1st Edition

Creativity and Conflict Resolution Alternative Pathways to Peace

By Tatsushi Arai Copyright 2009
    272 Pages
    by Routledge

    262 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores how creative ways of resolving social conflicts emerge, evolve, and subsequently come to be accepted or rejected in inter-group relations.

    Creativity and Conflict Resolution explores a subject with which political communities involved in social conflict have always grappled: creative ways of imagining and actualizing visions of conflict resolution. This is an ambitious question, which concerns human communities at many different levels, from families, regional-independence movements, and national governments, to inter-state alliances. The author argues that unconventional viability lies at the heart of creativity for transcending seemingly intractable inter-communal conflicts. More specifically, conflict resolution creativity is a social and epistemological process, whereby actors involved in a given social conflict learn to formulate an unconventional resolution option or procedure.

    Demystifying the origin of unthinkable breakthroughs for conflict resolution and illuminating theories of creativity based on 17 international case studies, this book will be of much interest to students of conflict resolution, peace and conflict studies, human security and IR.

    Tatsushi Arai is an Associate Professor of Conflict Transformation at the SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont, USA. He has a PhD in Conflict Resolution from George Mason University, Washington DC, and extensive practical experience in the field.

    1. Introduction: In search of points of departure and stepping stones  2. Exploration: Sixteen episodes of creativity  3. Theory-building: A comparative case analysis for identifying emerging themes and building on enduring concepts  4. Illustration: A case study of the first Satyagraha campaign in South Africa from 1906 to 1914  5. Conclusion: Implications for research, practice, and pedagogy


    Tatsushi Arai is an Associate Professor of Conflict Transformation at the SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont, USA. He has a PhD in Conflict Resolution from George Mason University in Virginia, and extensive international experience as a trainer, mediator, and dialogue facilitator.

    'This book is a bold attempt to start mapping out how to transform the destructive potential of social conflict into something more constructive, both imaginatively and practically. I would encourage anyone seeking creative solutions to intractable conflicts to read this path-breaking work by Dr Arai.'

    Kevin P. Clements, Director of the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Queensland.

    'Tatsushi Arai conceptualizes the creative process of conflict resolution that is required when conventional, instiutionalized mechanisms for handling conflict fail. He persuasively demonstrates how conflict parties and intermediaries can generate creative -- nonconventional, yet workable -- solutions with a comparative analysis of diverse cases of conflict resolution.'

    Herbert Kelman, Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics, Emeritus, Harvard University.

    'The power of creativity is a mystery. This book helps the reader to systematically unlock this mystery and assist scholars and practitioners of peace and conflict resolution in envisioning how to become more creative in resolving conflicts. '

    Mohammed Abu-Nimer, Professor of International Peace and Conflict Resolution, American University.