Saturday, April 08, 2006

‘Who is the hero?’ Ask the rabbis of the Talmud. Their answer: ‘One who changes an
enemy into a [friend].’
Jay Rothman, Resolving Identity-based Conflict, 1997, p. xiii.

Chapter 2
A general method for conflict resolution

The previous chapter identified the historical origins, the theoretical assumptions and contemporary approaches of needs-based conflict resolution. The basic theoretical assumption of this approach is to satisfy the fundamental needs and fears of the conflicting parties. Those needs commonly identified are Burton/Sites needs of control, security, justice, stimulation, response, meaning, rationality and esteem. The previous chapter also examined alternative approaches to conflict resolution such as realism, Marxism, international law and national historiographies. Each of these systems potentially involves a win/lose scenario, domination and self-interest.

This chapter will introduce a general method of conflict resolution. The requisites for resolution it will be argued are the meeting of fundamental human needs. The consequence of conflict resolution is reconciliation which results in a state of peace (positive peace).[1] Those requisites for peace are based on Burton/Sites work in addition to others such as Abraham Maslow and Erich Fromm. Those fundamental needs include four ‘rational’ needs: control, justice, security and rational stimulation; and four ‘emotional’ needs: esteem, meaning, identity and emotional stimulation. It will be argued that a combination of these eight needs produces the ninth need of—peace.

Secondly, this chapter will identify the prerequisites for conflict resolution. Those prerequisites it will be argued include two theoretical factors: hope and empathy; and two practical factors: trust and cooperation. It will be shown that what enables the union of these theoretical and practical factors is an inclusive worldview, based on non-violence principles.

These six factors: hope, empathy, trust, cooperation, inclusive worldviews and non-violence are what will be referred to as psychological and structural ‘bridges.’ These serve to overcome psychological and structural ‘obstacles’.[2] Those ‘obstacles’ to conflict resolution include despair, antipathy, mistrust, domination, exclusive world views and violence, that is the opposites to the psychological bridges to fundamental needs attainment (and subsequently a sense of peace). This chapter will outline methods of bridging such psychological and structural obstacles by modification of the social, political, religious, legal and economic systems which may serve to counter or perpetuate direct and structural violence.[3]

The proposed general method of conflict resolution owes much to Burton’s Generic Theory of Conflict, which has made a crucial contribution to the field in establishing the ‘human needs paradigm’. However, this chapter will show Burton’s theory can be extended by application of the prerequisites to needs attainment, as mentioned above.

For the purposes of this discussion, reconciliation may be defined as the “restoration of a fractured relationship”.[4] The terms ‘psychological reconciliation’ will be used to describe the consequence of overcoming psychological obstacles, and ‘structural reconciliation’ will be used to imply the overcoming of structural obstacles.

A. Psychological Bridges as Prerequisites for Peace

In the following section (section A) it will be argued that conflict resolution (psychological and structural reconciliation) require tapping into the emotions that develop a sense of hope, trust, empathy, cooperation, inclusiveness and nonviolence. Such elements are the ‘psychological bridges’ or foundations that are prerequisite for peace and friendship between former enemies. Section B and C will show how these psychological bridges together with, the eight fundamental needs (such as security, justice, control, meaning and identity) are the basis for peace.

2.1 Hope/Belief in the possibility of resolution

Hope is a “central need for goal attainment behaviour”[5] and as such is a primary prerequisite for conflict resolution. During the time this author conducted informal interviews with people regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, he was repeatedly confronted by the opinion that this conflict “had always been and would always remain”. Such a despairing opinion may be regarded as a primary psychological obstacle to conflict resolution. Overcoming such an obstacle requires transforming what is unthinkable, or what is perceived as ‘nonsense’ into reality or common sense. Such a quality is found in hope.

In the seminal text on Positive Psychology, hope is described as a “thinking process, a “belief” and not just as an emotion. “Hopeful thought” is defined as a process or “belief that one can find pathways to desired goals and become motivated to use those pathways”.[6] In a conflict-resolution context, these pathways may be activated to achieve the restoration of trust and cooperation amongst communities. Such a quality may produce remarkable examples of stable and affirming human relationships.

Hope is built on the premise that change or a new way is possible. Hope taps into the creative, inspirational dimension of an individual—the part that ‘dreams.’ The realisation of these dreams, however, may be hampered by other individuals and/or the existing ‘system’—the socio-political-religious-legal-economic order of society.

