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Volume 8 No. 2



Conflict Transformation:  A Debate Over Semantics or a Crucial Shift in the Theory and Practice  of Peace and Conflict Studies?

Johannes Botes

In “The Emerging Tool Chest for Peacebuilders,” Chadwick Alger begins with the premise that “we have learned much more about building peace in the Twentieth Century, through research and practice, than we normally tend to apply” (1996: 21).  He goes further to suggest that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and people’s movements represent a recent, and potentially most useful, set of tools for peacebuilding.  In the time that has passed since he made those observations, non-state entities have indeed proven to be very useful forces for building peace.  In doing so, they have added several additional tools to Alger’s NGOs, people’s movements, and civil society drawer, most notably: networking, coalition building, global campaigns, parallel conferencing, and partnerships.  This article explores the nature of these peace tools as they relate to the interface between civil society and international institutions.  It concludes that Alger’s first premise also remains true.  Actual research and practice in international organization and world order continue to exceed what scholars and students of such phenomena tend to apply.


Linking Theory to Practice:
How Cognitive Psychology Informs the Collaborative
Problem-Solving Process for Third Parties

Sean Byrne

Psychological and cognitive schemas when making decisions within the problem-solving process influence participant behavior. Cognitive psychology models are applied to Fisher and Ury’s method of principled negotiation. The potential benefits of cognitive psychology as a means of understanding the cognitive schemata of problem solving participants are discussed in this article.

The Language Question in Africa in the Light of Globalisation, Social Justice and Democracy

Birgit Brock-Utne

What social classes profit from the continued use of European languages in Africa? Who loses out? The focus here is not only on the language use in education but also on the language use in the courts and in the political domain. Examples are mostly taken from Tanzania and South Africa where the author conducts two research projects within the area of language and education. Two irreconcilable trends are discussed: the one moving in the direction of globalisation, a capitalist market economy and the strengthening of the former colonial languages; and the other being genuinely concerned with good governance, democracy, poverty alleviation and social justice, the ingredients of what we would call positive peace or the absence of structural violence.

Language and Ethnic Politics in Taiwan

Cheng-Feng Shih

The purpose of this study is to explore the interplay of language policy and ethnic politics in the context of the Native/Mainlander competition in Taiwan.  First of all, languages will be examined as an instrument of group solidarity, be it a national or ethnic one.  Second, we will examine how the seemingly simply selection of a phonetic system of street signs initially embarked upon in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, has evolved into a national controversy involving heated debated within not only the National Language Promotion Committee but also the National Legislature, and eventually led to the disgraceful dismissal of the Minister of Education.  Third, the focus will be on the recent call by some national legislators for the adoption of Hoklo as a second national language in addition to Mandarin. 




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