Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date

2000

Subjects

Conflict resolution; Culture; Inter-cultural communication

Abstract

This article will survey several definitions of culture, arguing that the most useful approach is to define culture broadly and to recognize its significance to most or all conflicts. Some of the ways that culture affects conflicts will be outlined, accompanied by examples. These include: culture as a lens that both facilitates and blocks effective communication; culture and world view differences as the subject of conflicts; and conflicts related to identity and recognition as facets of cultural differences. Further discussed are Western models of third party intervention, inviting readers to examine the values and assumptions underlying them. Challenges inherent in developing appropriate processes will be discussed. Concluding the article are recommendations for process design in culturally complex conflicts.

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