a. Attitudinal change

The first source for hope is that individuals have the possibility for and do change. Examples of attitudinal and/or personality change of individuals are demonstrated in Carol Magai and Susan McFadden’s work on The Role of Emotions in Social and Personality Development. This book includes a number of anecdotal examples of change in eminent persons from history, including great religious leaders like Moses, who turned from a quiet man with a stutter into a great leader; Siddhatha Gautama (Buddha) turned his back on a life of luxury and privlege to a life in poverty, teaching and reflection. Others too had such dramatic changes in values and attitudes like Mohammed, Paul, Augustine, Francis of Assisi, and Theodor Herzl.[7] Specific examples of personality change included Clive of India who changed from introvert to extrovert; Lawrence of Arabia from extrovert to introvert,[8] Leo Tolstoy from “sick” soul to “healthy” soul.[9] Changes in ideology included conversion from capitalism to communism by Arthur Koestler and George Orwell. Evidence was given that such changes frequently resulted during times of trauma and crisis, for example in the personality change as demonstrated by the mid life crisis of Carl Jung with his psychotic break in his 40s.[10]

These above examples demonstrate a potential ‘positive’ change in personality and/or attitudes, especially during a period of emotional upheaval or crisis. However, in such a context, a ‘negative’ personality and/or attitudinal change may also occur. This would include behavioural changes which lead to violent, exclusive, or intolerant behaviour; such as evidenced in the action of fanaticism, assassins and suicide bombers. Similarly governments adopt training programs that result in the creation of a ‘soldier’ through boot camp training—a process which ‘turns’ a normally peaceable person into a person who may kill, despite personal feelings, on the basis of an order

b. Political change

The second source for hope is that political change occurs. Some of the nonviolent upheavals in global politics that occurred during the 1990’s include the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of communism in USSR, the rise of democracy in Eastern Europe, and an end of apartheid in South Africa. In Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka there has been significant progress between the conflicting parties. In the Middle East, steps towards positive political change included peace agreements by Israel with both Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994) or the evacuation of Gaza in 2005.

Examples of political change include the re-building of relationship between Germany and France—two ‘nations’ which had long been in conflict prior to World War II including the Franco-Prussian (1870-71) and Napoleonic wars (1804-1815). Other examples include the building of amity between England and France—two ‘nations’ which have been at war including the Hundred Years War (1338-1453), the North American/Seven Year War (1756-63) and the Napoleonic Wars. Similarly, enmity between Australia and Japan as nations has eased despite the fact that many of the people who fought in the Second World War are still alive. This is evidence that rapid political change, in particular the creation of national visions that are conciliatory and inclusive of ‘former enemies’ is possible within as little as a three generation period.

c. Religious change

The third source for hope is that religious change occurs. For more than 400 years Europe was divided by the struggle between Catholicism and Protestantism, the legacy of which meant that even in Australia in the 1960s it was difficult for a Catholic to marry a Protestant.[11] However, an increase in ecumenism eventually did occur. Similarly changes occurred within the Roman Catholic Church including the adoption of the language of the state for mass instead of Latin following the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).[12] Such changes were almost 500 years after Martin Luther and others in the Reformation Movement encouraged services to be held in the vernacular and for the translations of the Christian Bible. Such an example is a reminder that although change is possible, it may take many generations for conservatism to be nudged, or as the case be ‘yanked’ along.[13]

Other examples of religious reformation include within Judaism with the rise of the reformed Judaism movement in the 1800s. Such acts of moderation and reform have provided the basis for more tolerant and harmonious interfaith or non-faith communities.

d. Economic changes

The fourth source for hope is that economic change occurs. A source for hope that economic change is possible in a short time is evident in post World War II Europe and Japan. The American-sponsored rehabilitation fund (the “Marshall Plan”) for Germany produced significant improvement to the welfare of millions. Such a policy was in contrast to the draconian restitution and retribution measures that had been a part of the conclusion of World War I. A process which provided such a miserable environment that enabled Nazism to gain the minds of the German people and the eventual renewal of war and conquest.

2.2 Trust, Empathy, Cooperation, Inclusive/Nonviolent

Together with hope-building, establishing trust is the second foundation to encourage psychological reconciliation and ultimately conflict resolution. The demonstration of empathy, cooperation, inclusiveness and nonviolence are prime examples of such trust or confidence-building measures.

a. Inclusive/nonviolent worldviews

The first principle for ‘sustainable’ cooperative behaviour is non-violence.[14] The basis for such a belief is foundational to various religious and non-religious traditions which encourage the promotion of a culture of self-sacrificing love”.[15] Such a culture is also argued to be a most powerful method of “persuading the oppressor” to change. The strength for this approach is based on its “non threatening manner” and has demonstrated its effectiveness throughout the world.[16] Classic examples of nonviolent social change include Mahatma Gandhi’s efforts in British India; Martin Luther King Jnr.’s actions in the United States; Aung Sun Suu Kyi in Burma; William Wilberforce’s efforts to end slavery in the British Empire; as well as the many others who have promoted non-violence to achieve more equitable social arrangements regardless of the basis of race, religion, gender, sexuality, and nationality.

Probably the most prominent sociological work on the role of non-violence and social change is Gene Sharp’s The Politics of Nonviolent Action.[17] This work has been influential to the nonviolence movement principally in Eastern Europe[18] and the Middle East[19]. Within this book Sharp identifies that non-violent social change may be brought about by three main ways: conversion, accommodation and nonviolent coercion. He recognises that conversion provides the deepest impact on an individual but occurs less than change on the basis of accommodation or non-violent coercion.

