Cultivating Dialogue: From Fragmentation to Relationality in Conflict Interaction

Ran Kuttner

Creighton University School of Law – Werner Institute

February 20, 2012

Negotiation Journal, Vol. 28, 2012


This article follows the tendency in recent decades in the ADR field to understand conflict and its transformation from a relational perspective. It offers a survey of developments in twentieth century philosophy that support the ongoing quest to explore the self in ADR from a relational perspective. It then shows how the concept of dialogue provides a framework for understanding conflict transformation from a relational perspective, by exploring the relational foundations of dialogue. It also draws a connection between the growing interest in using Mindfulness practices in conflict settings and the practice of dialogue, suggesting that Buddhist philosophy and practices can help cultivate relational awareness and dialogue if tied to the philosophical underpinning of the Buddhist worldview. The paper therefore suggests that incorporation of the concept of dialogue and the exploration of its relational characteristics can assist ADR scholars in developing further practices that can assist transforming an adversarial and fragmented mindset into a relational mindset and collaboration.

Cultivating Dialogue- From Fragmentation to Relationality in Conflict Interaction

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