IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

Berghof Center, Berlin

I try to cover a lot of “bases” in this blog, and one of them is to point from time to time to quality sources of information about peace and conflict resolution.  The Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management is defnitely one of these quality sources.   As  this page explains:

“The Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management was set up in 1993 by the Berghof Foundation for Conflict Studies in order to explore constructive procedures and models for dealing with ethnopolitical conflicts.

The Center aims to occupy the middle-ground between theory and practice in the study of ethnopolitical conflict. Thus we produce research that can generate ideas, tools and resources for the practice of conflict transformation, and we draw on practical experience to generate innovative research and conceptual approaches. Our goal is to contribute not only to an increased understanding of peacemaking and peacebuilding processes, but also actively to support such work.”

Some serious thought has, IMHO, gone into this; because it is exactly the “middle ground” which has to be “occupied” with the study of peace is going to really make an impact on the creation and consolidation of peace.

As the profile page explains further:

“The Center’s key concerns are

* to promote peace constituencies in ethnopolitical or identity-related conflicts, fostering and enhancing horizontal and vertical networks of agents and institutions with the potential for peacebuilding and conflict transformation

* to generate strategies for changing structures which sustain violence, and for improving processes which build peace

* to contribute to the understanding of long-term peacebuilding after violence

* to increase knowledge and promote joint learning processes in the field of peace work, development, human rights and humanitarian assistance.”

One of the great things about this place for us teachers is that they have some wonderful publications free for download.  Check out, for instance, The Berghof Handbook for Conflict Transformation ” :

“The Berghof Handbook for Conflict Transformation is a comprehensive and cumulative website resource that provides continually updated cutting-edge knowledge, experience and lessons learned for those working in the field of transforming violent ethnopolitical conflict. The Handbook is published by the Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management based in Berlin, Germany. The website content comes from two central resources: 1) commissioned Articles by leading experts from current practice and scholarship; and 2) a Dialogue Series on key issues, in which practitioners and scholars critically engage with and debate one another in light of their varying experiences.

The Berghof Handbook highlights established practices and strategies, key concepts, and difficult issues and challenges. Rather than presenting a collection of ready-made recipes or tools, its goal is to put examples of good practice into a useful conceptual framework in order to understand more clearly their functions, strengths and weaknesses.”

If you know anything about Teutonic (ie German) scholarship you will have an idea of the quality and thoroughness of this material.

IGBarb says:  check it out!

(thanks to Craig Zelizer at the Peace and Collaborative Development Network , for recently reminding me about this place!)

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April 22, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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