Further discussion on the origins of inclusive and non-violent worldviews will be made in the following section on ‘Origins of a Worldview’.

b. Empathising and cooperating with another

The second principle for sustainable cooperative behaviour is empathy. Empathy may be defined as “an other oriented emotional response elicited by and congruent with the perceived welfare of someone else”. Empathy is the ability to understand another’s needs and fears. Empathic emotions include “sympathy, compassion, soft heartedness, tenderness and the like”.[20]

Empathy, leads to the development of shared psychological understanding. Such a process enables the ‘bridging’ of the psychological obstacles that divide parties. One important method of encouraging such ‘bridge development’ is the use of analogy as it may create a fresh perspective on conflict.[21] For example, persons in national struggles for self-determination, may seek lessons from historical parallels. This might include lessons from the partition of British India (and the princely states) into Pakistan (East and West) and India in 1947; the separation of ‘Pakistan’ (The ‘greater Pakistan’ of pre-1971) into Pakistan and Bangladesh in 1971; the partition of Bosnia-Hercegovina into Serb and Muslim-Croat entities in 1997; and the establishment of the European or non-European colonial-settler states in North and South America; Australasia; Asia and Africa.

The rejection of analogies or any notion of similarity between conflicts can be called ‘bridge-preventative’ or ‘bridge–destructive’ processes[22] (a sharp contrast to psychological ‘bridge-building’ processes). This author hypothesises that this rejection of comparability may be the result of personal bias or by the level of a persons analytical and synthetic ability, which is argued is related to an individual’s ignorance, knowledge or amount of exposure to a particular worldview.[23]

To give an anecdote of such a situation take for example this author’s experience as a technical assistant at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. Here, this author encountered the classic dispute between those botanical taxonomists, the synthesists, who would maintain keeping a plant taxonomical group together (the lumpers) in contrast to, the analysts, those who maintained breaking a group up into smaller categories (the splitters).

The question of maintenance of a plant group or splitting a group raises two broader issues: firstly, what are the criteria used to form a taxonomic group? Secondly, what are the motivations for a classification (or a generalisation)? It is these two issues that may lead to the questioning of classifiers’ objectivity or their level of knowledge. However, certainly, a taxonomist as a human may be given to subjective interests such as personal prestige in publishing new classifications, in contrast to ‘pure’ objectivity.

Similarly, in a conflict, there needs to be identification of the criteria used to establish an analogous conflict situation as well as an appraisal of the motivations for saying a conflict is similar or dissimilar. Personal involvement in a conflict must also be taken into account, and the questioning of objectivity.

Empathy involves looking at the common humanity in individuals. It avoids the conflict promotion process of demonising and dehumanising others. Needs and fears of the other are discussed and recognition of the common pain suffered is acknowledged.

Such a process might involve looking at the security and justice needs of other groups seeking self-determination and security. Figure 2 illustrates the top 45 wars or state instigated killings of the last sixty years. Of these 45 wars there are 20 instances highlighted to give a perspective of which groups have suffered the most in terms of total number of people killed. What is evident from figure 2 is the most brutal conflicts for example, civil wars in China, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Algeria, and the Sudan have received little international awareness raising or assistance. This is in contrast to Israel and Northern Ireland which have had relatively far fewer total fatalities but far greater assistance.

B. Fundamental Needs as the Requisites for Conflict Resolution

The previous section introduced some of the prerequisites for conflict resolution, including the existence of hope, the presence of non-violent behaviour, empathy and the development of trust and cooperation. This section will identify the requisites for conflict resolution which it is argued is the attainment of fundamental human needs. Some further reflection on the origin of non-violent/inclusive worldviews and their perception of fundamental needs and fears and value needs will also be made.

Edwin Locke defines a need as “an objective requirement of a living organism’s survival and well-being”.[24] Like Burton[25], Locke sees values as distinguished from needs on the basis that “needs are inborn” whereas “values are acquired, that is learned”. Locke regards that needs exist “even if one is not aware of them; [whereas] values exist in the conscious (or the subconscious)”. In this thesis the former type will be referred to as fundamental needs, while the latter will be referred to a value need. Value needs are what one “regards as conducive to one’s welfare,” compared to a fundamental need “which is conducive”.[26]

[Figure 2. Twenty examples of the worst 45 wars, civil wars or state instigated killings, since the 1940s. Top of the list was World War II (50 million people) followed by Stalin’s mass killings (25 million people), followed by the Holocaust (6 million people). Northern Ireland was number 44 and the Yom Kippur/October 1973 War number 36.][27]

