Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies
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Peace Conflict and Development
In this essay I explore the role of cultural differences and disparities in power in western and indigenous mediation and cross cultural conflict resolution processes. I unpack several complex key terms such as mediation, culture, conflict, and power to make their role in conflict visible. Conflict resolution literature serves as my foundation for offering insights about the nature of culture and power, and the way these elements are operationalised in the practice of mediation. This paper draws on recent fieldwork in Cambodia in order to identify the challenges of praxis as a conflict resolution practitioner in an intercultural work environment. Specifically, I look at the dynamics of western and indigenous cultures in mediation trainings where western epistemologies are prioritised. This paper concludes with suggestions for eliciting organic and culturally based styles of conflict resolution in Cambodia.
Gellman, Mneesha. (2007). “Powerful Cultures: Indigenous and Western Conflict Resolution Processes in Cambodia.” Peace, Conflict and Development. Issue 11, 1-2
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