The issue of cultural variation in conflict mediation has attracted considerable interest, probably because of wide-ranging theoretical, methodological, and ethical implications. Scholars are raising increasing questions about both generic theories of the mediation process and past conceptualizations of the culture construct. This article reviews theoretical perspectives on culture and conflict mediation and discusses them in relation to fieldwork conducted in the Gambia among three ethnolinguistic groups. Some local and cross-cultural patterns in the mediation process were found. These patterns are associated with variables such as ethnicity, gender, and social status. However, comparative analysis on the individual level revealed considerable diversity in praxis, suggesting that cross-cultural studies should go beyond descriptions of group tendencies. Indeed, the amount of variation in the data implies a need to reconsider aspects of prevailing approaches to conflict mediation. The conclusion includes recommendations for further theory development and research on this vital topic.
conflict mediation, cultural variation, ethnolinguistic groups, mediation process, Republic of The Gambia
"Conflict Mediation and Culture: Lessons from the Gambia,"
Peace and Conflict Studies: Vol. 13:
1, Article 2.
Available at: https://nsuworks.nova.edu/pcs/vol13/iss1/2