Paul Sites, needs theorist,[28] in his review of needs theory, classified Erich Fromm’s (1900-1980) taxonomy of basic needs as relatedness, transcendence-creativeness, rootedness-brotherliness, sense of identity-individuality and the need for a frame of orientation.[29] He summarised Abraham Maslow’s (1908-1970) basic needs as physiological needs, safety, belongingness and love, esteem self-actualization, cognitive need (the need to know and understand) and aesthetic needs.[30]

Henry Murray listed 20 needs that motivate most behaviour. They included such needs as abasement (the need to comply), achievement (the need to overcome), affiliation (the need to join), aggression (the need to injure), autonomy (the need to be independent), blamavoidance (the need to avoid blame), counteraction (the need to defend honour), defendance (the need to defend against blame) as well as the other 12 needs that are summarized in table 1.[31] Other needs theorists such as Schwartz, Fisher, Burton, Fromm and Maslow have already been discussed in the ‘Introduction’.

The Eight Fundamental Needs

From the work of needs scholars as outlined in table 1, one can see eight basic human needs: esteem, control, meaning, identity, security, justice, stimulation (both rational and emotional), and transcendence (which this author argues gives a ‘sense of peace’).

This arrangement closely matches Paul Sites need-schema of recognition (esteem), meaning (identity), control, security, justice, stimulation (enjoyment – emotional), and rationality (learning – rational stimulation). One major exception is the absence in Sites classification of the need for transcendence (peace), as proposed by Maslow and Fromm.

In brief each of these needs is outlined as follows.

· Esteem/Recognition is the need to feel special and loved; it gives a sense of dignity and worth.[32]
· Meaning is the need to have purpose and is inextricably linked with identity as without identity there is no meaning. The absence of meaning or a “meaning gap” increases an individual’s sense of despair.[33]
· Identity is the need to be part of a group, to be part of some ‘big picture’ in terms of relationships, ideas or tradition; it is the need for a sense of belonging.
· Control is the need to have power of self to determine present and future; and is important for esteem and identity.
· Security is the need for security within ones surroundings, and includes physical and economic security.
· Justice is the need which calls for fairness in relationship to all aspects of life.
· The stimulation need is required in two forms: the emotional, which is enjoyment and the need for pleasure; and the rational, which is learning.
· Peace is the need for overall wellbeing and results in the transcendence from anxiety. Diener et. al. discuss the “subjective” nature “of well-being” which includes “experiencing pleasant emotions, low levels of negative moods and high life satisfaction”.[34]

[Not shown. Table 1. Fundamental psychological needs of an individual.

Human needs theorists and their categorisation of basic needs

Sites 1972
Control, Meaning, Security, Justice, Rationality, Response

Burton 1986
Recognition, Control, Role defence, Meaning, Security, Justice, Rationality Stimulation, Response

Fromm 1955
Identity, individuality, Rootedness, Brotherliness, Transcendence, creativeness

Fisher and Ury 1981, Control, Belonging, Security, Economic well-being, Justice

Maslow 1954
Esteem, Love, Belongingness, Safety, Cognitive knowledge, Aesthetics, Self actualization

Schwartz 1996
Benevolence, Achievement Self direction,Power, Security, Conformity, Tradition, Universalism,Stimulation, Hedonism

Murray 1938 Exhibition, Dominance, Autonomy, Achievement (to overcome)Infavoidance, Rejection, Affiliation, Harmavoidance, Nurturance, Succourance, Order, Abasement, Aggressio, nCounteraction, Understanding, Play, Sentience sex

[Not shown. Figure 3. The requisites for peace (micro-peace) as a result of fulfilment of the eight fundamental needs (compare with figure 7 for macro-peace).]

Adjacent to each need listed in table 1 is a corresponding reference to ‘ego’, a reference to self. This metaphor for ‘self,’ is used to emphasise the self-seeking (characteristically selfish) nature of individuals. This “universal egoist” approach claims that “everything we do, no matter how noble and beneficial to others, is really directed to the goal of self-benefit”.[35] As a consequence motivations for action becomes ego wants love, ego wants meaning, ego wants to relate, ego wants fun, ego wants control, ego wants to be secure, ego wants to be fairly treated, and ego wants to learn. The consequence of the attainment of these eight needs is ‘ego’ is at peace.

This theory which outlines the essentials to the attainment of peace is critical to understand. This has considerable implications for the phrase ‘no peace without justice,’ for according to the above model on peace attainment, justice is only one criterion for peace.

Within the Palestinian-Israeli conflict the rhetoric on one side calls for ‘justice’ (for example the Palestinian position)—while another side calls for ‘security’ (the Israeli position). However, as the above model demonstrates the attainment of peace (psychological and structural reconciliation) requires justice, security and five other fundamental needs.

From table 1, a conceptual image of the psychological needs was arranged in figure 3. At first glance it gives the impression of a linear progression. However, one must
recognize that these steps are situation is an extremely complex system of social context and individual consciousness that has also been affected by biological and socialization factors (as summarized in figure 5).

