GOVT-588 Cross-Cultural Conflict Analysis and Intervention
Spring for 2009-2010
No faculty information available
This course explores the sources, trajectories and processes for the effective management of cross-cultural conflicts. It considers the many exciting and positive aspects of cultural diversity and encourages students to reflect on the processes by which some of the conflicts inherent in cross-cultural communication, interdependence, and competition may be managed or resolved.
There are three parts to this course. Part I focuses on sources, nature and dynamics of cross-cultural conflicts. Our aim here is to gain a good understanding of how contextual and processual variables such as stereotyping, enemy-imaging, uncertainty-avoidance, and threat perception impact the dynamics of cross-cultural conflicts. To probe these issues further, the class will consider general questions regarding the place and role of cultural symbolism, elite consensus building processes, and mass socialization through popular cultural agencies, in the development of culturally-rooted interpretations of facts in aid of grievance articulation.
Part II will bridge theory and practice by exploring the dynamics of several contemporary cross-cultural conflicts. Our primary mode of exploration will be the discussion of several cases representative of problems underlying cross-cultural politics and conflicts around the world. Cases to be considered include the following:
? The Armenian “genocide” question in Turkish cultural politics
? The evolution of apartheid in South Africa
? The “Illegal” immigration and multiculturalism debate in the U.S.
? Islam and the questions of assimilation and social stability in France
? The FGM problem in the cultural politics of Ethiopia
Part III focuses on the processes and challenges of resolving cross-cultural conflicts. Our goal here is to understand the role of culture as both a facilitator and an impediment to effective management and resolution. To explore these themes further, the class will consider the challenges of successfully employing bilateral (i.e. negotiation) and multilateral processes (i.e. mediation) in cross-cultural contexts. We shall also examine the efficacy of institutional approaches (such as the Consociational model and the Contact Hypothesis) to the mitigation and resolution of cross-cultural conflicts.
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