Click to Print This Page
Code CONF 511
Term 201701
Title Culture and Conflict
Faculty Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Subject Conf. Analysis Res.(CONF)
SU Credit 3
ECTS Credit 10.00
Instructor(s) Ayse Betul Celik,
Detailed Syllabus
Language of Instruction English
Level of Course Doctoral
Type of Course Click here to view.
(only for SU students)
Mode of Delivery Formal lecture,Interactive lecture
Planned Learning Activities Interactive,Discussion based learning

This course is designated to introduce students to the cultural roots of conflict taking place around the world. We will explore the systematic attempts to understand the relationship of cultural difference and conflict both in theory and in practice. The aim of the course is to integrate international conflict resolution methods and culture as they pertain to different conflict zones. In this course we will study this emerging literature and field of study and practice. We will critically evaluate its usefulness in confronting contemporary global political and humanitarian challenges. Specific attention will be given to such cultural causes as ethnicity, language, race, and gender in the development and resolution of conflict in domestic and international arenas.


This course is designed to introduce students to the analysis of cultural factors -the missing agenda in the study of inter-group, inter- and intra-national conflicts. The overall goal of the course will be to make systematic comparisons of cases where some aspects of culture play an important role in conflict. However, particular cases and political events will also be selected and systematically examined. The course will focus on race, gender, religion, ideology, language, ethnicity and their impact on the interpersonal, inter-group and international conflicts as they shape conflict and means to resolve them. A special attention will be given to how these types of conflicts can be avoided and overcome, and the way cultural and traditional methods can be used in the process.

Learning Outcome

Upon completing this course, students should be able to:
1) develop a knowledge and understanding of the causes and dynamics of cultural conflicts
2) explore culture?s potential impact on conflict resolution theory and the design of conflict resolution processes
3) become familiar with necessary skills to address cultural conflicts

Programme Outcomes
Common Outcomes For All Programs
1 Develop and deepen the current and advanced knowledge in the field with original thought and/or research and come up with innovative definitions based on Master's degree qualifications 5
2 Conceive the interdisciplinary interaction which the field is related with ; come up with original solutions by using knowledge requiring proficiency on analysis, synthesis and assessment of new and complex ideas. 5
3 Evaluate and use new information within the field in a systematic approach. 4
4 Develop an innovative knowledge, method, design and/or practice or adapt an already known knowledge, method, design and/or practice to another field; research, conceive, design, adapt and implement an original subject. 4
5 Critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation of new and complex ideas. 5
6 Gain advanced level skills in the use of research methods in the field of study. 2
7 Contribute the progression in the field by producing an innovative idea, skill, design and/or practice or by adapting an already known idea, skill, design, and/or practice to a different field independently. 2
8 Broaden the borders of the knowledge in the field by producing or interpreting an original work or publishing at least one scientific paper in the field in national and/or international refereed journals. 2
9 Demonstrate leadership in contexts requiring innovative and interdisciplinary problem solving. 4
10 Develop new ideas and methods in the field by using high level mental processes such as creative and critical thinking, problem solving and decision making. 5
11 Investigate and improve social connections and their conducting norms and manage the actions to change them when necessary. 4
12 Defend original views when exchanging ideas in the field with professionals and communicate effectively by showing competence in the field. 5
13 Ability to communicate and discuss orally, in written and visually with peers by using a foreign language at least at a level of European Language Portfolio C1 General Level. 5
14 Contribute to the transition of the community to an information society and its sustainability process by introducing scientific, technological, social or cultural improvements. 5
15 Demonstrate functional interaction by using strategic decision making processes in solving problems encountered in the field. 4
16 Contribute to the solution finding process regarding social, scientific, cultural and ethical problems in the field and support the development of these values. 4
Common Outcomes For All Programs
1 Develop the ability to use critical, analytical, and reflective thinking and reasoning 5
2 Reflect on social and ethical responsibilities in his/her professional life. 5
3 Gain experience and confidence in the dissemination of project/research outputs 5
4 Work responsibly and creatively as an individual or as a member or leader of a team and in multidisciplinary environments. 5
5 Communicate effectively by oral, written, graphical and technological means and have competency in English. 5
6 Independently reach and acquire information, and develop appreciation of the need for continuously learning and updating. 4
1 Design and model engineering systems and processes and solve engineering problems with an innovative approach.
2 Establish experimental setups, conduct experiments and/or simulations.
3 Analytically acquire and interpret data.
Common Outcomes ForFaculty of Arts & Social Sci.
1 Develop a thorough knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in the field and apply them in research design and data analysis. 4
2 Assess the impact of the economic, social, and political environment from a global, national and regional level. 5
3 Know how to access written and visual, primary and secondary sources of information, interpret concepts and data from a variety of sources in developing disciplinary and interdisciplinary analyses. 5
Conflict Analysis and Resolution (with thesis) Program Outcomes Core Electives
1 Analyze current and persistent conflict situations with an emphasis on perceptual and cultural aspects of social conflicts. 5
2 Conduct research in sources of conflicts and possible conflict resolution methods such as negotiation, third-party intervention, cooperative decision making, peace building, track-two and citizens? diplomacy applied to various social contexts. 5
3 Design and implement conflict resolution process to policy issues related to disputes in or among identity groups, governments, organizations, civil society or corporations. 5
4 Develop and sustain arguments in a variety of forms, formulating appropriate questions and utilizing evidence. 5
1 Establish a strong theoretical background in several of a broad range of subjects related to the discipline, such as manufacturing processes, service systems design and operation, production planning and control, modeling and optimization, stochastics, statistics.
2 Develop novel modeling and / or analytical solution strategies for problems in integrated production and service systems involving human capital, materials, information, equipment, and energy, also using an interdisciplinary approach whenever appropriate.
3 Implement solution strategies on a computer platform for decision-support purposes by employing effective computational and experimental tools.
4 Acquire skills to independently explore and tackle problems related to the discipline that were not encountered previously. Develop appropriate modeling, solution, implementation strategies, and assess the quality of the outcome.
1 Demonstrate an understanding of the different approaches, concepts, and theoretical legacies in the interdisciplinary field of Cultural Studies.
2 Identify interconnections of knowledge within and across the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, literature, visual studies, philosophy, and psychology.
3 Demonstrate an understanding of the multiple methodologies used in cultural analysis; in particular, ethnographic fieldwork, participant-observation, interviewing, oral history, focus group discussions, textual criticism, and visual analysis
4 Cultivate a critical approach to the study of culture, articulating the relations between culture, power, and history; exploring cultural diversity and socio-cultural change at the local, national and global level; and exploring the corresponding demands for rights and social justice.
5 Be able to conduct original research and develop sound analysis of phenomena in the realm of cultural production, consumption, and representation; develop and present advanced oral and written evaluations of one's research and arguments.
1 Apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering in computer science and engineering related problems.
2 Display knowledge of contemporary issues in computer science and engineering and apply to a particular problem.
3 Demonstrate the use of results from interpreted data to improve the quality of research or a product in computer science and engineering.
Assessment Methods and Criteria
  Percentage (%)
Final 40
Participation 10
Written Report 40
Presentation 10
Recommended or Required Reading

1- INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION, ROLE OF CULTURE IN CR AND INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION: Introduction to the concepts and different perspectives in approaching conflict. Why do conflicts occur? Can they be constructive? How to study culture? Why is culture an important factor in conflict formation and resolution?
?Conflict, Culture, and the Cross-Cultural Method?, Marc Howard Ross (1993). The Culture of Conflict: Interpretations and Interests in Comparative Perspective. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 15-32.
?Intercultural Conflict?, Stella Ting-Toomey & John G. Oetzel. Managing Intercultural Conflict Effectively, London: Sage Publications, 2001, pp.1-26.
Christopher Moore and Peter Woodrow, ?Mapping Cultures: Strategies for Effective Intercultural Conflict Resolution,? in John Davies and Edward Kaufman (eds.) (2002). Second Track Citizens? Diplomacy: Concepts and Techniques for Conflict Transformation. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, pp. 149-160.
Chew (ed.) Chapter 1 ?Conflict Resolution in Intercultural Settings?
?Culture? Kevin Avruch (1998). Culture and Conflict Resolution, Kevin Avruch, Washington, D.C.: USIP Press.

How do cultural differences add into interpersonal conflict? Are there possible ?exit? techniques?
?Managing differences in conflict resolution: the role of relational empathy,? Benjamin J. Broome, in Dennis Sandole and Hugo Van Der Merwe (eds.) (1994), Conflict resolution Theory and Practice, Manchester University Press, pp. 97-111.
Chew (Ed.) Ch.32 ?The Power of Not Understanding?
"Who Do You Say We Are?" Celia Cook-Huffman (2000) in Patrick G. Coy and Lynne M. Woehrle (eds.) Social Conflict and Collective Identities, Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc, pp.115-132.

