November 30, 2020

"The alternative to the culture of violence must be based on trust" – The Province

The PROVINCE Club hosts the presentation of the book 'Conflicts and Mediation in plural contexts of coexistence', today, at 8:00 p.m., coordinated by Isabel Lujn, director of the Mediation, Conflict Resolution, Intervention and Family Preservation Service of the ULPGC, accompanied by the rector, Rafael Robaina.

Where does the idea of ​​writing this book come from?

While we were planning the second Atlantic Tricontinental Congress held at the ULPGC, in collaboration with the European Group of Mediation Magistrates (GEMME) and the University of La Laguna, in which relevant and well-known figures participated, both nationally and internationally within the world of conflict and mediation, we had the idea of ​​collecting their valuable knowledge and contributions in a work. We believe that it would be an honor for the ULPGC to have a book of these characteristics among its publications, which is why it is necessary to build bridges of rapprochement and understanding between people.

Who would you highlight from the collaborators?

Although some are better known than others or have more popularity, for me all the people who participate are valuable, since each one has its specialty among the different contexts and situations that are addressed in the book. It is a sharing in which the different professionals reflect on the goals and values ​​of their activity and analyze the challenges that mediation and coexistence studies have open.

Does this work offer any innovation about mediation as an intervention resource for effective conflict management?

There is no doubt that we are in a world in constant change, where conflicting interests arise, new needs arise and the solutions that were once proposed are not as valid or effective today, so we have to provide new perspectives. Each context needs an open and flexible positioning in the face of new changes and new structures.

But does it collect reflections and experiences that serve the reader to resolve their conflicts and mediate in different contexts?

The entire book is full of reflections and experiences on the diversity of fields addressed. Above all, mediation scholars will be able to find keys to conflict resolution forms and the effectiveness of the use of mediation in different contexts.

How would you define this work?

As a book that speaks of coexistence and the culture of peace as a purpose and of mediation as an instrument that bets on democratic coexistence and social cohesion. A work that defends the cooperative dialogue and the force of the word against the existence and hostility where it is hardly spoken and discussed. An essay that encourages participation in decision-making about life, which promotes active respect, where interest in the other and his world is shown, the opposite is accepted and although identities are not shared, they are respected. A book that talks about facilitating dialogue and deliberation in contexts with different identities helps coexistence, because the recognition of the other, their knowledge, value and respect as essential elements of human dignity is valued.

What is conflictology?

It is the science of conflict, an innovative and successful scientific-professional activity that aims to address the conflict in a non-violent way, It is a term driven by the author of the prologue of our book, Eduard Vinyamata, who notes that his goal is for immersed people in a conflict they transform their vision of the problem with the purpose that, by themselves, they recover the dialogue and generate proposals that favor respectful environments, of mutual help so that their relations are more harmonious.

Is it a scientific discipline?

Without a doubt, since it focuses on the rigorous study for the understanding of conflicts, and also, to contribute knowledge and methods to address the conflict, it seeks the origin and the causes that generate it from a holistic global perspective and not simplifying. It is endorsed both by a set of scientific knowledge and by a cast of scientifically proven theories. But it does not do it only at a theoretical level but it has technical capabilities of practical application with the use of strategies and tactics that help people in conflict find the best solution for themselves and reach favorable and beneficial agreements for both parties. Its resources are conciliation, negotiation and especially mediation, a proven tool for developing values, attitudes and behaviors associated with the culture of peace and nonviolence.

If it is one of the oldest trades of humanity, how is it that little is known?

It is not that it is not known, but that we have moved more through the culture of litigation in order to achieve victory over the one who disagrees. That is why it is necessary to develop new references that allow us to address the conflict in a non-aggressive or violent way. It is essential to find a space where our "relationship" with problems and controversies is more fluid so that, by the hand of experts, we can develop creative and comprehensive proposals for peaceful resolution.

Would we live in a better world if mediation were applied more?

There is no doubt. The alternative to the culture of violence must be based on trust, dialogue, empathy, the ability to understand, balance of power and proper conflict management to achieve an adequate personal and social adjustment that allows a harmonious coexistence and Peacemaker As I indicated in the presentation of the book, it is necessary that interpersonal relationships be a meeting in which one passes from a negative and exclusive vision of the other where the "you or I" prevails to a positive, integrative and cooperative vision of "you and I ", in which authentic dialogue is appreciated as a way to manage and resolve conflicts and in which there is an active respect for the ideas of others.

Can it be said that the message of the great philosophers and prophets has distinguished itself by contributing ideas to overcome conflicts with oneself and others?

In all cultures and eras there has been a concern to understand the origins, causes and consequences of conflicts. Although some philosophers and prophets have focused more on interpersonal, social conflicts and the elements that trigger and configure them as aggressiveness, the desire for power or fear, and others have focused on intrapersonal conflicts, all have insisted on their resolution for the well-being of living in peace with oneself and with others.

Does the book provide methods to manage tensions and hostilities in family and work relationships?

Conflict management methods are analyzed not only in the family and work environment, but also in healthcare, criminal mediation, school, intercultural, intra-university, maritime and air, in economic, financial, etc. There is also a very interesting reflection on the importance of modeling when it comes to resolving conflicts and the value of research in mediation and coexistence to advance in the consolidation of this scientific discipline.

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