Sustained Dialogue in Conflicts: Transformation and Change

Hardcover | December 15, 2011

byHarold H. Saunders

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"Our country is more deeply and angrily divided than at any time in my life," says Harold H. Saunders. Believing that the energies and capacities of citizens outside government are the greatest untapped resources for meeting the challenges of the twenty-first century, Saunders argues that sustained dialogue is a critical instrument for citizens to use in marshaling those resources to develop the relationships essential to peace, efficient organizations, and democratic political and economic development. Beyond that, sustained dialogue offers a creative diplomacy appropriate to the twenty-first century.

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"Our country is more deeply and angrily divided than at any time in my life," says Harold H. Saunders. Believing that the energies and capacities of citizens outside government are the greatest untapped resources for meeting the challenges of the twenty-first century, Saunders argues that sustained dialogue is a critical instrument for...

HAROLD H. SAUNDERS is the President of the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue and Director of International Affairs at the Kettering Foundation. He served on the National Security Council Staff, 1961-1974, and was Assistant Secretary of State for Near East and South Asia in the Carter Administration. He flew on the Kissing...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:314 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.75 inPublished:December 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230339808

ISBN - 13:9780230339804

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Table of Contents

Prologue: Why Sustained Dialogue? * Part I: Historical Setting and Conceptual Framework * The First Half-Century: Setting and Timeline * Peace Process: Pre-1982 Roots of Sustained Dialogue * Framework for Analysis: Sustained Dialogue as Process * Part II: The First Laboratory * Beginning a Dialogue: Dialogue about Dialogue * How to Talk about Problems and Relationships: The Struggle for Dialogue * Talking, Listening, and Thinking Interactively: Dialogue Experienced * Thinking Together about Acting Together: Sustained Dialogue Takes Shape * Conceptualizing the Process * Part III: Testing the Five-Stage Process of Sustained Dialogue * The First Test: Tajikistan * Testing the Limits: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Nagorno Karabakh - With Philip D. Stewart * Arab-American-European Dialogue: Working Together toward a New Relationship between the Arab Region and the West (2001-2007) - With Randa Slim * Part IV: Sustained Dialogue in Peacebuilding * Mini-dialogues and Hybrids in Tajikistan - With Parviz Mullojanov and Randa M. Slim * Process, Place, and People: The Three Ps of Sustained Dialogue in South Africa - With Theodore Nemeroff * Sustained Dialogue Campus Network - With Priya Narayan Parker * Part V: Reflections * Evaluation in an Open-ended Political Process: Civic Learning and the Citizen Evaluator * Epilogue: Transforming Relationships . . . Designing Change

Editorial Reviews

"As a skilled and outstanding diplomat, Harold H. Saunders knows how to identify problems, and more importantly, how to solve them. In Sustained Dialogue in Conflicts, Saunders has done both. His book defines the deeply divided American culture that threatens the way our democratic politics operate. And it provides a diplomatic guide to a more civil way of resolving political differences so that our country can remain the very best in the world." - James A. Baker, III, former US Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of State"Saunders, a leading American political thinker, has an impressive background at the Department of State and then rich experience in the Dartmouth Conference, the longest Soviet/Russian-American informal dialogue. Together we chaired the Task Force on Regional Conflicts in the 1980's. That experiment offered a unique opportunity for candid exchange of views and discussion of scenarios for conflict resolution when that could not be achieved at the government level. Even during the Cold War, Hal and I could find common approaches towards détente in the Middle East, which unfortunately were not realized. Although some episodes in his book can be interpreted differently, I recommend it to all who seek a better understanding of the uneasy history of Russian-American interactions in areas such as the Arab-Israeli conflict." - Evgeny Primakov, former foreign minister and prime minister of Russia"Harold H. Saunders is the master of sustained dialogue, and this book is a gem in exploring how this challenging and promising modality is currently understood. Many engage in dialogue, but not all of them are able to describe it and theorize it as this book does. Sustained dialogue is now a movement. It is experimented with and practiced in many settings. This will provide further guidance and insights. Hopefully many will keep learning from these very encouraging beginnings." - Andrea Bartoli, director, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University"This work is the culmination of decades of experience and reflection. Harold H. Saunders and his colleagues trace the process of inductive conceptualization that has produced a significant model of practice for the field of conflict resolution and for humankind. A variety of initiatives in sustained dialogue are described, analyzed, and evaluated, using personal experience and almost verbatim reporting, to produce a rich and thoughtful picture of an unofficial political process that has the potential to transform dysfunctional and destructive relationships between enemies into constructive collaborations between partners. No other work in interactive conflict resolution provides such a detailed and comprehensive account of face-to-face dialogue and problem solving upon which a theory of relationship change has been constructed in a continuously developing fashion. The collection of cases covered in this authentic account allows us to fully appreciate the implementation and applicability of sustained dialogue and encourages us to meet the challenge of its continuing development and dissemination in a world that sorely needs such innovative thinking and practice." - Ronald Fisher, director of International Peace and Conflict Resolution, American University