Workshop - New Approaches to Conflict Transformation: Trust, Empathy and Dialogue

14 June 2010

The aim of the workshop (23-4 June 2010), hosted by the David Davies Memorial Institute, was to examine the role that trust, dialogue and empathy play in transforming conflict in International Relations. The role that these concepts play in identify formation, understanding individual and community needs and interests, representations of gender and security, and decision-making processes mean that they should be at the heart of research on conflict transformation. The workshop took place in the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University, with financial support from the ESRC and Aberystwyth University. It was organised by Dr Naomi Head as part of her ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Bringing together leading academics and conflict resolution practitioners, the participants explored a range of important issues including: the theoretical concepts of trust, dialogue and empathy; the role of empathy in particular cases of conflict and post-conflict reconciliation; the relationship between perceptions of justice and trust, dialogue and empathy; the challenges to building trust both within and between states drawing on different examples of recent and on-going conflicts, and discursive practices which shape and construct conflict and its transformation.

Speakers included Professor Karin Fierke (St. Andrews University), Professor Lynne Cameron (Open University), Samuel Passow (University of Kent), Dr Gabrielle Lynch (University of Leeds), Paul Ingram (British American Security Information Council) and Dr Roxane Farmanfarmaian (University of Cambridge). The rapporteur’s report from the workshop, the final programme, as well as some presentations and handouts are available in PDF format in the Trust, Empathy, Dialogue section of the DDMI website.

Back to the top