Roland Bleiker and Morgan Brigg (eds.), Mediating Across Difference: Oceanic and Asian Approaches to Conflict Resolution, (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2011).
Mediating Across Difference is based on a fundamental premise: to deal adequately with conflict – and particularly with conflict stemming from cultural and other differences – requires genuine openness to different cultural practices and dialogue between different ways of knowing and being. Equally essential is a shift away from understanding cultural difference as an inevitable source of conflict, and the development of a more critical attitude toward previously under-examined Western assumptions about conflict and its resolution.
To address the ensuing challenges, this book introduces and explores some of the rich insights into conflict resolution emanating from Asia and Oceania. Although often overlooked, these local traditions offer a range of useful ways of thinking about and dealing with difference and conflict in a globalizing world. To bring these traditions into exchange with mainstream Western conflict resolution, the editors present the results of collaborative work between experienced scholars and culturally knowledgeable practitioners from numerous parts of Asia and Oceania. The result is a series of interventions that challenge conventional Western notions of conflict resolution and provide academics, policy makers, diplomats, mediators, and local conflict workers with new possibilities to approach, prevent, and resolve conflict.
Roland Bleiker is professor at the School of Political Science and International Studies, University of Queensland. Morgan Brigg is senior lecturer at the School of Political Science and International Studies, University of Queensland.