These needs were then divided on the basis of their quality as either ‘soft’ or ‘hard.’ Those ‘soft’ ideas included esteem, meaning, identity and emotional stimulation. These were considered as more ‘emotional’ or ‘heart’ centred. Those ‘hard’ needs included control, security, justice and rational stimulation. These were considered as more ‘rational’ or ‘mind’ centred. These metaphors are used for communicative purposes despite recognition that these metaphors reflect Western views of the role of emotions and rationality.

Burton would appear also to notice this paradox of needs in the following statement:

How can there be a marriage of the human need for identity, recognition, stimulus and development generally, on the one hand, and the necessity for control that ensures distributive justice, on the other?[36]

Given that the attainment of fundamental needs is a prerequisites for conflict resolution, what other factors are needed? The answer is just like a good cake requires more than just the right ingredients, it also requires the right proportions and the right time for these elements to be prepared and baked.[37] Similarly, conflict resolution entails understanding the basic needs, adjusting the manifestations of these needs to a particular social context in a particular way. It requires “trade-offs” of needs, and interests to achieve some form of mutual gain and satisfaction.[38]

Worldviews as Determinants of Value Needs

Worldviews are an individual’s belief and value system.[39] Such a system enables one to “make sense” of their experiences. It includes an individual’s basic needs, “interests” and fears. [40] Worldviews are an important factor in moving parties in conflict “towards reconciliation and coexistence”.[41] Oscar Nudler, Project Coordinator of the United Nations University (Costa Rica), refers to the “highest phase in conflict resolution” as restructuring [worldview][42]. Such a situation involves both parties cooperating, transcending their old frames and creating new social relationships.[43]

A worldview determines an individual or group’s position on an issue. That position includes the priority or value an issue holds for the group. The highest priority interests are known as value needs. In contrast a ‘fundamental need’ is of more universal value to humanity than a value need, which is culturally restrained.

Similarly, a worldview determines an individual or groups fears. A fear in this case is defined as the emotion felt due to the absence of an interest or a need being met. The level of anxiety rises, with the maximal anxiety being called the fundamental fears. Pathways to fear include: conditioning; exposure to traumatic stimulation; vicarious acquisition; and direct or indirect observation of people displaying fear.

The Origins of a Worldview

Worldview formation is very much a part of our inner self, and in general individuals are unconscious of their worldview. This next section will argue that the formation of an individual’s worldview involves a combination of socialization and biological elements within a socio-political-economic context as summarized in figure 5.

Descriptions of this kind are called an ‘interactionist’ perception on worldview formation[44]. Such a process synthesises the lessons learnt from the Darwinian ‘nature’ view of behaviour compared with the contrasting ‘nurture’ view of behaviour development.

The first influence on worldview development is the biological factor or genetics of an individual. [45] This has an effect on the personality, gender, ethnicity, intellect, physical aesthetics, sexuality, and hormone production of an individual.

Not shown. Figure 4. The needs and fears of an issue as determined by an individual’s

A worldview determines positions on issues including:

(a) Needs

Indifference Moderate interest Fundamental needs/Human rights
(b) Fears

Indifference Moderate anxiety Fundamental anxieties/Human
rights abuses

In particular it is hypothesised that gender and personality affect the process of dialogue and political negotiations. Roderick W. Gilkey and Leonard Greenhalgh have argued that there has been “almost no comprehensive attention given to how personality affects negotiation”[46].

The second major contributor to worldview formation is the socialization and individualisation process.[47] This is a process that involves how an individual is educated within a formal or informal context. Individuals are educated informally from their families where they receive a particular positive, negative or indifferent views on religion, philosophy, history, politics, culture and nationality.

The result of this socialization and individualization process is the development of a worldview. This worldview then determines the needs, interests or fears of an individual (Figure 4). Controversy, still remains whether fundamental needs can be discerned. Criticism of basic human need theorists stems from lack of empirical research and the danger of theoretical assumptions which may not be valid because of cross-cultural variation.

Schwartz, in an attempt to account for a scheme which was more empirically grounded, performed a number of studies to address the cross-cultural perspectives on values. However, despite advances made by Schwartz, the scheme lacked a hierarchy, which was expanded on by Chulef, Read and Walsh’s work in their hierarchy of taxonomical goals. This approach continued with the same methodology as used to obtain the five factors identified in the ‘big five’ personality model. [48]

Developing More Inclusive Worldviews

Identifying one’s own prejudice and bias is important in conflict resolution. English philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626) graphically called for the recognition and abandoning of prejudices and preconceived attitudes, his so-called ‘idols’. These included preconceived ideas or common modes of thought given common cultural ‘norms’ (“idols of the tribe”), or individual idiosyncrasies (“idols of the cave”); language based idols (“idols of the marketplace”), or from tradition (“idols of the theatre”). The principles laid down in the Novum Organum had an important influence on the importance of objectivity and the subsequent development of science.[49]

Making changes in a worldview is highly dependant on age, experience and optimistic outlook. There is a tendency for worldview change to be infrequent in adults. Consider for example, the frequency of religious conversion, denominational change,
political party change, or the overcoming of a fear such as of heights or of sharks.
Similarly, consider the proverbs “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, and “a leopard doesn’t change ‘his’ spots” as examples of resistance to change.

