For those working toward long-term conflict transformation and atrocity prevention, cases of so-called “intractable conflict” are an enduring source of frustration, continually resisting what seems to be an otherwise useful toolbox of "lessons learnt" and "best practices." Referring to these cases as intractable, however, only serves to naturalize their intractability, rendering it an essential and immutable quality of the conflicts, and thus foreclosing options for engagement and prevention. Moreover, it obscures interventions that may have already emerged from within these conflicts that are transforming the way they play out. This article suggests, instead, to perceive these cases as scenarios of intractability: embodied scripts that shape the speech and actions that seem possible within a given context. Analyzing these conflicts as scenarios allows us to attend to the spoken and unspoken, the discursive and the embodied, ways in which identity-based division manifests in each context. This article explains this concept before outlining some mitigating interventions that have emerged within these scenarios to transform the way these conflicts play out, mitigating the risk factors associated with mass atrocity violence in the process.
"Scenarios of Intractability: Reframing Intractable Conflict and Its Transformation,"
Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal:
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usf.edu/gsp/vol13/iss3/6
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