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Mediating Across DifferenceOceanic and Asian Approaches to Conflict Resolution$
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Morgan Brigg and Roland Bleiker

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834593

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834593.001.0001

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Silence in Western Models of Conflict Resolution

Silence in Western Models of Conflict Resolution

Chapter:
(p.38) Chapter 2 Silence in Western Models of Conflict Resolution
Source:
Mediating Across Difference
Author(s):

Tarja Väyrynen

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824834593.003.0003

This chapter takes up the issue of silence. Examining processes of building peace after violent conflict, the chapter shows that Western approaches place great emphasis on speech and dialogue, often to the point that nonverbal forms of communication are largely ignored. But the latter are of crucial importance. Leaving unexamined or even unnoticed a large part of silent interactions leads to major shortcomings. Add to this that some stories about conflict are never told — and thus also never addressed by prevailing ways of solving conflict. The ensuing peacebuilding efforts remain fraught and could fuel new forms of conflict unless a conscious effort is made to deal with silence and to understand nonverbal forms of communication. Drawing on thus-far-neglected local traditions of conflict resolution has the potential to recognise the importance of silence and unconventional ways of conveying knowledge, such as dance and other rituals.

Keywords:   silence, nonverbal communication, speech, dialogue, silent interactions, unconventional conflict resolution

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