Locked in our worldview communities and polarised through increasingly radical campaigning, we are anxious of today's great uncertainty and our politicians have little incentive to reach across party lines. The problem of social division is real. The Brexit vote led to the highest spike in hate crimes in Britain ever recorded and heated situations like the far-right rally in Charlottesville, USA are increasingly boiling over.
Overcoming Social Division is not another book about dying democracies, because horror scenarios don't make you act. Instead, it is an optimistic response on what can be done, and about how we can coexist in fragmented and polarised societies. Anatol Valerian Itten explains how public conflict resolution, civic fusion and mediative decision making help us re-learn the ability to find common ground on controversial issues with our fellow citizens, whom we tend to assume believe more extreme things than they really do.
This book takes the reader through empirical key factors, obstacles and blind spots and provides helpful guidelines for everyone interested in mitigating social division and resolving conflicts. The author's insights are based on his experience in conflict management, a study of dozens of public conflict resolution cases and surprising stories of over twenty interviewed mediators. Overcoming social division can be a strenuous task. But talking to our enemies is necessary if we don't want to end up in dysfunctional democracies, and it can be a more rewarding experience than we might think.
This is a fascinating read for students and academics interested in conflict resolution and public participation from psychology, social sciences, law, and related disciplines. It is also a unique resource for professionals including officials, mediators, lawyers and other practitioners dealing with conflict and public participation. 2 Line drawings, black and white; 14 Tables, black and white; 2 Illustrations, black and white