The academic field of conflict studies is relatively young, although the practice of conflict resolution is as old as mankind. Integrating knowledge from multiple disciplines, conflict studies have formed by the broad foundation of interdisciplinary theory, research, and practice and from time to time, we need to update theoretical and practical concepts in this field. I think pluralism as a theoretical concept – an ethic of respect for human diversity – which is a normative response, to the presence of human differences, can reinforce the field of conflict studies in theory and on the other hand, can improve conflict resolution in practice. This, in turn, poses fundamental challenges to conflict resolution, as peace processes are often sufficed with strategic and tactical deception and even those who sign peace agreements may cultivate violence to undermine their new partners in peace. Besides, the theories in conflict studies are traditionally concentrated on how to resolve the conflict, rather than on how the peacebuilders properly engage with the respective social actors. Therefore, a new concept that focuses on providing a new theoretical-practical approach to conflict resolution for the peacebuilders in dealing with the diverse society is needed. Alongside, violent conflict within a society is often the extreme manifestation of pluralism breakdown. Given the dynamics of conflicts today, embedding pluralism into a peace process may help address the root causes of conflict and decrease the chances of renewed violence. In my point of view, recognizing pluralism as a value must be a guiding principle of Conflict resolution. Pluralism can act as a lens for decision-making around a process as a first step to be conceptualized as the methods and processes involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of conflict and retribution. In this paper, I will try to analyze the connection between Conflict studies and Pluralism as two of the most diversified disciplines and identify their commonalities. Then this paper will examine how these principles can be applied by peacebuilders in engaging with pluralism in the field of conflict resolution.
The Symposium will begin at 9 AM EST on 22 April at the following link: bit.ly/Symposium-Day1