The role of culture in conflict resolution
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On any given day, news sources are packed with information on the various negotiations going on throughout the world in an attempt to resolve an ongoing dispute. Typically, nation-states enter into negotiations as a final attempt to resolve their differences in a diplomatic forum rather than resorting to combative retaliation. These negotiations can be protracted and tenuous, especially when the disputing parties come from different cultures. This thesis asserts that all too often, culture is a neglected aspect of conflict resolution. Cultural mismatch and misunderstanding are additional confounding factors that complicate communication and create misperceptions that sometimes hinder finding a mutually acceptable compromise. This is especially true when an external third party, often from another cultural background, is added to mediate between the conflicting parties. When all parties approach negotiations with a clear understanding of the impact of cross-cultural understanding and communication on the conflict resolution process, the parties might find negotiations are smoother and resolution comes easier. This thesis attempts to merge two fields of study that, until now, have been left largely separate in the academic community and largely understudied: conflict resolution and cross-cultural communication. The overall question that this thesis seeks to address is: What is the role of culture in the conflict resolution process, specifically, in international negotiations? The thesis begins by laying out the conceptual foundation of both conflict resolution and culture/cross-cultural communication. We will then build on existing theory from conflict resolution and culture and attempt to merge and expand on them in order to draw up a model with indicators of cultural match / mismatch in international negotiation scenarios. Afterwards, we will apply this model to US-China relations, first assessing the amount of mismatch and then examining two cases, the 1999 bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade and the negotiations surrounding the EP3 incident in 2001. They confirm that indeed negotiations are greatly complicated by a large amount of cultural mismatch, even though further, more rigorous studies are warranted to refine the model.
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Marinuta, Vitalie Nicon (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2004-06);This thesis analyses the causes and evolution of the conflict in the Republic of Moldova and capabilities of three conflict-regulating mechanisms to facilitate the final political solution of this conflict. The leading ...
Piombo, Jessica (2010);Peacemakers are faced with a difficult decision when engaging in negotiations to end conflict: should they adopt a conflict resolution strategy that seeks to address the fundamental drivers of conflict (root causes) or ...
Lymberis, Panagiotis (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 1997-03);Past attempts to explain Greek-Turkish conflict have been built on two underlying themes. One theme focuses on incompatible Greek and Turkish interests while the other identifies cultural and social differences between the ...