Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


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

First Advisor

Claire M. Rice

Second Advisor

Alexia Georgakopolous

Third Advisor

Jason Campbell


Conflict Analysis, Ethnography, Hawaiian Kingdom, Phenomenology, Queen Liliuokalani, The Third Side


Can a force that escalates conflict, deescalate conflict? Historically, religion has been a force that divides and unites. While most academic research has focused on the horror of religious wars, William Ury’s concept of the Third Side offers an alternate lens. The sovereignty conflict in Hawaii is rooted in a religious narrative meeting this criterion. The purpose of this research was to investigate how the Hawaiian Kingdom Nationals view the role that religion played in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom; and concurrently, how they perceive the role that religion played in reconciling their struggles. To understand how this force harmed and healed the Hawaiian Kingdom Nationals, a mixed method approach of ethnography and transcendental phenomenological was applied. Snowball sampling was used to identify each participant. Subsequently, the primary data were collected through interviews, observations, field notes and Queen Lili‘uokalani’s memoirs. Afterwards, the data were analyzed by implementing a descriptive phenomenological thematic structure revealing four emerging themes: the Lokahi Triangle, Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, Peacemakers and the Hawaiian Kingdom Still Lives. Finally, these four evolving units illuminate the essence of each Hawaiian Kingdom National’s lived experience: There is a diamond in the Pacific, the aloha state, but it is not in a state of aloha. A storm of betrayal sent a tsunami of shockwaves through time leaving damaged souls in its wake. Yet amid the tumult a Queen’s prayer echoes in the wind. Her legacy is humility and forgiveness for all. In Paradise transformed, the aloha spirit blows in with the island breeze calming the raging seas of injustice.

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