?Introduction: Collective Identities and the Development of Conflict Analysis,? in Patrick G. Coy and Lynne M. Woehrle (eds.) (2000), Social Conflict and Collective Identities, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., pp. 1-15.
?Introduction,? in Amin Maalouf (2000), In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong. New York: Penguin Books.
?Inter-group Relations Approach?, Mohammed Abu-Nimer (1999) Dialogue, Conflict Resolution, and Change: Arab-Jewish Encounters in Israel New York: State University of New York Press, pp.1-9.

How should we study inter-group disputes? What are the theories explaining inter-group conflict? How can they be avoided and overcome?
?The Communicative Aspects of Doing Bussiness in Japan,? Edwin R. McDaniel and Steve Quasha, in Larry A. Samovar and Richard E. Porter (eds.) (2000). Intercultural Communication: A Reader, Wadsworth, 324-333.
?Contrasts in Discussion Behaviors of German and American Managers,?Robert Friday, in Larry A. Samovar and Richard E. Porter (eds.) (2000). Intercultural Communication: A Reader, Wadsworth, 312-323.
Chew Ch. 9 ?Toward a Theory of Conflict and Culture?
Chew Ch. 10 ?Multimethod Probes of Individualism and Collectivism?
?A Dualistic Model of Harmony and Its Implications for Conflict Management in Asia,? Kwok Leung, Pamela Tremain Koch and Lin Lu (2002). Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 19: 201-220.

How do ethnicity, nationalism and racism cause conflict? How do nationalist ideologies affect inter-group relations? Can these conflicts be overcome?
?Toward Ethnorelativism: A Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity,? Milton J. Bennett (1993) in R. Michael Paige (ed.) Education for the Intercultural Experience Yarmouth, Me: Intercultural Press, pp. 21-71.
?Why do People Sacrifice for Their Nations??, Paul C. Stern (1995) in John Comoroff and Paul C. Stern (eds.) Perspectives on Nationalism and War, Luxembourg: Gordon and Breach Publishers, pp.99-121.
?Chosen Trauma, the Political Ideology of Entitlement and Violence,? Vam?k D. Volkan, Berlin 2004 Meeting.
Chew (ed.) Chs. 20 ?Conflict Resolution, Cultural Differences, and the Culture of Racism?
Chew (ed.) Ch. 22 ?Use and Abuse of Race and Culture?

How do gender and sexual difference cause conflict? Does gender act as a force in world affairs? Can gender differences make a change in conflict prevention and management? What is the role of gender and sexual orientation in social conflicts?
Chew (ed.) Ch. 11 ? The Necessity of Seeing Gender in Conflict?
?Gender and Nonverbal Communication,? Deborah Borisoff and Lisa Merrill, in Larry A. Samovar and Richard E. Porter (eds.) (2000). Intercultural Communication: A Reader, Wadsworth, 287-296.
?Gender Role, Organizational Status, and Conflict Management Styles,? Neil Brewer, Patricia Mitchell & Nathan Weber (2002). The International Journal of Conflict Management. 13 (1): 78-94.
?No Permission to Cross: Cypriot Women?s Dialogue Across the Divide,? Maria Hadjipavlou, Gender, Place and Culture, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 329?351, August 2006

Tensions based on religious differences. Is religion the only determinant? What are the religious sources of conflict resolution? What are the ?civilizational? roots of conflicts? Over what values do the civilizations fight? Was Huntington right?
?The Clash of Civilizations?? Samuel Hungtinton (1993). Foreign Affairs, Vol. 72, n.3, Summer 1993, 22-50. (
?Religion, Politics and International Relations: The rise of Religion and the Fall of Civilization paradigm as Explanations for Intra-State Conflict,? Jonathan Fox (2007). Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol. 20, No.3, 361-382.
?Religious Fundamentalism and the Extreme Right-Wing Camp in Israel,? S. Bermanis, D. Canetti-Nisim and A. Pedahzur (2004). Patterns of Prejudice. Vol. 38, No.2, 159-176.

?Forgiveness as an Element of Conflict Resolution in Religious Cultures? Marc Gopin (2001) in Mohammed Abu-Nimer (ed.) Reconciliation, Justice, and Coexistence: Theory and Practice Lanham, Boulder, New York, Oxford: Lanham, Boulder, New York, London: Lexington Books, pp 87-99.
?Religion, Violence ad the Islamic Tradition of Nonviolence,? S. Ayse Kaday?fc?-Orellana (2003). The Turkish Yearbook of International Relations, No.34, 23-62.
?Religion as a Basis for Dialogue in Peace Education Programs,? Yaacov Boaz Yablon (2010). Cambridge Journal of Education. Vol. 40, No.4, 341-351.
?Interfaith Dialogue: Assessing Theories of Change,? Reina C. Neufeldt (2011). Peace & Change. Vol. 36, No.3, 344-372.

