Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Conflict Analysis & Resolution


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

First Advisor

Dustin Berna

Second Advisor

Jason Campbell

Third Advisor

Neil Katz


Artists have involved with their different styles and approaches to help resolving conflicts all over the world. They help in raising awareness of different conflicts through their activities that engage people with art. The creative elements of the art also help in exploring various means of conflict resolution and problem solving (Lumsden, 1997). This study examines the role of artist in society in the framework of conflict resolution and peacemaking. A qualitative research method is used in this research, which in result provides a better understanding of the work of Middle Eastern artists. The research includes in-depth interviews with two artists from the Gulf countries: Abbas Almosawi; a Bahraini artist, and Abdulnasser Gharem; a Saudi artist. The focus of this research is to identify the roles that artists play in society with respect to conflict resolution and peacemaking. Through utilizing a thematic analysis method to analyze the data, the finding identified six roles the artist plays in the society: 1) Observation. 2) Identifying problems. 3) reflection. 4) Partnering with NGO’s. 5) Leadership. 6) Influence. The research is also an attempt to shed the light on aspects that can help conflict resolution practitioners to apply the arts for their benefits and increase the effectiveness of their work. The research includes examples of art activities as well as artworks from various artists from the Middle East that show the level of involvement of art in conflict resolution and peacemaking.

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