becomes stage 2 Stage 2 – Personal Antagonism  People at this stage shift their focus – person not the issue is seen as the problem Lecture 2: Conflict Spectrum  “she is a…” ; “he always…” o we start to blame the other person; putting emotional emphasis on the other person Stage 3 – Proliferation of Issues  People at this stage start “piling on” o Identifying all different ways that the other person is a problem  Trust and objectivity become threatened Stage 4 – Triangulating  People talk about, not with each other o I talk to a couple friends, you talk to other friends = no direct communication o Families believe this is conflict normal  Camps being; risk of adversarial behaviour  Alliance becomes more important than issue  Attribution theory behaviour really kicks in  Aka gossip Stage 5 – Escalating Reactions -> usually where people start calling for help  Parties narrower / more rigid in perspective  Governing rules of behaviour rejected  If you do x to me, I’ll do x and y to you  Conflict is increasingly destructive. Crisis. Stage 6 – Antagonism and Hostility  “I don’t care what others think” – antagonism and hostility is open for all to see  risk of violence  I can do anything negative because I am so convinced that I am right with my perspective, nothing matters anymore Stage 7 – Polarization  two camps  original cause of conflict long ago forgotten  conflict is extremely destructive, yet communication between camps can be limited  relationships / workplaces/ groups at this level almost never recover  on the global stage, this may lead to war and /or peacekeeping forces. Versions of peacekeeping forces exist also domestically What options does an individual have who wishes to be at a level 1 when everyone else wants to stay at a level 7? - trying to spread the idea of going back to level 1 through level 4  transforming the camp to think more positively for the situation - at level 7, it’s hard for mediation to be effective o Have people within who are trying to transform the group o Adjudication or the courts o if it’s an organization, talk to the leaders only - remove yourself from the situation o if you can be strong and solid with your conflict resolution, you’d have a better chance of making the better decision o in a position of leadership, you’d be able to have a sort of influence - If everyone is at the 4 while you’re at 1 o Bully in the system o How do you develop an immune system around the bullies while having a healthy environment Characteristics of Constructive Conflict – Staying at level 1  focus on the problem (not each other)  see disagreements as opportunities to learn, develop clarity, enhance creativity  focus on current, factual information related to the problem rater than conjecture  engage one another with humour, respect and in ways that enhance others’ self esteem o tending the personality and spirits of the person  name fundamental interests/ needs  manage your emotions; if can’t, get help for the conversation  balance power o play fair- establish a sense of equity in conversation. Cooperate rather than compete  Brainstorm broadly to discover solutions  Frame decisions as collaborations aimed at achieving the best possible solution for both sides o Don’t force a resolution  Level 1 can be very intense o But you can still be firm, clear Lecture 2: Conflict Spectrum  If everyone else in the conflict is at a higher level, is there a time when intentionally moving to a level 2 or higher is justified, if level 1 still allows you to speak with intensity? o Appealing to their emotional self to bring them back to a healthier place o If the whole group is @ level 4, there is some logic from going to level 5  One person takes it to level 5 and then leads t
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