Preventing group violence : Preventing group violence Ervin Staub
University of Massachusetts at Amherst Slide 2: Best reference for talk: Overcoming evil:Genocide, Violent Conflict and Terrorism. Oxford (November, 2010). See also. www.ervinstaub.com
Since violence, and the psychological and social bases of it evolve: We can identify conditions that indicate the probability of violence, but not what kind of violence it will be.
Understanding the roots of violence is important for prevention. Slide 3: Self interest as motivation Slide 4: Slide 5: Addressing difficult life conditions in
ways that creates community.
Financial security but also belonging
Creating constructive, inclusive ideology
Israel-Palestine: Economic community, help the
whole Middle East Slide 6: Creating alternative, constructive communities, especially for youth
France—microcredit for youth, support by
Sierra Leone, former child soldiers supported by community.
The attraction to radical movements, genocidal or terrorist, or in group conflict, may initially be an expression of desperation by people. However, violence can become a way of life. Slide 7: Conflict, especially moving toward crisis:
The role and obligation of leaders.
(The role of citizen bystanders).
Belgians in Rwanda in 1959 Slide 9: Developing positive orientation toward the “other”
Humanizing the other —through words (Israel/Palestine: some have been working for peace, Rwanda: some have saved lives).
Through gestures. Arafat and Rabin.
Through positive action toward the other. Slide 10: Israel-Palestine. Lot of contact,
but not ongoing, persistent contact
between either populations or leaders.
Lots of mutual derogation,
Persistent contact can develop trust,
which makes it possible to resolve
material, practical issues. Slide 11: Working to create psychological recovery
Engagement with experience in a supportive context--and in community
The right kind of commemoration
. Slide 12: Addressing “chosen” trauma
Creating awareness of its existence
How it affects perceptions of events,
How it enters into the educational
system. Armenians Slide 14: Promoting societal justice through access and capacity building. Helping groups with acculturation. Muslims in Europe (Moroccans in Holland).
Pluralism means two different things:
A wide range of beliefs and values can be expressed in the public domain
Every group has access to the public domain
Psychological changes are often a prerequisite to building good civic institutions, which are essential:
Justice system, schools, police and military.
Without institutions, psychological changes are likely to be ephemeral Slide 15: Reconciliation (even before violence is
an avenue of prevention).
Complex truth, justice, moving toward a shared history. (Newbury on Rwanda).
Each group acknowledging its
in mutual violence. This requires healing by
perpetrators (or both groups in a conflict).
Acceptance of the past?
Some degree of forgiveness of each other over time? Slide 16: Institutions that can facilitate reconciliation and peace
To work on history and collective memory
(stop denial, engage with the past in a
realistic and truthful manner).
On what children are taught in the school about the other
To develop joint projects
serving shared goals.
Joint commissions . Slide 17: Our work in Rwanda (and Burundi and the Congo).
Staub and Pearlman and associates
Workshops and trainings—with varied groups.
Understanding the origins and impact
of group violence
Understanding basic human needs
Soon after the start, also understanding avenues to prevention, healing and reconciliation. Slide 18: Study with three groups:
Treatment (Integrated) group;
Evaluation before, immediately after, and two
months after involvement,
On delayed post-test,
Lower trauma symptoms,
More positive orientation to the other group
Conditional forgiveness. Slide 21: Educational radio projects in Rwanda, Burundi and the Congo.
Radio dramas and other programs.
Staub-Pearlman approach, LaBenevolencija.
Rezarta Bilali, Johanna Vollhardt,
Adin Thayer and others.
Evaluation, Betsy Paluck Slide 22: A variety of effects, including:
Change in the willingness to speak
what one believes.
Changes in behavior. Slide 23: The uses of “understanding.”
Pretraining for conflict resolution,
conflict management and transformation processes—for dialogue and negotiation