Conflict and Collaboration : For Better or Worse book cover
1st Edition

Conflict and Collaboration
For Better or Worse

ISBN 9780815395287
Published April 30, 2018 by Routledge
230 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In this volume, scholars from different disciplines join together to examine the overlapping domains of conflict and collaboration studies.

It examines the relationships between ideas and practices in the fields of conflict resolution and collaboration from multiple disciplinary perspectives. The central theme is that conflict and collaboration can be good, bad, or even benign, depending on a number of factors. These include the role of power, design of the process itself, skill level and intent of the actors, social contexts, and world views. The book demonstrates that various blends of conflict and collaboration can be more or less constructively effective. It discusses specific cases, analytical methods, and interventions, and emphasizes both developing propositions and reflecting on specific cases and contexts. The book concludes with specific policy recommendations for many sets of actors—those in peacebuilding, social movements, governments, and communities—plus students of conflict studies.

This book will be of much interest to students, scholars, and practitioners of peace and conflict studies, public administration, sociology, and political science.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Conflict Resolution and Collaboration Catherine Gerard and Louis Kriesberg

2. Improving Social Relations Louis Kriesberg

3. The Long Island, New York Pine Barrens Experience: From Confrontation to Consensus Susan L. Senecah

4. Understanding the Link Between Collaboration and Better or Worse Relations: The View from Public Administration Catherine Gerard and Rosemary O’Leary

5. Building the International Space Station: Leadership, Conflict, and Collaboration W. Henry Lambright

6. The Future of Public Participation: Better Design, Better Relations Tina Nabatchi and Suyeon Jo

7. Conflict as Troubling Waters? How Steering for Results Can Impede the Public Administrator as Conflict Arbiter Eva Wolf

8. Coercing Consensus? Notes on Power and the Hegemony of Collaboration Robert A. Rubinstein, Shaundel N. Sanchez and Sandra D. Lane

9. Government Collaborations in Belize Central America: From Better to Worse in Shared Ecological Conservation Governance? Steven R. Brechin and Osmany Salas

10. The Role of Coercion in Collaboration John S. Burdick

11. Concentric Circles of Sisterhood: American Nuns Respond to Vatican Kyriarchy Margaret Susan Thompson

12. Conflict and Collaboration in International Relations Theory Robert M. Demgenski and Miriam Fendius Elman

13. Collaboration, Conflict, and the Search for Sustainable Peacebuilding Bruce W. Dayton

14. Conclusion: Implications and Recommendations Louis Kriesberg and Catherine Gerard

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Louis Kriesberg is Maxwell Professor Emeritus of Social Conflict Studies and founding director of the Program on the Analysis and Resolution of Conflicts (PARC), at Syracuse University, USA.

Catherine Gerard is the Director of the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC) at the Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, USA.


'Gerard and Kriesberg have produced a provocative collection that builds on decades of productive research at the Program for the Advancement of Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC) at Syracuse University. They conclude that conflict resolution and collaboration should be viewed in relation to each other, arguing that to get to "good" conflict and "good" collaboration requires effective process management and close attention to social relationships. Their many case studies from international relations and public engagement emphasize the importance of preparing properly, taking steps to forestall escalation and intervening to transforming conflict and collaboration when necessary, never losing sight of the importance of power dynamics, leadership and ways in which coercion can be used constructively. Given the growing number of conflicts and failed effort at collaboration, especially in the United States, we would all do well to heed the lessons of Conflict and Collaboration.'--Larry Susskind, Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, MIT, Co-founder, Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School

'The sign of a maturing field of research and practice emerges with the capacity for both wide-ranging theoretical development and reflective, evidence-based understanding of what does and does not work.  Imagination and honesty will be required and Conflict and Collaboration offers precisely this unique combination. Wide-ranging in context and case study, the authors and editors offer the ways that conflict resolution, peace studies and the evolution of collaboration research and application can now be assessed with greater clarity of both potential and pitfall. This could not be timelier for our contemporary deeply divided world that demands practical and effective approaches to collaboration and transforming our most challenging conflicts.'--John Paul Lederach, Professor Emeritus, University of Notre Dame and/or Senior Fellow, Humanity United


In this age of post-truth, alt-right, atavistic nationalism its important to identify social processes that will result in virtuous rather than vicious cycles; positive rather than negative outcomes, harmony rather than polarisation and division. This book enables us to understand when collaboration may be negative and   conflict positive. Through a variety of interesting case studies it demonstrates how individuals, groups and social movements  work spontaneously and intentionally to challenge unfairness; deliver sustainability; and coordinate constructively for the well-being of all. It is a must read for anyone seeking to understand how to build and maintain societies based on fairness,sustainability and tolerance for all.’-- Kevin P Clements, Chair and Foundation Director, The National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies,University of Otago, New Zealand.


'Not only does this interdisciplinary collection of essays present views of conflict as constructive, but it also examines collaboration as possibly negative as well as positive. Deconstructing conflict resolution from these new angles, the collection is further enhanced by the approach from different theoretic perspectives related to local as well as international conflicts and a number of different collaborative efforts. It makes one think, and it also makes one look at conflict resolution and post-conflict peace-building in a more holistic, creative way.'--Galia Golan, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

'The success of any edited collection depends to a large degree not only on the excellence of the individual chapters, but also on the extent to which the collection coheres around a sustained theme, problematic, and, in this case, sensibility. The main theme is how the fields of conflict resolution and collaboration can mutually enrich one another. The problematic involves not assuming either field is unalloyedly without contradictions – and taken together, more so. But it is a shared sensibility that underlies the strength of this collection: that of scholars and practitioners from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. The book is the result of the confluence of two very strong intellectual streams at Maxwell: the interdisciplinary Program on the Analysis and Resolution of Conflicts (PARC) begun in the 1980s, and the many scholars working in Maxwell’s traditional centers of intellectual excellence, in public policy, public administration, citizenship, and international affairs. The result of years of hallway conversation, joint projects and, yes, increasing collaboration, has given rise to a new Program for the Advancement of Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC), and to this book. Thus, the collective sensibility of the volume. The range and excellence of the individual chapters also recommend the book to readers. A mixture of rich case-studies on specific collaborations (that went well or didn’t, hence our "conflict"), and more general or theoretical approaches – on the use and misuse of coercion, on power and hegemony masquerading as "collaboration," on IR theory and peacebuilding practice – provide a balanced and ample introduction to the topic. Finally, it is the overarching sensibility of Professor Kriesberg and his pioneering work on the nature of "constructive" conflict, conflict resolution, and the fundamental importance of social relations in the understanding of both conflict and collaboration, that structures this collection and makes it a unique and important contribution to an emergent field.'-- Kevin Avruch, George Mason University, USA