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Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Urszula Strawinska-Zanko

Abstract

The study is a survey research with a focus on the perceptions of the two conflicting parties in the Dagbon chieftaincy conflict in Ghana; the Abudu, and the Andani royal families on the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve and transform the Dagbon chieftaincy conflict in Ghana. The conflict is over the rightful heir to the Yendi throne (skin) and it has persisted for more than five decades in Ghana’s post-independence history. All attempts to amicably resolve and transform the conflict through government established committees and commissions of inquiry, rulings by the law courts, and interventions by state and non-state institutions and actors have failed to yield any positive results. An alternative conflict settlement approach is therefore required to resolve and transform the conflict. ADR which is an approach employed by two or more parties in the settlement of conflicts and disputes other than the judicial court system is perceived to be an option. Historically, the traditional practice of ADR dates back to the pre-colonial era in Africa including Ghana. However, Ghana formally introduced ADR by promulgating the ADR Act (Act 798) in 2010. Three significant theories, namely; ripeness theory, Hobbes’ inherency theory and the group identity theory have been used to explain the study. Existing literature has been systematically reviewed. Primary data was gathered with a questionnaire. The data was then scientifically examined, analyzed, and interpreted. The findings are that respondents are very much aware of the existence of the conflict and its effects. The general perception is that, the ADR method when employed could result in an amicable resolution and transformation of the Dagbon conflict in Ghana. The research contributes to emerging literature on the relevance of Alternative Dispute Resolution and its success in the resolution of conflicts and disputes.

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