Book

Peacemaking and Transformative Mediation: Sulha Practices in Palestine and the Middle East

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Abstract

This book evaluates the potential for the transformative mediation framework to be adopted in a non-western context. Inspired by the premise that mediator ideology exists and has deep impact on process, Robert A. Baruch Bush and Joseph P. Folger articulated the transformative mediation model which itself evolved from a culture of individualism and problem-solving. This theory of conflict transformation has engaged scholars and practitioners across North America, Europe and Australia. The question remains: is the Transformative Mediation Framework relevant outside of the "West"? Through qualitative interviewing with Palestinian practitioners of the traditional conflict resolution process sulha and in-depth research analysis, this study outlines what distinguishes the ideologies and practices of transformative mediation and Palestinian sulha.

Chapters (8)

This chapter aims to give an introduction to the study and the specific methology used. The purpose of the study provides a basis for the project and the approach used to analyze data and return conclusions. Methodology is discussed, including the nature of the interviews. The structure of the study is outlined, including the specific interview questions, theory questions, and central research questions referred to throughout the study.
This chapter provides an overview of the theoretical perspectives on mediation, with a focus on Western practice. After a brief history of mediation and the third party role, the concept of ideology is explored and considered in the context of the third party intervention. Relational ideology is presented as an emerging worldview that is later discussed in the context of being the underlying ideology of the Transformative Mediation Framework. The harmony approach and its organic ideology are introduced.
This chapter delves into the theoretical perspectives on culture and conflict resolution. Culture and conflict resolution is discussed both in broad terms and with consideration for the regional case study. Middle Eastern approaches to conflict resolution are explored generally, and the comparison between Western and Middle Eastern values on the individual and the community. Concepts of conflict within the Middle East are presented and the understanding of the role of the third party from Arab authors is considered. The impact of religion, specificially Islam, is taken in the context of the Middle East and its methods of conflict resolution. Sulha, a traditional Arab conflict resolution method, is outlined in this chapter.
This chapter gives an introduction to the case study location and the history of sulha in the region throughout the ages. More modern history includes the use of sulha through the Ottoman Empire and the European involvement in the locale, including the rise of Zionism, World War I and the British Mandate, the establishment of the state of Israel, and Six Day War. Recent history and the impact on sulha involve mention of the first and second intifadas, the role of the Palestinian Authority, and current Palestinian demographics in the oPt. Finally, the city of Bethlehem in the oPt is unveiled as the case study location and the organization Wi’am is offered as the base for field work and interviews with mediators within Bethlehem.
This chapter’s main function is to present the primary field research findings. Presenting summaries of each of the nine field interviews with local practicing mediators based on a set of relevant interview questions, the translated answers are intended to provide brief, accessible responses from the interview participants. They are a collection of interviews from mediators across society, including insights from mediators who are Bedouin, refugees, lawyers, politicians, businessmen, and teachers.
Using the primary data collected in field research, this chapter employs theory question analysis, which targets the questions posed relating to theory, including the views of human nature, conflict, productive conflict, destructive conflict, and social institutions. The aspects of society influencing these views are considered, namely, family, religion as well as government and politics. The reality for those who mediate disputes is discussed, as are the prerequisites that are commonly associated with the role of mediator in Bethlehem. Also considered are the effects of community conflict on the macro-level of greater society and with Israel, in addition to the effect of the broader and protracted conflict between the oPt and Israel on conflict at the micro-level of society.
This portion of the book compares the practice of mediation in Bethlehem with TMF. The chapter begins by considering an organic ideology of Bethlehem and contrasting this with the relational ideology of TMF. The chapter continues by outlining the expectations of the third party in a Bethlehem context and setting these alongside the expectations within a transformative framework. The central intervention practices of Bethlehem mediators are presented, and distinctions from the intervention processes in the Transformative Mediation Framework are discussed.
This chapter reviews the goals of the study and research process, includes the final reflections on the central research questions and considers practical implications of the research. Conclusions reached through the research analysis to inform the practical implications of the study. Among these conclusions are the deep ideological, practical, and narrative distinctions that frame sulha and transformative practices. This chapter outlines possible opportunities to employ the model but acknowledges that there is a need to respect local capacities of peace—in this case, in the form of the highly regarded and widely used indigenous process of sulha.
