Social Conflicts and Collective Identities; Patrick G. Coy and Lynne M. Woehrle, editors
Despite the ubiquity of conflict, significant gaps remain in our knowledge of what influences its escalation and resolution. How collective identity formation impacts social conflicts is one large gap that is now narrowed thanks to this well-integrated collection of original research.
These compelling and fascinating case studies range from church and community disputes to ethnic conflicts to environmental disputes to international trade disputes and wars. Utilizing diverse research methods, the conflict resolution scholars included here embark on a shared analytical search for the functions that collective identities play in social conflicts. Important themes include the dynamics of enemy-imaging, the constructs of race and gender, in-groups and out-groups, and the double-edged potential of collective identity formation to both escalate and de-escalate conflicts. Throughout, social conflicts are presented as potent forces for cultural and political change.
Methods for resolving intractable identity-based conflicts are illuminated, including challenging assumptions about the 'Other', creating inclusive identities, and using various negotiation and mediation venues as catalysts for constructive identity shifts.
Given the protracted and costly conflicts facing communities across the globe, a more timely collection could scarcely be imagined. With its ground-breaking scholarship, Social Conflicts and Collective Identities is sure to become a basic building block for the burgeoning conflict resolution field and for improved understanding of identity dynamics in human conflict.
"The simultaneously scholarly and engaged essays in this fine collection make an outstanding contribution to the growing literature on the topic, providing important ideas for handling the growing class of identity-based conflict within and between countries and communities throughout the world. ---Jay Rothman, Director of the ARIA Group, Inc. and author of Resolving Identity Based Conflict in Nations, Organizations and Communities
"This book offfers fresh theoretical insights and empirically grounded case studies on the complex interplay between identity, conflict and conflict resolution. Highly original, well-researched and timely, this book is an invaluable resource for teachers, researchers and practitioners. ---Simona Sharoni, The Evergreen State College and the Consortium on Peace Research, Education and Development (COPRED)
Link to the publisher's web site, which contains the Table of Contents, more reviews, and ordering information.