Peter T. Coleman
- Ph.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
- M.Phil., Teachers College, Columbia University
- B.A., University of Iowa
- The constructive use and abuse of social power
- Motivation dynamics and conflict
- Intractable conflict
- Injustice and conflict
- Moral emotions and conflict
- Polarized collective identity formation
- Culture and conflict
- Sustainable peace
Coleman, P. T. (Ed., Fall 2011). Conflict, Justice, and Interdependence: The Legacy of Morton Deutsch. Springer Books. Three authored chapters.
M. Deutsch, P. T. Coleman, & E. Marcus (Eds., Fall 2011) A Guiding Handbook for Conflict Resolution in The Arab World. New York: International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution Publications. (In Arabic).
Deutsch, M., & Coleman, P. T. (Eds., January, 2012). Psychology’s Contributions to Sustainable Peace. Springer Books. Three authored chapters.
Deutsch, M., Coleman, P. T., & Marcus, E. (Eds.) (2006).The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice, 2nd Edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Coleman, P. T., Kugler, K. G., Bui-Wrzosinska, L., Nowak, A., and Vallacher. R. (forthcoming). Getting down to basics: A situated model of conflict in social relations. Negotiation Journal.
Vallacher, R., Coleman, P. T., Nowak, A., Bui-Wrzosinska, L. (2010).Rethinking intractable conflict: The perspective of dynamical systems. American Psychologist, 65 (4), 262-278.
Vallacher, R., Coleman, P. Nowak, A., Bui-Wrzosinska, L. (2010). Dynamical foundations of intractable conflict: Introduction to the special issue. Peace and Conflict: The Journal of Peace Psychology, 16(2), 113-125.
Coleman, P. T., Hacking, A., Stover, M., Fisher-Yoshida, B, and Nowak, A. (2008). Reconstructing ripeness I: A study of constructive engagement in protracted social conflicts. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 26(1), 3-42.
Coleman, P. T., Fisher-Yoshida, B., Stover, M., Hacking, A., and Bartoli, A. (2008). Reconstructing ripeness II: Models and methods for fostering constructive stakeholder engagement across protracted divides. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 26(1), 43-69.
Coleman, P. T. (2003). Characteristics of protracted, intractable conflict: Towards the development of a meta-framework - I. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 9(1), 1-37. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Eventually Coleman did train as a community mediator for the New York State Criminal Court system, and that became the springboard to a doctorate in social and organizational psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. Today, in addition to his faculty duties as associate professor of psychology and education at Columbia University, he works as the director of the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR) at Teachers College, and the Advanced Consortium of Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity (AC4) at the Earth Institute at Columbia.
Coleman writes that although intractable conflicts are only about five percent of the world's conflicts, they undermine the security and well-being of societies everywhere. For the past several years, Coleman has been the lead investigator on "Modeling the Fundamental Dynamics of Intractable Conflict," a multidisciplinary project funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation that applies the principles and methods of complexity science to understand what Coleman calls "the five percent problem." According to Dr. 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.
Coleman joined the Columbia faculty at Teachers College in 1997 and the Earth Institute faculty in 2009. "Our work at the ICCCR is focused on conducting leading-edge research on conflict and peace and then translating it in useful ways for the general public. The Earth Institute is trying to affect significant change in some very dire and complex social systems, and many of them are, in fact, in the middle of conflict zones." Coleman sees his Earth Institute affiliation as a way to begin to "reorient our work from problems to solutions" and "marshal efforts related to sustainable peace."
Coleman holds a Ph.D. in social and organizational psychology from Columbia University, and a B.A. in communications from the University of Iowa. He is also on the boards of APA Division 48 and of the International Association of Conflict Management and is a research affiliate of the International Center for Complexity and Conflict (ICCC) at The Warsaw School for Social Psychology in Warsaw, Poland. In 2003, he became the first recipient of the Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association, Division 48: Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict and Violence. Coleman co-edits The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice (2000; 2nd edition 2006), and has authored over 70 journal articles and chapters. He is also a New York State-certified mediator and experienced consultant. His latest book, The Five Percent: Finding Solutions to Seemingly Impossible Conflicts, is published by Public Affairs and was released in May, 2011. He is currently working on his next book, Smart Power: How Adaptive Leaders Navigate Conflict to Succeed.
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ORLJ 5540: Proseminar in social and organizational psychology
Open only to qualified doctoral students in the behavioral or social sciences. Intensive readings and analysis of theories and research in social and organizational psychology and social structure.
ORLJ 6040: Fundamentals of cooperation, conflict resolution and mediation in different institutional contexts
Topics such as cooperation and competition, trust and suspicion, bargaining and negotiation as they relate to conflict resolution in various contexts.
ORLJ 6344: Research workgroup in social-organizational psychology: Conflict, justice, and cooperation
Permission required. Limited to doctoral students. Topics are announced in the preliminary and final course schedules distributed each semester.
ORLJ 6640: Social-organizational psychology colloquium
Permission required. For doctoral candidates only. Discussion of ongoing projects involving research and consultation.
Documents & Papers
Download: Peter Coleman CV 2011 [Word]
Centers and Projects