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Conflict in the Klamath Watershed and A Relationship-Building Framework for Conflict Transformation

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dc.contributor.advisor Goodale, Mark
dc.contributor.author Messier, Judith Y.
dc.creator Messier, Judith Y.
dc.date 2012-04-26
dc.date.accessioned 2013-02-12T16:36:36Z
dc.date.available NO_RESTRICTION en_US
dc.date.available 2013-02-12T16:36:36Z
dc.date.issued 2013-02-12
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/1920/7989
dc.description.abstract This dissertation starts from an interest in protracted environmental conflict in the United States and takes the stance with respect to environmental conflict (1) that a threat to a resource very quickly becomes experienced as a threat to the ways of life dependent upon that resource, and (2) that when multiple ways of life are dependent upon that same resource – and that resource is threatened – and all wish to sustain their ways of life – then the manner in which they all relate to the resource and to each other must be transformed, such that both the resource is restored and the ways of life are sustained. In other words, it is a situation of conflict transformation, rather than of conflict resolution. From that beginning stance, the unfolding of the dissertation uses a health care analogue to provide both a structure for and a way of thinking about what is presented. In Volume One, in the role of customary practice is cast conflict resolution as it is customarily practiced in America. It is asserted (1) that mainstream American conflict resolution practice is based upon an ethnoconflict theory and ethnopraxis that flows unerringly from the attitudes, aspirations, expectations that characterize the modern American Metro Middle Class; (2) that the American model would be appropriate within America when everything about the situation and the people involved in the situation was in agreement with the ethnoconflict theory and ethnopraxis upon which the American model is based; and (3) that it would be inappropriate when something about the situation and the people involved in the situation was NOT in agreement with the ethnoconflict theory and ethnopraxis upon which the American model is based. It is proposed that this ‘something’ can be that the people have a different ethnoconflict theory and ethnopraxis, and/or that the situation is not about rights, rules, and/or individual interests. In Volume Two, given the stance with respect to environmental conflict that a threat to a resource very quickly becomes experienced as a threat to the ways of life dependent upon that resource, in the role of the person who is not well is presented a history of the Klamath ecosystem and the ways of life dependent upon the Klamath watershed from historic times of pristine environmental well-being to the current times of environmental degradation. In Part One, the story of the Klamath over the period from 1848 through 2000 is told in such a manner that if (and when) any member of any player group in the Klamath may read this history, they would be able to say “You have heard Our story – not only the events and experiences that We bring together to define Our sense of who We are and have been over time, but also the emotional investment in being who We are and the emotional turmoil We feel when We experience who We are as threatened.” In Part Two, it is asserted (1) that the people of the Klamath watershed have an ethnoconflict theory and ethnopraxis that understands conflict as a tear in the web of relationships and conflict resolution as the mending of that tear through reconciliation and collaboration; (2) that they initially default to mainstream American conflict resolution practices, but ultimately revert to the practices of reconciliation and collaboration; and (3) that it will take a second-order change to accomplish this transformation of the conflict. Within this context, in the role of the history of unsuccessful first-order changes is presented a history of first-order changes in the customary practice of mainstream conflict resolution, from before 2001 through the chaos of 2001 on up to 2004, just before the Chadwick workshops. In the role of second-order change is presented the Chadwick workshops which occurred in the twelve month period of July 2004 through June 2005 and which were the transformative event which enabled people to relinquish the default use of mainstream conflict resolution practices and to take up the practices of reconciliation and collaboration on a watershed-wide basis. The “patient history” subsequent to the Chadwick workshops recounts a slow and painstaking transformation of the conflict, a turning of a page in the Klamath watershed – from a chapter of conflict more than a century in the making to a chapter of watershed-wide coordinated interaction to both restore the watershed and sustain all ways of life in the watershed. Finally, an epistemology of the Chadwick conflict resolution practice is constructed and juxtaposed point by point with the epistemology of mainstream American conflict resolution practice constructed in Volume One, illuminating significant differences between the two epistemologies. In Volume Three, in the role of alternative practice is proposed (1) an alternative epistemology and framework for theory, practice, and research, which is characterized as a Relationship-Building epistemology, and then (2) a framework for conflict transformation based upon this Relationship-Building epistemology. In Part One, (1) the alternative epistemology and framework is proposed and then juxtaposed with the epistemology and framework of the discipline of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, illuminating the differences between the two; (2) the epistemology of customary American conflict resolution practice and the epistemology of the discipline of Conflict Analysis and Resolution are characterized as variants of an overarching Problem-Solving epistemology; (3) the Problem-Solving epistemology is juxtaposed with the Relationship-Building epistemology, finding that they are grounded in very different ways of knowing and working; and finally (4) it is proposed that, while the configuration of people and situation that is appropriate to one is not appropriate to the other, used hand-in-hand, they can cover all configurations of people and situation. Part Two envisions a framework for conflict transformation based upon the Relationship- Building epistemology. This framework provides opportunity for transforming protracted environmental conflict, for people to build the relationships that could then serve as the foundation upon which they could stand together to set goals and take action towards sustaining both the environment and their ways of life. And it is noted that there is nothing to preclude applying any or all components of this conflict transformation framework to any conflict, domestic or international, environmental or otherwise, protracted or otherwise. The dissertation concludes with the assertion that, in the spirit of the health care analogue that has given form and position to the dissertation, as customary and alternative medicine can work hand-in-hand to restore the well-being of the person better than either could have accomplished alone, so the Problem- Solving and Relationship-Building epistemologies could work hand-in-hand to restore the well-being of the people involved in a conflict situation better than either might have accomplished alone.
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Klamath en_US
dc.subject Conflict Transformation en_US
dc.subject American Culture en_US
dc.subject Relationship-Building en_US
dc.subject Chadwick en_US
dc.subject Reconciliation en_US
dc.title Conflict in the Klamath Watershed and A Relationship-Building Framework for Conflict Transformation en_US
dc.type Dissertation en
thesis.degree.name Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution en_US
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en
thesis.degree.discipline Conflict Analysis and Resolution en
thesis.degree.grantor George Mason University en


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