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The mainstream research and studies on conflict resolution have until now relied in large measure on theories, principles, models, methods, processes, cases, practices and body of literature developed in Western cultures and institutions. However, little or no attention has been given to the systems and processes of conflict resolution that were historically utilized in ancient societies or are currently being used by traditional rulers – kings, queens, chiefs, village heads – and indigenous leaders at the grassroots level and in different parts of the world to mediate and resolve disputes, restore justice and harmony, and foster peaceful coexistence in their various constituencies, communities, regions and countries. Also, a thorough investigation of the syllabi and portfolios of the courses in the field of conflict analysis and resolution, peace and conflict studies, alternative dispute resolution, conflict management studies, and related fields of study confirms the wide spread, but false, assumption that conflict resolution is a Western creation. Although traditional systems of conflict resolution predate the modern theories and practices of conflict resolution, they are almost, if not completely, unavailable in our conflict resolution text books, course syllabi, and public policy discourse.
Even with the establishment of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2000 – an international body mandated by the United Nations to raise awareness about and discuss indigenous issues – and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007 and ratified by member states, no formal discussion has been held at the international level on the traditional systems of conflict resolution and the various roles traditional rulers and indigenous leaders play in preventing, managing, mitigating, mediating or resolving conflicts and promoting a culture of peace both at the grassroots and national levels.
The International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation believes that an international conference on the Traditional Systems of Conflict Resolution is highly needed at this crucial time in world history. The traditional rulers are the custodians of peace at the grassroots level, and for a long time, the international community has ignored them and their wealth of knowledge and wisdom in the areas of conflict resolution and peacebuilding. It is high time we included the traditional rulers and indigenous leaders in the discussion on international peace and security. It is high time we gave them the opportunity to contribute to our overall knowledge of conflict resolution, peacemaking and peacebuilding.
By organizing and hosting an international conference on the traditional systems of conflict resolution, we hope to not only begin a pluri-disciplinary, policy, and legal discussion on the traditional systems of conflict resolution, but most importantly, this international conference will serve as an international forum where researchers, scholars, policy makers and practitioners will have an opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from the traditional rulers from various countries around the world. In turn, the traditional rulers will discover emerging research and best practices presented by scholars and practitioners at the conference. The outcome of the exchange, inquiry and discussion will inform the international community on the roles and importance of the traditional systems of conflict resolution in our contemporary world.
Presentations at this international conference on the traditional systems of conflict resolution will be given by two groups of people. The first group of presenters are the delegates representing the councils of traditional rulers or indigenous leaders from various countries around the world who are invited to share best practices and speak on the roles the traditional rulers play in the peaceful resolution of conflict, promotion of social cohesion, peaceful coexistence and harmony, restorative justice, national security, and sustainable peace and development in their various countries. The second group of presenters are experts, researchers, scholars and policy makers whose accepted abstracts cover a wide range of qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods research studies on the traditional systems of conflict resolution, including, but not limited to, theoretical frameworks, models, cases, practices, historical analyses, comparative studies, sociological studies, policy and legal studies (both national and international), economic studies, cultural and ethnic studies, systems design, and processes of traditional systems of conflict resolution.
Guidelines for Paper Submission
- All abstracts and papers for presentation at the 5th Annual International Conference on Ethnic and Religious Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding must focus on the Traditional Systems of Conflict Resolution. Qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods research studies are accepted. Case studies, lessons learned, success stories and best practices from academics, traditional rulers, indigenous leaders, practitioners, civil society organizations, law enforcement or military, and policymakers are also accepted.
- Proposal for a Panel: Researchers, theorists, and practitioners can submit a joint proposal for a special panel discussion on any topics focusing on the Traditional Systems of Conflict Resolution.
- Papers for presentation must be between 3,500 and 4,000 words, submitted with 300-350 word abstracts, and a biography of no more than 50 words. Authors can send their 300-350 word abstracts before submitting the full paper.
- Abstract Submission Deadline is Friday, June 29, 2018.
- Selected abstracts for presentation notified by Friday, July 6, 2018.
- Full paper submission deadline: Friday, August 31, 2018.
- If English is not your native language, please have a native English speaker review your paper before submission.
- All submissions to the 5th Annual International Conference on Ethnic and Religious Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding must be typed double-spaced in MS Word using Times New Roman, 12 pt.
- Please use the APA Style for your citations and references.
- Please identify a minimum of 4, and a maximum of 7, keywords reflecting the title of your paper.
- Authors should include their names on the cover sheet only for purposes of blind review.
- Authors should also include the title of the paper on each page as well as page numbers for ease of organization and identification.
- Email graphic materials: photo images, diagrams, figures, maps and others as attachment in a jpeg format and indicate by use of numbers preferred placement areas in the manuscript.
- All abstracts, full papers, graphic materials and inquiries should be sent by email to: [email protected]. Please indicate “2018 Annual International Conference” in the subject line.
All abstracts and full papers will be carefully reviewed by a Peer Review Panel and Editorial Board made up of renowned scholars, specialists and practitioners in the fields of ethno-religious conflict and conflict resolution. Each author shall then be notified by email about the outcome of the review process.