Research OverviewThe ICCCR is committed to developing knowledge and practice to promote constructive conflict resolution, effective cooperation, and social justice. Building on the foundational scholarship of Kurt Lewin and Morton Deutsch, we are an internationally recognized theory/practice center known for innovation in our theory and research. Our scholarship focuses on developing and testing new insights into the dynamics of fostering and sustaining constructive change in social systems that evidence enduring patterns of destructive conflict, violence and oppression. These phenomena can manifest in families, schools and other organizations, communities, and nations. They tend to be extremely complex, long-lasting, and difficult to work with, and thus are relatively understudied by contemporary social scientists. Our approach to this research is to develop basic conceptual models that address gaps in existing theory, often through eliciting insights from informed participants (local stakeholders and practitioners), and then to empirically test the models using a variety of methods. Our applied scholarship bridges the theory-practice gap by bringing new insights from research to bear on important social problems. Our work on such problems has required us to integrate theory and research from different disciplines, and to employ multiple methods in our scholarship. We continually link our research activities to current problems within a real world context, and communicate our research findings to both scholarly and lay-audiences, as well as to leaders and decision-makers.
- Build on the theoretical legacies of Kurt Lewin and Morton Deutsch to conduct basic and applied research on theory related to conflict, justice, cooperation, and systemic change.
- Employ a Lewinian research paradigm (Dynamical-Systems Theory): emphasizing the importance of sound theory, beginning analyses with total systems but identifying the essences of the phenomenon we study, stressing dynamic forces, and employing action-research.
- Employ multiple methodologies: Qualitative, experimental, longitudinal survey, and computer simulations.
- Work to bridge the gap between theory and practice.
Our new research initiatives include
- An international Ph.D. Fellowship cohort for the study of conflict, justice and complexity through an inter-university consortium with Florida Atlantic University and Warsaw University, Poland
- Establishing visiting scholar opportunities for scholar-practitioners working in relevant areas.
- Establishing case-based theory-practice sessions where top practitioners present complex cases for analysis and discussion
- Supporting student-based gatherings and brown-bag luncheons.
- Publishing all works-in-progress on ICCCR website prior to their publication in journals, handbooks, etc.