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JRN 487 Conflict Reporting Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict? By Metin Ersoy.

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Presentation on theme: "JRN 487 Conflict Reporting Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict? By Metin Ersoy."— Presentation transcript:

1 JRN 487 Conflict Reporting Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict? By Metin Ersoy

2 Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict?  WHAT IS PEACE?  WHAT IS CONFLICT?

3  “Creativity” should not be understood only within a narrow political definition where a conflict is solved the conflict politically.  For the media sector “creativity” points toward a more peace oriented rather than conflict oriented information gathering and reporting process. Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict?

4  WHAT IS PEACE? Johan Galtung defined peace in the following way: peace = non-violence + creativity. For Galtung, peace cannot only mean the reduction of war to a state of non-violence: There must be creativity in the resolution process itself.

5 Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict?  One can say that “every peace is different”. In other words, my peace definition and perception can be different than another people’s. For instance, the understanding of peace cannot be same for different people even though they can be neighbors like in Cyprus.

6 Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict?  Some people believe that there is peace on the island; whereas others do not. Some of them believe that there is cease-fire; some of them believe that if whole Cyprus enters the European Union there will be peace.

7 Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict?  We can add some more peace definition here for Cyprus. The reality of the island is there is cease-fire and Cypriots suffering from lack of political settlement.  When I say every peace is different, I mean every conflict has specific circumstances within itself.  The important thing is that how we use our creativity to solve each and every different situation.  The situation for media is same.  How much media uses their creativity to help the solution of the conflicts?  What are the main problems of the media?

8 Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict?

9  “Peace” has been defined by some as a situation in which there is no armed conflict. However, the meaning of peace is defined in various ways by different societies and within and among cultures.  These ‘differences’ in approach toward the resolution of conflict and the promotion of peace necessarily means that a creative approach for resolving conflicting interpretations of what peace might ultimately look like, is a necessary correlative to the promotion of a stable and just peace.

10 Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict?  Anderson (2004) makes the similar comments on peace concept.  He states: “Exploring a definition of peace might begin by outlining how popular understandings of peace differ across languages and cultures. Virtually all Western language definitions emphasize the absence of war and other forms of overt violence as a key component of peace (p. 102)”.

11 Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict?  Anderson (2004) summarizes the meaning of peace for Chinese culture and language.  He argues, “In Chinese, peace is written as a combination of two characters, one meaning harmony and the other meaning equality or balance. Taken together, the symbols mean harmony in balance. In Chinese there is no word for peace as the absence of war (p. 102)”.

12 Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict?  WHAT IS CONFLICT?  According to Peter du Toit [2000]: “Conflict exists in a relationship when two or more parties believe their aspirations cannot be achieved simultaneously, or perceive a divergence in their values, needs or interests and purposefully employ their power in an effort to eliminate, neutralize, or change each other to protect or further their interests in the interaction.” 

13 Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict?  Kai Frithjof Brand - Jacobsen [2001] comment that: “Conflicts exist at all levels, within and between individuals, communities, countries and cultures. Conflicts are natural. They are experienced by people of every background, culture, class, nationality, age, and gender every single day. What is important, is not whether conflicts themselves are good or bad, but how we wish to deal with them.”

14 Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict?  Another important tool for understanding conflicts, also developed by Johan Galtung, is the conflict triangle. The three points of the triangle are A (attitudes), B (behavior), and C (contradiction).  ATTITUDES refer to how parties to a conflict feel and think, how they perceive ‘the other’–with respect and love or contempt and hatred–, their own goals, and the conflict itself.  BEHAVIOR refers to how parties to the conflict act in the conflict–seeking common interests and constructive, creative action or seeking to inflict loss and pain on ‘the other’.  CONTRADICTION refers to the actual issue(s), and what the conflict is about. Perceptions of the contradiction or issues at the root of the conflict often differ between parties to the conflict (Brand-Jacobsen [2001]).

15 Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict?  Outcomes of Conflict  Outcomes of conflict depend on the expectations of the parties. For instance, imagine a table. There is an orange on the table and two children are trying to get the orange. The outcomes can be:  A) ONE PARTY PREVAILS The Rule of Man – the pair fight for the orange. The Rule of Law – adjudicate, on some principle (need, taste) The Rule of Chance – some random method, e.g. rolls a dice to settle who wins the orange Compensation – Broadening, deepening (child A gets the orange, child B something else)

16 Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict?  B) WITHDRAWAL Walk away from the situation Destroy or give away the orange Just watch the orange Put it in the freezer  C) COMPROMISE Cut the orange Squeeze the orange Peel the orange and divide the slices Any other division

17 Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict?  TRANSCENDENCE Get one more orange Get more people to share the orange Bake an orange cake, raffle it and divide the proceeds Sow the seeds, make a plantation, and take over the market  Basic thesis is the more alternatives, the less likely the violence (Galtung [1998]).

18 Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict?  According to Kai Frithjof Brand-Jacobsen:  “War culture, and war provoking responses to conflicts focus upon conflict the destroyer. Conflicts are seen as a struggle between good versus evil, black and white, zero-sum, where the victory of one is based upon the defeat of the other, and one actor’s gain comes only at the expense of another actor’s loss.  What peace researchers, peace workers, and others have worked over several decades to promote, is an alternative culture, and an alternative approach to dealing with conflicts– one based upon conflict the creator, recognizing the positive, constructive, and creative opportunities available in any conflict situation (Brand-Jacobsen [2001]).”

19 Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict?  Kai Frithjof Brand-Jacobsen [2001] continued in Peacebuilding, Peace Empowerment, and Peaceful Conflict Transformation article:  “The second corner of the violence triangle, structural violence, can often be far more difficult to recognize and understand. This is the violence built into the very social, political, and economic systems which govern societies, states, and the world. Examples of structural violence are apartheid, patriarchy, slavery, colonialism, imperialism, the former state authoritarian regimes of Eastern Europe, and today’s global imperialism/capitalism.”

20 Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict?  The third form (or aspect) of violence is cultural violence. On one level, this can be taken to be those aspects of a culture, which legitimize or make violence seem an acceptable means of responding to conflict. The ideas that violence is ‘normal’, ‘ok’ or even ‘macho’ are all expressions of cultural violence.  On a deeper level, however, the concept of cultural violence is important in understanding how a community or individual views themselves in relation to themselves, to ‘others’, to their community, and the world, and how this may affect our responses to conflict.

21 Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict?  Whether or not a nation or group believes itself to be ‘chosen’ (by God, History, Race, Nation, Civilization, Gender, or the Market), superior to ‘the other’, viewing the world as black vs. white, a struggle of good against evil, zero sum, with only one possible outcome, win/lose, will affect whether it chooses to respond violently or constructively when faced with conflict.  ‘Dehumanization’ of the other, making them seems somehow ‘less,’ ‘unworthy’, and ascribing to them entirely negative, self-serving, or even ‘evil’ motives are also components of cultural violence.

22 Lesson 1: What is Peace and what is Conflict? TOPIC FOR NEXT WEEK… Conflict vs. Peace Reporting What is Conflict Reporting? What is Peace Reporting?


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