Blog Posts - Conflict Resolution



The Power of Just Not Giving a Damn (about some things anyway)

I was listening to an old Charlie Rose interview (from about two years ago) with the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations United Nations Mohammed Khazaee. At the end of the interview Rose asked the ambassador if he had seen the movie Argo about t...
by Peace and Conflict Politics on Mar 14, 2015

Netanyahu’s Bonding Discourse and 1% Decisions

Anything interesting, novel, or exciting about Netanyahu’s speech to Congress was absorbed by the flap over the diplomatic slight. And even if President Obama was feigning a gigantic yawn to signal his disinterest, it was an apt response. To be sur...
by Peace and Conflict Politics on Mar 7, 2015

Blaming the US for Trouble in the Middle East Is Simply a Stretch

Last week a respected friend and colleague sent me an email making the standard claims about how all the problems in the Middle East are the result of imperial borders, colonialism, and US foreign policy. It’s the “blame the US” refrain. If you...
by Peace and Conflict Politics on Feb 16, 2015

The Sin of Sanctity

Below is a video of Obama’s comments at the prayer breakfast where he compared the Crusades to the religious extremism of ISIS. It was a clumsy comparison and I probably would have counseled him to find another way to make the point. But he wa...
by Peace and Conflict Politics on Feb 9, 2015

Fishing In Troubled Waters

There is a time for war and a time for peace. And professional war-makers and peace-makers can both make money. Here is a little story. Once two crows were fighting over a chappati. Since neither crow was able to prevail over the other, they invited...
by Wealthymatters on Feb 3, 2015

The Media’s Distorted Relationship with Israel

Matti Friedman writing in The Atlantic wrote a trenchant article about what the media gets wrong with Israel. Friedman makes the point that the press is failing the public when it comes to its duty to inform and provide a platform for issues and deba...
by Peace and Conflict Politics on Feb 2, 2015

A Very Impressive and Important Opportunity

Summer Fellowship all expenses paid. You really need to seriously consider Brandeis University’s summer travel and study. Stimulating academic and intellectual preparation for teaching and scholarship–at no cost to you. More information f...
by Peace and Conflict Politics on Jan 15, 2015

“I Make No Effort to Indulgently Understand Tyranny. I Am Charlie”

In the wake of the attack in France on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, I call on all news and publication outlets to reprint satirical articles from the magazine and publish images that Jihadis object to. This should be done in the name of fre...
by Peace and Conflict Politics on Jan 12, 2015

Do You Want to Stop Extremist Groups? Don’t Change Messages, Change the Receivers for These Messages

Communication perspectives have a long history of trying to teach people which particular message produces which affects, as if the message were a bullet traveling through space that simply needed to be aimed properly. I’m just as guilty as anyone...
by Peace and Conflict Politics on Jan 4, 2015

Some Serious Solution Proposals to the Israel-Palestine Conflict – Pay Attention!

It’s just unconscionable how much time is spent analyzing and criticizing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and how little time is spent working on positive and productive solution possibilities. There are, of course, lots of solution proposals and...
by Peace and Conflict Politics on Dec 27, 2014

How Group Level Conflict Is Changed by Interaction Rituals

Ethnopolitical conflicts are pervasive in a culture and involve a relationship between locally situated parties and larger groups. The conflict is perceived as both an interpersonal problem and a group level problem. Attempts to resolve these conflic...
by Peace and Conflict Politics on Dec 15, 2014

A Third Narrative for Israel-Palestine

    Anyone interested in the Middle East these days will be subjected to a relentless barrage of accusations against Israel on the Web, on campus and in other settings. Some of these attacks come from the far left, from activists trying to...
by Peace and Conflict Politics on Dec 13, 2014

Strategies for Hate Applied To Islam

Muslims, for a lot of obvious reasons, have been the recipients of hate crimes and this is quite unfortunate. In addition to old-fashioned violent hate fueled by fierce emotions there is the more benign form of hate that simply tries to dispute Islam...
by Peace and Conflict Politics on Dec 1, 2014

Three Ways to Deal with an Angry Person

How do you like dealing with an angry person? If you’re like most of the people I know, you hate it. And, you occasionally have to do it. While some people seem to have a knack for helping others “back off the edge,” most people fee...
by The Recovering Engineer on Nov 25, 2014

Three Dilemmas for Israeli Settlers

    Given that the territories are defined as a “frontier land”—neither sovereign nor part of the Israeli official map—their definition is open to construction. Israeli settlers frame three discursive dilemmas they must solve. These...
by Peace and Conflict Politics on Nov 24, 2014

Three Communication Strategies Guaranteed to Irritate Others

In workshops and coaching conversations, I receive many questions about the right way to communicate an idea. Sadly, I cannot define the absolutely, most correct, “right” way to communicate an idea – particularly if the idea is communicated dur...
by The Recovering Engineer on Nov 24, 2014

The Problem with the Concept of “Peace” in Islam

Given the contemporary image of Islam as violent, and the current grip that extremist Islam has on the image of Islam, it’s a little difficult to explain that Islam has a preference for nonviolence and forgiveness. But Islam has a long history of r...
by Peace and Conflict Politics on Nov 17, 2014

Educating for Free and Deliberative Speech

Hearing criticisms of your own convictions and learning the beliefs of others are training for life in the multi-faith society. Preventing open debate means that all believers, including atheists, remain in the prison of unconsidered opinion. The rig...
by Peace and Conflict Politics on Nov 10, 2014

If You Were Born in Jerusalem Were You Born in Israel? Maybe not

There is currently a court case in the United States about to be heard by the Supreme Court pertaining to Menachem Zivotofsky who was born in Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem – Western Jerusalem. As reported in the Wall Street Journal on October...
by Peace and Conflict Politics on Nov 3, 2014

“Pluralism:” Another Powerful Theoretical Political Term Wrapped up As a Sweet Nicety

Lately, Thomas Friedman and a few others have been talking about pluralism and pointing out how extremist groups like ISIS live in a pluralistic world but have no concept of “pluralism”. They have no concept of the many viable approaches to life...
by Peace and Conflict Politics on Oct 5, 2014


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