Louis Kriesberg: Pioneer in Peace and Constructive Conflict Resolution Studies

Volume 1 of the series Pioneers in Arts, Humanities, Science, Engineering, Practice pp 153-177


The Changing State-of-the-Art of the Conflict Transformation Field (2011)

  • Louis KriesbergAffiliated withThe Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration, Syracuse University Email author 

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Conflict transformation as a reality has existed throughout human history, but as a field of study and practice, it emerged only in the early 1990s. The field incorporates some of the core ideas of the contemporary conflict resolution approach, but it focuses attention on large-scale, protracted and destructive conflicts and how they change so they are conducted constructively, in large measure. The term refers both to the processes of transition to relatively non-destructive conduct and to a relationship between adversaries that is regarded as largely non-contentious. In this analysis, I include the actions of adversaries as well as interveners in affecting conflict transformations. Two phases of transformation are of interest here. First is the transition from destructive to constructive contention, often focusing on ending widespread violence. The second phase refers to fashioning an enduring peaceful relationship, including recovering from the destructive conflict.