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The Constructive Conflict Staircase

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Elizabeth Olsson
Publicerad i Peace Research in Sweden (PRIS), Doctoral Conference
Publiceringsår 2019
Publicerad vid Institutionen för globala studier, freds- och utvecklingsforskning
Språk en
Ämnesord conflict theory, conflict progression, conflict transformation, constructive conflict staircase
Ämneskategorier Tvärvetenskapliga studier

Sammanfattning

The conflict literature is well-populated with theories of destructive conflict escalation. As a result, we know how conflicts proceed from the recognition of problematic social contradictions to the development of adversarial attitudes to behaviors of mutual destruction. What we do not know is how conflicts progress in reverse. This theoretical gap raises questions such as, how is constructive conflict accomplished? What does it entail? How are conflicts transformed from potentially destructive interactions into opportunities for social development? I address these questions through the presentation of an empirically-derived theoretical contribution to peace and conflict research that I call the Constructive Conflict Staircase. This model is based on the extensive observational study of inter-personal conflicts inside of classrooms and is theoretically inspired by the work of Glasl (1999). In the model, I employ a transformative logic to describe conflict progression (rather than escalation) and the nine steps that it entails. Like Glasl, I also describe thresholds, but, in the model presented here, these are thresholds of cooperative dilemma identification, collaborative dilemma solving, and integrative development. The purpose of this model is both to extend theoretical understandings of constructive conflict enactment and to help conflict actors and mediators (better) capitalize on the positive potentials of conflict situations.

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