Conflict Resolution in Northern Ireland and Cyprus Term Paper

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  • Subject: Race
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Conflict Resolution in North Ireland and Cyprus

Describe what Lederach means by the concept of moral imagination in the field of conflict resolution

Moral imagination is dealing with real world challenges. During this process innovative ideas will establish new philosophies and movements. To achieve these objectives a number of criteria must be me: a web of relationships exist between different parties, the ability to sustain the interests of stakeholders, the desire to create something new and acceptance of the risks associated with unknown outcomes. This is illustrating how the field of conflict resolution can transform the way the various sides are looking at a host of events and their underlying meaning. (Lederach, 2012)

Give examples relevant to one of the two cases we've discussed in class during this period Cyprus or Northern Ireland

A good example of this conflict can be seen in Northern Ireland. What fueled the violence was a historical distrust of the British. At the same time, there were a certain number of people who were closer to England culturally and theologically. This sparked divisions between the different sides (who had contrasting views on religion and the role of the British in North Ireland). To improve relations Parliament encouraged the development of the Community Relations Commission. This was an attempt to create community leaders on both sides (who can help to address these differences). The problem was that it was seen as another attempt to control North Ireland indirectly. This fueled unforeseen protests and escalating violence. These areas are showing how moral imagination changed the overall scope and intensity of the conflict. (Lederach, 2012) (McCartney, 1992, pp. 44 -- 46)

Identify at least two other theories and principles of conflict resolution that Lederach presents in his book

Two other theories that Lederach (2012) is discussing include: the art of social change and the gift of pessimism. The art of social change is when there is a focus on transforming how the different parties see each other (in order to address the root causes of the conflict). During this process, there is an emphasis on a number of principles to include:

Helping to move both parties away from previous cycles of violence.

Understanding that the process will involve creating changes which have not been implemented.

Creating a balance between complexity and simplicity. (Lederach, 2012)

These ideas are showing how negotiating will require changing the focus of the different sides. At this time the envoys must work actively to maintain momentum (in order to build a lasting agreement). (Lederach, 2012)

The gift of pessimism is when the two sides do not trust each other (based upon the conflict and animosity that exists). This is expected during any kind of negotiation as everyone wants to make sure that these changes are not superficial. Therefore, all parties must understand that there will be a certain amount of skepticism from both sides. The key for a negotiator is to recognize and address these issues as reassurance that these changes are lasting and respects the interests of all parties. Once this occurs various sides will begin working to address these issues in an honest and open format. (Lederach, 2012)

Part 2

How do the opposing sides view the past, present and future of their relations with the other side ?

In the Cyprus conflict, both sides are viewing each other with a sense of contempt. This goes back hundreds of years, when the island was considered to be colony of different world powers. This created animosity between the various ethnic and religious groups (who were allied with or against a particular nation that was occupying the island). Once Turkey annexed Northern Cyprus (in 1974), was when these past divisions increased even more. This was because many people felt that this was another attempt by another foreign power to occupy Cyprus. (Papadakis, 2006, pp. 1 -- 30)

At the same time, select ethnic groups are supporting these kinds of actions based on common cultural and religious traditions with these countries. This is fueling future conflicts, as there is contention about what direction the island should go. Moreover, past issues are continuing to influence present challenges by illustrating how the island is a pawn of different foreign powers. This is fueling anger about the presence of foreign troops and there are feelings that select minorities are not supportive of Cyprus as an independent nation. Instead, these groups want to see some part of the island controlled by outside military forces. (Papadakis, 2006, pp. 1 -- 30)

How does culture count in this conflict?

The cultural conflict is fueled between those sides that are allied with Turkey and Greece. Historically, both nations have occupied the island (either in the past or currently). This has established various ethnic groups that will support the cultural traditions and practices of either country. Over the course of time, this has fueled debate about the future direction of Cyprus (with: some who want the entire island to be an independent nation and others who have a desire to become a part of Greece or Turkey). These divisions have been fueled by differences in cultural traditions. (Papadakis, 2006, pp. 47 -- 65)

As a result, each side has opposite goals that are based upon a willingness to achieve specific objectives. For some this will mean reunification with Greece or Turkey while others believe, that the presence of either country is the equivalent of an occupation. This is when various cultural values and norms will be imposed upon the people. To prevent this, the different sides will do whatever is necessary to protect their cultural traditions. (Papadakis, 2006, pp. 47 -- 65)

What role can you see for cosmopolitan conflict resolution to overcome these ethno political conflicts?

Cosmopolitan conflict is when there is a focus on dealing with the cultural factors that are creating animosity. Negotiators will work with both sides to: establish a common foundation and an understanding between the different ethnic groups. Over the course of time, any kind of issues can be discussed and an agreeable solution would be implemented. Once this takes place, is when the various demographics will begin to have a sense of awareness and acceptance of these differences. This reduces the underlying amounts of tension inside a specific area. (Papadakis, 2006, pp. 84-119) ("Conflict Resolution and the Future," n.d., pp. 415 -- 426) ("Culture, Religion and Conflict Resolution," n.d., pp. 333 -- 348)

In the case of Cyprus, these ideas could be used to create a foundation of cultural understanding between the different ethnic groups. This is when envoys can address any kind of potential challenges and begin introducing solutions that will deal with these issues (through nonviolent measures). As a result, cosmopolitan conflict resolutions will play an integral part in helping to overcome ethno-political conflicts of the past. (Papadakis, 2006, pp. 84-119)

Part 3

Discuss the types of civil society efforts toward resolution of the Cyprus conflict and the Northern Ireland conflict .

The types of efforts are to have periods of continuous negotiation between the different sides. This occurs with various groups taking the lead in addressing these issues. In Cyprus and Northern Ireland, there was an emphasis on dealing with social problems through: protests and other acts of civil disobedience. This emboldened the other side, who began using similar kinds of tactics. Once this occurred is when open conflict erupted. ("Conflict Resolution and the Future," n.d., pp. 415 -- 426) ("Culture, Religion and Conflict Resolution," n.d., pp. 333 -- 348) (Coopieters, 2004, pp. 63 -- 106)

To deal with these issues, various international organizations have been working with everyone in creating solutions that directly confront these challenges. This is a change in tactics, as different groups are taking matters into their own hands. After years of fighting, this is a shift in strategy…

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