McCormack Speaks

December 26, 2017
by McCormack Speaks
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Conflict Resolution Professor Publishes Book on Youth Encounter Programs in Israel

sketch of a peace doveRoss conducted more than 100 interviews with former participants and program staff and spent more than 200 hours observing their programming in order to understand the structure and pedagogical approaches of each organization. She also analyzed the impact of the youth meetings in terms of the depth of changes in their belief systems and their continued social change engagement.“Looking at impact in terms of continued engagement in significant in two ways,” writes Ross. “First, it shifts the discussion from an internal focus to one emphasizing externally oriented initiatives. Moreover, looking at impact in terms of social change engagement enables us to see how programs that aim to transform individuals can link to societal-level shifts.”Decades after the Oslo Accords, alienation and distrust has grown between Jews and Palestinians in Israel, and grassroots groups struggle to find funding to continue their important work to shape participants’ national identity, vision of social change, and motivation to continue to work toward the transformation of Israeli society.

Yet Karen Ross’ investigation and findings on how individual transformation can lead to larger-scale societal change provide not only new insights to conflict resolution methodology and practice but also bring renewed hope for the possibility of Jewish-Palestinian partnership. Continue reading.

 

December 22, 2016
by McCormack Speaks
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Assessing Cross Cultural Encounters: Rethinking Impact

by Karen Ross, Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance

resolutionWhether in the form of joint sports teams or theater troupes, cross cultural study abroad experiences, or intensive weekend dialogue sessions, programs designed to bring together youth across conflict lines offer a unique platform for fostering communication and understanding. But how do you measure the impact of these programs? In contexts of ongoing, sometimes violent conflict, how can you assess whether programs bringing together teenagers barely old enough to vote are able to make a difference in the big picture of the conflict? Continue Reading →

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