[Not shown. Figure 5. Worldview formation and decision-making.
This figure demonstrates the combination of the nature and nurture arguments to decision making and worldview formation].

However, as discussed in the above section attitude and/or personality change if there are cumulative occurrences of fundamental change in attitude then a worldview change may occur. Such a profound change requires time and repeated positive experiences at first hand or from trusted sources, such as friends.

Figure 6 is a visual presentation of Robert Merton’s notion of ‘the self-fulfilling prophecy.’[50] This involves “expectancy of certain behaviours evokes that very behaviour”. That is if one perceives one to have an evil intent then one will only see evil intent, as a consequence there is a “vicious circle” of seeing and perceiving the initial expectancy. This is the heart of ethnic prejudice which Gordon Allport defines as the “antipathy based upon a faulty and inflexible generalization. It may be directed toward a group as a whole or toward an individual because he is a member of that group”.[51]

[Not shown. Figure 6. The role of worldview in categorising new information and its effect on tolerance, prejudice and the obstruction or aiding of conflict resolution.

Prejudice, unlike a simple misconception, is “actively resistant to all evidence that would unseat it”.[52] Prejudice has two components: a favourable or disfavourable attitude and an overgeneralised and therefore erroneous belief. For example, Allport raises the prejudice of those who “can’t abide by Negroes; Negroes are smelly” or “I don’t want Japanese-Americans in my town; Japanese-Americans are sly and tricky”.[53] In each of these examples of prejudice Allport identified the disfavourable attitude came first, followed by the overgeneralised, erroneous belief.

Figure 6 shows how a worldview can create such a situation of prejudice. Because of the construction of the worldview, any new information which passes through is processed or filtered into pre-ordained categories, such as ‘junk’ or ‘useful information’. In this way a worldview is potentially ‘rigged,’ (this is Merton’s self-fulfilling prophecy), that is what one wants to see they will see. As a result no matter the information the worldview processing will continue to file away the material as ‘junk,’ if the information does not match an individual’s sense of ‘normality.’ This means that in order to communicate with someone effectively, there needs to be serious reconstruction of a worldview to ensure appropriate understanding.

C. The Prerequisites for Societal Change

Meeting fundamental needs through the structures of society

In Gordon Allport’s classic text The Nature of Prejudice he argues that legislation may be a “sharp tool in the battle against discrimination”. [54] Allport, however, recognizes that legislation has only an “indirect bearing upon the reduction of personal prejudice. It cannot coerce thoughts or instil subjective tolerance”. In effect, legislation says to the citizen that “your attitudes and prejudices are yours alone, but you may not act them out to a point where they endanger the lives, livelihood, peace of mind, of groups of American citizens”.[55]

Gene Sharp, John Burton and Herb Kelman all regard some elements of social conformity through structural controls as necessary for conflict resolution. This is exemplified by Sharp who would hope firstly to persuade people of the moral value; however, he recognises that for a time, change of behaviour must be based on incentives and disincentives. [56] Such a process requires programs addressing factors of social, political, religious, legal and the economic process - an example of structural reconciliation.

As previously outlined, the nonviolent methods which are used to change behaviour include conversion (protest or persuasion), accommodation (cooperation or noncooperation) and nonviolent coercion. Examples of this include letters of

[Not shown here. Figure 7. The requisites for ‘macro-peace’ as a consequence of the fulfilment of the eight fundamental needs within the structures of society (compare with figure 3 for micro-peace).]

opposition (protest), boycotts (noncooperation) and strikes (coercion). The effectiveness of these methods stems from their capacity to engage with the individual’s psychological processes. Sharp concludes subsequent behaviour is based on a combination of the following: habit, fear of sanctions, moral obligation, self-interest, psychological identification with the ruler, zones of indifference and absence of self-confidence among subjects.[57]

In a similar way governments encourage social change or conformity by implementing laws which encourage or coerce behaviour change on the basis of fear of sanctions and moral obligation. For example, anti-discrimination laws, and equal opportunity laws may change behaviour because of fear of sanctions; social policy by encouraging equity in housing, health and education may change behaviour because of moral obligation; and housing incentives, tax exemptions, school syllabi, and equal opportunity to employment may encourage change for self-interest (Figure 7).

2.3 Summary of a General Method for Conflict Resolution

Attainment of the eight fundamental needs (control, security, justice, rational stimulation, emotional stimulation, esteem, meaning and identity) is encouraged by the attainment of peace-centred ideals such as democracy, civil liberties and universal human rights. These needs exist in contrast to the eight fundamental fears (domination, insecurity, inequality, boredom, depression, loneliness, meaninglessness, and identitylessness). These fears are amplified under fear promotion measures such as autocracies and oppressive regimes, as summarised in figure 8.