... Resmi ve enformel arabuluculuk olarak ikiye ayrılan yöntemde resmi arabuluculuğun geleneksel arabuluculuğun yeniden inşa edilmesi ile ortaya çıktığı görülmektedir. Milattan önce 2000 yıllarına kadar dayandırılan (Bercovitch, 1992) ve günümüzde de etkili olan arabuluculuk yönteminin devletlerin ve mahkemelerin kendilerine tehdit olarak görmesi sonucu 1960"lı yıllarda arabuluculuk yönteminin resmileştirmeye çalışıldığı görülmektedir (Saxon, 2018). Arabuluculuk yönteminin resmileşme süreci çeşitli akademi ve enstitülerin girişimleri ile kurulan bağımsız arabuluculuk programları ile gerçekleşmiştir (Bush ve Folger, 2005). ...
... İslami kültürde çatışma ve barış kavramları Batılı ve Doğulu teorisyenlerin karşılıklı eleştirileri doğrultusunda ele alınmıştır. Özellikle bazı Batılı teorisyenler (Huntington, 2002;Toft, 2007 gibi) İslamiyet"teki cihat anlayışından ve İslam dünyasında var olan çatışmalardan yola çıkarak İslamiyet"i çatışmanın kaynağı olarak görürken Doğulu ve bazı Batılı yazarlar (Abu-Nimer (2001, 2006İrani, 1999;Saxon 2018;Funk ve Said, 2009;Kadayıfçı-Orellana, 2010;Nadia, 2006; Yassine-Hamdani ve Pearson, 2014 gibi) ise İslami kaynaklarda barışa vurgu yapıldığını ve İslami kültürdeki barıştırma geleneği olan sulh girişimlerini İslamiyet"in kaynağında barış olduğuna örnek vermişlerdir. Uzma, dinlerin çatışma çözümündeki rollerinde içlerinde barındırdıkları uyum ve barışın etkili olduğunu; zengin dinî ritüeller ve sembollerin insanlara sağladığı birbirini anlama, kabul etme ve saygı duyma özelliklerinden faydalanılarak taraflar arasında diyaloğun ve uzlaşmanın sağlanabileceğini belirtmektedir. ...
... The term 'sulha' (from sulh, peacemaking) denotes a process of dispute resolution that involves a third party which literally goes between the disputing parties, trying to bring about conciliation. The sulha has been studied in a relatively systematic manner: several researchers have published comprehensive monographs on the topic (Kressel 1982;Ginat 1987;Jabbour 1996Jabbour , 2010Abu Nimer 2003;Lang 2005;Pely 2016;Saxon 2018;Shahar 2018), and a significant number of articles, employing different theoretical frameworks and diverse methodological tools, have been published in various academic venues (e.g., Abu Nimer 1996Lang 2002;Tsafrir 2006;Fares, Milhem, and Khalidi 2006;Shapira 2006;Pely 2008Pely , 2010Pely , 2011Kritz 2013). Yet, by and large, these studies have approached the sulha from an essentialist and a-historic perspective. ...
Article
Full-text available
Based on semi-structured, in-depth interviews with Arab-Palestinian sulha mediators in the Galilee, the article explores different forms of dispute resolution used for resolving matrimonial and familial disputes in this community. The “customary” sulha mechanism is shown to be highly heterogeneous in nature. Furthermore, it is argued that different modes of sulha reflect and embody different models of relationship between the Israeli state and the Arab-Palestinian minority. These modes are presented and discussed in the article.
... Though Israel provides sulha no official recognition nor provides legal guidance of any kind, sulha agreements are often and inconsistently taken into account in state courts (Pely, 2016). The Wi'am Conflict Transformation Center in Bethlehem reports assisting in roughly 300 sulha cases per year (Saxon, 2018). 12. Unlike Western third party mediation approaches that prefer unbiased outsiders, Arab approaches generally prefer an 'unbiased insider with ongoing connections to the major disputants as well as a strong sense of the common good and standing within the community' (Irani & Funk, 1998, p. 63). ...
