GOVT-593 Culture and Conflict Resolution
Fall for 2014-2015
This course focuses on culture and conflict resolution by exploring the role culture plays in conflict and how it impacts its resolution. This course treats culture and religion as aspects of individual and group identity which influence the causes, dynamics, outcomes of conflicts, and intervention methods. It identifies core “etic” (culture general) and “emic” (culture specific) patterns of cultural differences in such areas as values and beliefs, patterns of thought, interpretive frames, and behavior in peace-building and conflict resolution efforts; explores concepts such as high context/low context cultures, intercultural communication approaches, stereotyping, prejudices, and analyzes role of culture in peace-building processes such as mediation, negotiation, and facilitation. Cutting edge issues in theory development, research and practice in integrating cultural insights into the international peace and conflict resolution domain will also be discussed during the course.
The course also focuses on specific skills, concepts, and stories relating to effective ways to handle cultural differences in conflict and peacebuilding training. It introduces skills and approaches to deal with issues of prejudice, stereotyping, and ethnocentrism in conflict settings as well as interactive exercises, role plays, and real life case studies to learn constructive ways of addressing intercultural encounters. Additionally, participants will identify their own intercultural conflict style through the Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory (ICS) developed by AU’s Dr. Mitchell Hammer. This course includes lecture presentations, personal development, in-depth group discussions, role-plays, films and guest speakers. Experiential learning methods are extensively used in the course.
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