The general method for conflict resolution is summarised in Figure 9. This model demonstrates that at the basis of conflict are fundamental psychological and structural ‘obstacles’. Those psychological obstacles include despair, antipathy, exclusive worldviews, domination/oppression and violence. These are overcome via psychological and structural ‘bridges,’ which facilitate the fulfilment of fundamental needs at the individual and societal level. Those fundamental psychological needs are control, security, justice, rational stimulation, emotional stimulation, esteem, meaning and identity.

The prerequisites, or psychological bridges,[58] for attainment of these fundamental needs are:
· a hope/ belief in the possibility of conflict resolution,
· the ability to empathise with ‘the other,’
· the principle of an inclusive/nonviolent worldview, and
· the evidence of trust-building measures and cooperation.

{Not shown. Figure 8. Requirements for peace, causes of conflict, peace and fear promotion systems].
The prerequisites for societal change require implementation within the structures of society those factors which encourage fundamental need satisfaction. These changes are required within the social, political, religious, legal and economic systems.

[Not shown. Figure 9. A general model for peace, conflict resolution and reconciliation ]


This chapter has developed a general method for conflict resolution. The theoretical basis of this method is founded on the assumption that peace is attained when the fundamental needs of an individual within their context are fulfilled. Meeting an individual’s fundamental needs requires first the vision for peace and coexistence (hope), secondly, the understanding of another’s needs and fears (empathy) and lastly, practical evidence of peaceful living (trust, cooperation, and non-violence). Such a process is most fully developed within an inclusive, empathic, and nonviolent worldview framework.

The next chapter will outline a program for resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on this general method for conflict resolution developed in chapter two. A description and analysis of key political, religious, economic and educational positions will be developed and measured according to a needs-based conflict resolution approach as developed during chapters one and two.

Chapter three will focus on track one (leaders to leaders) diplomacy within a needs-based conflict resolution approach. The author recognises need-based approaches are generally applied to track two or lower levels of ‘diplomacy’. However, what this thesis will show is that analysis of a needs-based approach within a track one diplomacy setting is invaluable.


[1] As discussed by Johan Galtung, see chapter one.
[2] For a discussion on psychological ‘obstacles’ see Herbert C. Kelman, “Overcoming the
Psychological Barrier: An Analysis of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Process”, Negotiation Journal,
1(3), July 1985, p. 219.
[3] For a discussion of structural violence (societal injustices) see chapter one on Johan
[4] Michael E. McCullough and Charlotte van Oyen Witvliet, “The Psychology of Forgiveness”, in C. R. Snyder and Shane J. Lopez, Handbook of Positive Psychology, New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press , 2002 , p. 447.
[5] C. R. Snyder, Kevin L. Rand, and David R. Sigmond, “Hope Theory: A Member of the Positive Psychology Family”, in C. R. Snyder and Shane J. Lopez, ibid., 2002, p. 257.
[6] ibid., p. 257.
[7] Carol Magai and Susan H. Mc Fadden, op. cit., p. 297-298.
[8] ibid., p. 317.
[9] ibid., p. 313.
[10] Anthony Stevens, On Jung: An Updated Edition With a Reply to Jung’s Critics, Second Edition,
(1990) 1999, p. 191.
[11] See for example Brides of Christ (television), ABC TV/Film, Sydney, 1992.
[12] G. L. Bray, “Second Vatican Council”, in David J. Atkinson and David H. Field (eds), New
Dictionary of Christian Ethics and Pastoral Theology, Leicester England and Illinois: Intervarsity
Press, 1995, p. 765.
[13] Andrew Wallis, “Christianity”, in John R. Hinnellis (ed) A Handbook of Living Religions, London:
Penguin Books, 1984, p. 102.
[14] This proviso of ‘sustainable’ is included as it acknowledges other reasons for cooperation
including habit, fear of sanctions, self-interest, psychological identification with the ruler, zones of
indifference and an absence of confidence . This approach is based on Gene Sharp’s explanation
for people’s obedience. The author has transferred those lessons explaining reasons for obedience
to those reasons for cooperation.
[15] Ho-Won Jeong, “Theories of Conflict”, in L. Kurtz and J. Turpin (eds), Encyclopedia of Violence,
Peace and Conflict, Volume 3, San Diego California: Academic Press, 1999, p. 517.
[16] ibid.
[17] Gene Sharp, The Politics of Nonviolent Action: Part 2, The Methods of Nonviolent Action, Boston:
Porter Sargent, 1973.
[18] Steve York, Bringing Down a Dictator (video recording), Washington DC: York Zimmerman
Inc., 2001.
[19] “Nonviolence in the Middle East: A Talk with Mubarak Awad”, Peace Magazine,, 2001.
[20] C. Daniel Batson, Nadia Ahmad, David A. Lishner, and Jo-Ann Tsang, “Empathy and Altruism”, in
C. R. Snyder and Sahne J. Lopez (ed.), op. cit., 2002, p. 487.
[21] Richard E. Young, Alton L. Becker, and Kenneth L. Pike, Rhetoric Discovery and Change, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta: Harcourt, Brace and World Inc., 1970, p. 172.
[22] Each of these three terms is introduced by the author as a metaphor to contrast with the metaphor of
psychological obstacles, used by some such as Herbert Kelman 1985.
[23] This issue of personal bias is further discussed in the next section on ‘Developing More Inclusive
[24] Edwin A. Locke, “Setting Goals for Life and Happiness”, in C. R. Snyder and Shane J. Lopez,
Handbook of Positive Psychology, 2002 , p. 299.
[25] As discussed in Chapter 1.
[26] Edwin A. Locke, op. cit. in Handbook of Positive Psychology, p. 301
[27] Figures based on Patrick Brogan, World Conflicts, London: Bloomsbury, 1998. Figures exclude the
two worst disasters—(1) World War II with 50 million people killed and (2) the mass murder of
Soviet citizens under Stalin with 25 million people killed.