Article
Over the last few decades, scholars in the conflict resolution field have begun to appreciate religion’s role in promoting the values, beliefs and practices of peace and nonviolence. Though scholars have identified myriad Islamic sources of conflict resolution, few have engaged with the restorative justice tradition directly. In the following paper, I identify the Islamic foundations of restorative justice through an examination of the restorative themes in the Qur’an and an analysis of Islamic crime and punishment. Any discrepancies between the restorative framework and the Islamic framework are discussed. I then identify and illustrate Islamic restorative practice in the Palestinian indigenous tradition of sulha. This paper demonstrates that in both theory and practice, what is understood as Islamic justice can also be conceptualised as an interpersonal, restorative justice.
Chapter
After a short overview of the definitions of Heritage, Refugees (Human Mobility and Forced Migration) and Reconciliation, the paper analyses different connections between reconciliation with your past (with special reference to refugees) and heritage, tangible and, mainly, intangible. Reconciliation with your past (country of origin, opponent group, your “past life”, broadly intended) and, sometimes, with the intangible heritage of your people/community could be reached through different disciplines.
Thesis
Full-text available
This study investigated how the conflict management process preferences of academics changed in five different conflict scenarios, namely value, relationship, structural, interest, and data conflicts, and explored how these preferences were related to participants’ cultural values such as Horizontal Individualism, Vertical Individualism, Horizontal Collectivism and Vertical Collectivism. In this way, it is aimed to contribute to the management and resolution of the conflicts experienced by academics and to the implementation and development of effective and efficient conflict management systems in higher education institutions. Participants were 1925 (1017 females and 902 males) academics with salient collectivistic tendencies working in 199 universities from 79 different cities in Turkey. Through an online questionnaire, the cultural values of academics were collected. Then, they rated to what extent each of the ten different conflict management processes were proper in management of the five different types of conflicts given in the scenarios. The results indicated that horizontal collectivism was positively related to the appropriateness scores of interest-based processes, namely negotiation, transformative mediation, peer mediation, evaluative mediation, interest-based mediation and ombuds. On the other hand, the vertical individualism was positively related to appropriateness scores of rights-based processes, namely litigation, arbitration, internal grievance and external grievance. Ombuds and arbitration were found to be mixed-motive processes since they were related to more than one dimension of culture. The scores given for appropriateness of the processes changed significantly with the change of the conflict scenario. Mean scores of conflict management processes followed certain traits with respect to conflict type. Litigation and external grievance scores followed similar traits. Similarly, transformative mediation, negotiation, peer mediation and evaluative mediation mean scores followed similar traits. However the traits of change for interest-based and rights-based processes were quite different from each other. Transformative mediation emerged as the most appropriate process for management of all of the conflicts given in scenarios and this was followed by peer mediation. On the other hand, lowest scores were obtained for external grievance and litigation indicating that these methods were perceived to be inefficient by academics in management of the interpersonal conflicts given in the scenarios. Keywords: Integrated Conflict Management Systems, Horizontal Collectivism, Vertical Collectivism, Horizontal Individualism, Vertical Individualism, Negotiation, Mediation, Ombudsman, Arbitration, Grievance, Litigation.
Article
Full-text available
Sulha is one well-known method of reconciliation owned by Palestinian Society. Historically, Palestinian utilized it to accommodate two hostile tribes in families in a peacemaking process to prevent conflict escalate to the higher level. As a featured local way to harmonize its people, Palestinian have applied Sulha since the very beginning of Palestinian Civilization to nowadays. Unavoidably, Sectarian collision in Palestine always involves three major religious worshippers within the area: Islam, Christian, and Jewish. Considering its vital position in the Palestinian communities, there has been a lot of researches discussing Sulha as an inseparable element of reconciliation method needed by Palestinians to confront Israelis in particular. Sulha, in another word, plays such a crucial role to find the peacemaking process of Palestinian in a better way. Several tasks remaining, however, to validate and strengthen Sulha as a unique method of reconciliation of Palestinian. After reading several kinds of literature, I believe that Sulha is able to be understood in Worldview of Islam; there are numbers of key concepts associated with Sulha in major Islamic literature: mainly al-Qur'an and Hadith. For instance,Hospitality, Repentance, and Forgiveness. This paper will discuss the interrelation of these keywords to Sulha based on the critical reading of ancient literature of Islam and how it should be implemented by Palestinians to enhance and advance Sulha as a method of conflict resolution. Finally, the research question in this article that will be discussed and answered is: “What are the featured key concepts of Sulha in Worldview of Islam and how it should be implemented by Palestinians?”
