In the MediaThe Five Percent
by Professor Peter T. Coleman
One in every twenty difficult conflicts ends up not in a calm reconciliation or tolerable standoff but as an acute and lasting antagonism. Such conflicts—the five percent—can be found among the diplomatic and political clashes we read about every day in the newspaper but also, and in a no less damaging and dangerous form, in our private and personal lives, within families, in workplaces, and among neighbors. These self-perpetuating conflicts resist mediation, defy conventional wisdom, and drag on and on, worsening over time. Once we get pulled in, it is nearly impossible to escape. The five percent rule us.
So what can we do when we find ourselves ensnared? According to Dr. Peter T. Coleman, to contend with this destructive species of conflict we must understand the invisible dynamics at work. Coleman has extensively researched the essence of conflict in his “Intractable Conflict Lab,” the first research facility devoted to the study of polarizing conversations and seemingly unresolveable disagreements. Informed by lessons drawn from practical experience, advances in complexity theory, and the psychological and social currents that drive conflicts both international and domestic, Coleman offers innovative new strategies for dealing with disputes of all types, ranging from abortion debates to the enmity between Israelis and Palestinians.
A timely, paradigm-shifting look at conflict, The Five Percent is an invaluable guide to preventing even the most fractious negotiations from foundering.
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A Practical Handbook for Peace-building in The Arab World: Translating and Distributing The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice (2006)
Edited by Morton Deutsch, Peter T. Coleman, and Eric Marcus, this handbook gathers essential knowledge about the origins and effective resolution of conflict; and providing materials on violence, justice, cooperation, social change, models of practice for training, mediation, and approaches for developing conflict resolution skills. We are currently translating the book into Arabic, since materials in Arabic addressing topics related to conflict and conflict resolution are scarce, and organizing to distribute it at low cost or no cost to universities, NGOs, and others working for peace in Arab-speaking countries. Our staffs’ knowledge in both conflict resolution and in Arabic language and culture will assure a translation that is both accurate and culturally relevant and sensitive. Read more...
Conflict Book Translated into Arabic in NYC
By DEEPTI HAJELA | Associated Press Writer
December 11, 2008
Columbia University Professor Peter Coleman, who co-edited "The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice," said the idea came up in 2005, when the book was being edited for its second edition. He heard from colleagues around the Mideast engaged in peace-building work, who said an Arabic version of the text would be helpful to them.
Funding from outside sources was unavailable, but the project went ahead anyway, and now the Arabic version should be ready to go by mid-month. Coleman hopes to get it to the people who initially asked for it shortly after that, and out for wider release early next month.
"There are a lot of very brave extraordinary people living and working in difficult circumstances trying to make a difference. These are the people that called us and said, 'We really need these kinds of materials,"' Coleman said. "We're applying the scientific method to study what works, why and under what conditions."
School Violence and Safety: Operation Impact is ½ of a Good Plan
The Bloomberg administration should be commended for their increased efforts to bolster a climate of safety in the New York City public schools. Reports of serious crimes in city schools are down 23% over the past two years, following a national trend. Despite these gains, students in the U. S. ages 12-18 were victims of about 2 million nonfatal crimes of violence or theft at school in 2001, (the last year for which complete statistics are available), and reports of bullying and intimidation rose in schools from 5% of students in 2000 to 8% in 2001. Undoubtedly, much more needs to be done to enhance the climate of safety in our schools. Read more...
Book Review: Constructive Conflict Resolution
Wendy S. Pachter
Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy
Volume 7, Issue 1, Pages 263-266
Published Online: 10 Dec 2007
Deutsch, M., Coleman, P.T. & Marcus, E. C. ( Eds. ). The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice. San Francisco , CA : John Wiley & Sons , 2006.
It is difficult to imagine a social issue that is more central to human interaction or that offers greater possibilities for creatively constructive or devastatingly destructive outcomes than social conflict. Conflict between individuals in families, schools and communities; ethnic, religious or other groups; organizations such as corporations and labor unions; nations; or across these levels is at the heart of many issues studied by SPSSI members. Professor Deutsch, the senior editor of The Handbook of Conflict Resolution, has devoted approximately 60 years to the study of social processes related to conflict and its resolution, as well as to the education and development of psychologists and others who advance our understanding of, and ability to constructively intervene in, conflicts of many varieties and in many contexts. The second edition of The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice (hereafter, The Handbook) is both a breathtakingly comprehensive application of the resources of psychological (particularly social psychological) science and theory to understanding and managing conflicts, and a tribute to the vast range of theory, research, and applications developed as a result of Professor Deutsch's contributions. The second edition of this book is enriched by the inclusion of some wonderful and stimulating new chapters by experts in fields other than psychology, as well as by revisions of many of the original chapters. The scope and size of The Handbook preclude discussing individual chapters (of which there are 37), so this review focuses on the book overall. Read more...