[28] Paul Sites, Control: The Basis of Social Order, New York, London: Dunellen Publishing Company,
[29] Erich Fromm, The Sane Society, 1955—as cited in Paul Sites, Control, p. 5.
[30] Abraham Maslow, Motivation and Personality, 1954 —as cited in Paul Sites, Control, p. 5.
[31] Andrew B. Crider, George R. Goethals, Robert D. Kavanaugh and Paul R. Solomon, Psychology
Third Edition, Glenview Ill, Boston, London: Scott Foresman and Co., 1989, p. 149.
[32] John P. Hewitt, “The Social Construction of Self-Esteem”, in C.R. Snyder and Shane J. Lopez (ed)
Handbook of Positive Psychology, op. cit., 2002, p. 139;
Dennis J. Sandole, “The Biological Basis of Needs,” in Burton, 1990, op. cit., p. 62.
[33] Simon Critchley, Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 2001, p. 7.
[34] Ed Diener, Richard E. Lucas and Shigehiro Oishi, “Subjective Well-Being: The Science of
Happiness and Life Satisfaction,” in C. R. Snyder and Shane J. Lopez, op. cit., 2002, p. 63.
[35] C. Daniel Batson, Nadia Ahmad, David A. Lishner and Jo-Ann Tsang, “Empathy and Altruism”, in
C. R. Snyder and Shane J. Lopez, 2002, op. cit., p. 485.
[36] John Burton, op. cit., 1986, p. 336.
[37] David A. Lax and James K. Sebenius, “Interests: The Measure of Negotiation”, Negotiation Journal
2(1), January 1996, p. 73.
[38] ibid., p. 80.
[39] Walter Wink, op. cit., 1998, p. 23.
[40] Calvin S. Hall et. al., op. cit., 1997, p. 143.
[41] Lisa Schirch, “Ritual Reconciliation: Transforming Identity/Reframing Conflict”, in Mohammed
Abu-Nimer (ed.) Reconciliation, Justice and Coexistence: Theory and Practice, Lanham, Boulder,
New York, Oxford: Lexington Books, 2001, p. 147.
[42] Oscar Nudler, “On Conflicts and Metaphors”, in John Burton (ed.) Conflict: Human Needs Theory,
London: Macmillan Press, 1990, p. 198.
[43] ibid.
[44] Alan Tidwell, op. cit., pp. 42-56.
[45] ibid.
[46] Roderick W. Gilkey and Leonard Greenhalgh, “The Role of Personality in Successful Negotiating”,
Negotiation Journal, 2(3) July 1986, p. 245.
[47] Tidwell, 1998, pp. 42-56.
[48] Ada S. Chulef, Stephen J. Read, and David A. Walsh, “A Hierarchical Taxonomy of Human Goals”,
Motivation and Emotion 25(3) September 2001, pp. 191.
[49] ‘Francis Bacon’, Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2003. Compact Disc. Microsoft Corporation
[50] Robert K. Merton, “The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy”, The Antioch Review, 1948, 8, pp. 193-210—as
cited in Gordon W. Allport, The Nature of Prejudice, 1954, p. 159.
[51] Gordon Allport, The Nature of Prejudice, Cambridge Mass: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company,
1954, p. 9. Former Professor of Psychology Harvard University.

[52] Allport, op. cit., p. 9
[53] Allport, op. cit., p. 13.
[54] Allport, op. cit., p. 476.
[55] ibid., p. 477.
[56] Gene Sharp, The Politics of Nonviolent Action: Part 2 The Methods of Nonviolent Action, Boston:
Porter Sargent Publishers, 1973.
[57] Gene Sharp, The Politics of Nonviolent Action, op. cit., 1973.
[58] the opposites of the psychological obstacles.