Article
This article examines the strategies, structures, and practices that allowed for the emergence of communities without police institutions during two Palestinian uprisings, the 1936–39 revolt and the 1987–91 intifada. For each period, the article identifies efforts to disengage from and disempower the state police, to establish alternative systems of anticolonial justice, and to employ disciplinary violence to serve the imperatives and enforce the decisions of Palestinian nationalist bodies. In particular, Palestinian systems of anticolonial justice drew on communal reconciliation (sulh) and other preexisting local iterations of communal justice. These local forms relied on discourses of egalitarianism and consensus, which produced stability in periods of upheaval but also obscured the inequalities they reproduced. Ultimately, the anticolonial structures that Palestinians established proved unable to withstand intense internal and external pressure, and some elements of the coercive forces that served them were absorbed into state police institutions.
Thesis
Full-text available
This study investigated how the conflict management process preferences of academics changed in five different conflict scenarios, namely value, relationship, structural, interest, and data conflicts, and explored how these preferences were related to participants’ cultural values such as Horizontal Individualism, Vertical Individualism, Horizontal Collectivism and Vertical Collectivism. In this way, it is aimed to contribute to the management and resolution of the conflicts experienced by academics and to the implementation and development of effective and efficient conflict management systems in higher education institutions. Participants were 1925 (1017 females and 902 males) academics withsalient collectivistic tendencies working in 199 universities from 79 different citiesin Turkey. Through an online questionnaire the cultural values of academics werecollected. Then, they rated to what extent each of the ten different conflictmanagement processes were proper in management of the five different types ofconflicts given in the scenarios. The results indicated that horizontal collectivism was positively related tothe appropriateness scores of interest-based processes, namely negotiation,transformative mediation, peer mediation, evaluative mediation, interest-basedmediation and ombuds. On the other hand, the vertical individualism waspositively related to appropriateness scores of rights-based processes, namely litigation, arbitration, internal grievance and external grievance. Ombuds and arbitration were found to be mixed-motive processes since they were related tomore than one dimension of culture. The scores given for appropriateness of the processes changedsignificantly with the change of the conflict scenario. Mean scores of conflictmanagement processes followed certain traits with respect to conflict type.Litigation and external grievance scores followed similar traits. Similarly,transformative mediation, negotiation, peer mediation and evaluative mediationmean scores followed similar traits. However the traits of change for interest-based and rights-based processes were quite different from each other. Transformative mediation emerged as the most appropriate process formanagement of all of the conflicts given in scenarios and this was followed by peermediation. On the other hand, lowest scores were obtained for external grievanceand litigation indicating that these methods were perceived to be inefficient byacademics in management of the interpersonal conflicts given in the scenarios. Keywords: Integrated Conflict Management Systems, Horizontal Collectivism,Vertical Collectivism, Horizontal Individualism, Vertical Individualism,Negotiation, Mediation, Ombudsman, Arbitration, Grievance, Litigation.
Chapter
While assessing the applicability of a transformative mediation model in a Middle East setting, the author recognized the influence and preference for local practices for peace. Sulha, a traditional Arab process for peacemaking predating Islam, remains a culturally appropriate framework for building peaceful relations within pluralistic and collectivistic Palestinian environments. Initial research hoped to compare the underlying theory supporting sulha with a Western transformative mediation framework, to consider the potential for training in the region. However, through interviews with sulha practitioners, the analysis focused less on how transformative mediation could be applied in a new cultural context, and more on the need for any outside model to honor the core principles and practices evident in conflict and peacemaking processes in Palestinian society.
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