9 - CULTURE IN INTER-NATIONAL CONFLICTS- NEGOTIATION : Why has culture been understudied in the international relations and international disputes? What are the cultural sources of conflict among nations? How does the perception of ?the other? change over time, and what is the role of cultural differences in shaping this change? What can be negotiable (and what cannot be)?
?Image, Identity, and the Resolution of Violent Conflict,? Janice Gross Stein (2001) in A. Chester Crocker, Fen Osler Hampson and Pamela Aall (ed.s) Turbulent Peace: The Challenge of Managing International Conflict Washington D.C. United States Institute of Peace Press, pp. 189-208.
?What is Negotiable?? Raymond Cohen (1997) Negotiation across Cultures Washington D.C. Institute of Peace Press, pp. 45-66.
?Human Rights and Human Dignity: An Analytic Critique of Non-Western Conceptions of Human Rights,? Jack Donnely (1982). American Political Science Review, Vol. 76, Issue 2, pp. 303-314.
?A Skeptic?s View,? William Zartman (1993) in Guy Olivier Faure and Jeffrey Z. Rubin (eds.) Culture and Negotiation. Newbury Park: Sage, pp.17-21.
?An Advocate?s View,? Raymond Cohen (1993) in Guy Olivier Faure and Jeffrey Z. Rubin (eds.) Culture and Negotiation. Newbury Park: Sage, pp.22-37.

10 - CULTURE IN THIRD PARTY INTERVENTIONS: How does culture affect mediation styles? What are the cultural barriers in resolving conflicts for third parties?
?Culture and International Mediation: Exploring Theoretical and Empirical Linkages?, Jacob Bercovicth and Ole Elgstrom (2001) International Negotiation 6 pp. 3-23.
?Cultural aspects of Peacekeeping: Notes on the Substance of Symbols,? Robert A. Rubenstein Millennium, Winter 1993, 22 (3): 547-562.
?Discourses of Culture in Conflict Resolution,? Kevin Avruch (2000) Culture and Conflict Resolution Washington D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press
Salmon, Elizabeth D. and Gelfand, Michele J. and Celik, Ayse Betul and Kraus, Sarit and Wilkenfeld, Jonathan and Inman, Molly, (2013) ?Cultural contingencies of mediation: effectiveness of mediator styles in intercultural disputes?, Journal of Organizational Behavior (Sl), Vol.34, No.6, 887-909.

11- INDIGENOUS CONFLICT RESOLUTION METHODS: Can we make us of indigenous methods? Is there only one conflict resolution method? Challenges to ?Western? conflict resolution methods.
?A Community of Interests: Semai Conflict Resolution,? Clayton A. Robarchek (1997) in A. Chester Crocker, Fen Osler Hampson and Pamela Aall (ed.s) Turbulent Peace: The Challenge of Managing International Conflict Washington D.C. United States Institute of Peace Press, pp. 51-58 .
?Traditional Conflict Management in Africa and China,? Guy Olivier Faure (2000) in I. William Zartman (ed.) Traditional Cures for Modern Conflicts Boulder, London: Lynne Reinner Publishers, pp. 153-165.
?The Cairo Stories: Some Reflections on Conflict Resolution in Egypt,? John S. Murray (1997). Negotiation Journal 39-60.
Chew (ed.) Ch. 26 ?To Set Right: Ho?oponopono, a Native Hawaian Way of Peacemaking?
Chew (ed.) Ch. 30 ?Conflict Resolution Approaches: Western and Middle Eastern Lessons and Possibilities?

12- CONCLUSION: How can we reduce conflict by resorting to what ?culture? teaches us? Conflict resolution in the absence of culture
?The Eight Essential Steps to Conflict Resolution? Dudley Weeks (2002) in Krishna Mallick & Doris Hunter (eds.) An Anthology of Nonviolence: Historical and Contemporary Voices. London: Greenwood Press.
?Changing Forms of Coexistence,? Louis Kriesberg (2001) in Mohammed Abu-Nimer (ed.) Reconciliation, Justice and Coexistence: Theory and Practice Lanham, Boulder, New York, Oxford: Lexington Books
Chew (ed.) Ch. 28 ?Conflict Resolution Among Peaceful Societies?
?Language and Conflict Resolution: The Limits of English,? Raymond Cohen, International Studies Review 3(1):25-51, 2001.

Course Web