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Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
Zagar-Diversity Management
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Zagar-Diversity Management

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  1. DIVERSITY MANAGEMENT AND RECONCILLIATION IN THE BALKANS: Concepts and Realities Outline for the presentation (WEDNESDAY, 22 April 2009) at the IUC, Dubrovnik – course “Divided Societies XII: Building up Polities in the Balkans” (20-26 April 2009) By Mitja Žagar, Institute for Ethnic Studies University of Ljubljana University of Primorska / Littoral
  2. The Context and Concepts <ul><li>Contemporary societies are complex and structured – internally diverse; stratification; network of social networks. </li></ul><ul><li>Reality of and “normal” situation(s) in all contemporary societies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plurality, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diversities, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Asymmetries. </li></ul></ul>
  3. Terminological/conceptual clarification <ul><li>Need to explain the content and definition of terms and concepts that you are using. E.g., PLURALISM/ PLURALITY and DIVERSITY are often used as synonyms – especially in everyday discourse. However, they can also be used to describe different concepts. </li></ul><ul><li>My approach and use: </li></ul><ul><li>PLURALISM = simple fact of (co)existence of different entities within a certain environment; multitude – consequently also the existence of different, sometimes conflicting interests; often understood as merely political pluralism or even just as multi-party (political) system ; </li></ul><ul><li>DIVERSITY = existence of different entities and their interaction; inclusion – in ethnic context based on recognition and respect of differences and concepts of inclusion and integration, multi- and interculturalism (interdependence, cooperation, common interests, etc.) . </li></ul>
  4. Perceptions and interpretations of reality <ul><li>Considering the nature, structure and functioning of contemporary societies, one can expect that in diverse societies numerous and various interests exist simultaneously that (at least in some cases) might result in tensions and provoke crises and conflicts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crises and conflicts as normal state of affairs and phenomena ; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diverse societies need adequate approaches and mechanisms for diversity management and for the prevention, management and resolution of crises and conflicts . </li></ul></ul>
  5. <ul><li>Reality vs. Perception(s) / Myths: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on the myth(s) that the ethnic and cultural homogeneity and uniformity of societies and states should be considered the desired and optimal conditions and arrangements, such perceptions and political strategies are promoted by politicians (particularly nationalists) and educational systems. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These perceptions are being promoted also by the constituent myths that are used to establish and determine various collective identities, particularly ethnic identities – which by promoting homogeneity and unity are mainly exclusive and to a large extent negative (determining differences and borders rather than positive contents). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simultaneous and intertwined formation, development and evolution of the concept and phenomena of modern (ethnic) nations and nation-states; perceptions and confusions; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consequently, the (traditional) concept of a nation-state (a state is a nation) can be presented by the following equation: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>State = nation = people (Hobsbawm) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. (ETHNIC) DIVERSITY AND PERCEPTIONS <ul><li>Myth of symmetrical and internally homogenous nation-states -> THE ROLE OF NATIONALISM </li></ul><ul><li>THIS MYTH CONTRADICTS REALITY </li></ul><ul><li>SYMMETRICAL AND HIERACHICAL SYSTEMS AS POSSIBLE SOURCES OF CONFLICTS IN DIVERSE SOCIETIES </li></ul>
  7. <ul><li>Social reality as process (es) and evolution of social reality : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Territorial/spatial dimensions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Temporal dimension </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social dimensions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(F)actors of social change and diversity: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social actors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Processes and trends: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social, economic and political realities, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mobility and migrations, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Multicultural societies – multiculturalism / interculturalism </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. THE CONCEPT OF POLITY <ul><li>Collective entities that are internally structured and organized as specific political units; internal cohesion (integration) and patterned behavior (which implicates rules, institutions) </li></ul><ul><li>Usually, a set of social and political institutions is required within political processes occur </li></ul><ul><li>Forms of polity – diverse approaches and many perceptions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>State (more precisely: nation-state) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other collective entities </li></ul></ul>
  9. The Concept of Integration <ul><li>(Social) integration is a continuous process of voluntary, equal and full inclusion of all individuals, especially those who are marginalized, such as immigrants, persons belonging to ethnic and/or other minorities or deprived (social) groups, as well diverse distinct communities (as collective entities) into societies where they live. </li></ul><ul><li>The bases of this gradual and continuous process are human rights and the principles of democracy, solidarity, equality and (social) justice. </li></ul>
  10. Diversity Management <ul><li>Diversity management is a set of strategies, policies, concepts and approaches, programs, measures and activities that should ensure equality, equal possibilities, participation and inclusion/integration in all spheres of social, economic and political life (both – public and private life) to all individuals and communities within a society, especially to immigrants, persons belonging to national and other minorities, marginalized individuals and communities as well as all other distinct communities. </li></ul><ul><li>This should be done in a way that would enable preservation, coexistence and development of their specific characteristics, cultures and identities, but also their interaction and equal cooperation , which might result in transformation the existing and development of new cultures and identities. </li></ul>
  11. <ul><li>Consequently measures, programs and activities should be developed and carried out that : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>on the one hand prevent social exclusion, negative stereotypes, discrimination, racism and xenophobia and similar negative phenomena, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>on the other hand stimulate and promote tolerance and equal cooperation and inclusion, intercultural education and better knowledge of existing diversities, voluntary integration based on the recognition and respect of diversities and distinct identities, economic and social development, etc . </li></ul></ul>
  12. Preconditions of successful diversity management <ul><li>FORMAL AND ACTUAL RECOGNITION OF THE EXISTENCE OF PLURALISM AND DIVERSITY </li></ul><ul><li>RECOGNITION THAT CONFLICTS, DERIVING FROM CONFLICTING INTERESTS ARE NORMAL PHENOMENA IN PLURAL SOCIETIES </li></ul><ul><li>RECOGNITION THAT DIVERSITIES NEED TO BE MANAGED, POSSIBLY IN A DEMOCRATIC AND EFFECTIVE WAY THAT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT, ALLOW FOR EXPRESSION, DEVELOP A COMPROMISE (MUTUALLY ACCEPTABLE PROPOSALS), COORDINATE AND ENABLE REALIZATION OF DIVERSE INTERESTS; STRATEGY AND TACTICS; WAYS, PROCEDURES, INSTITUTIONS, MEASURES AND ACTIVITIES TO PREVENT, MANAGE AND RESOLVE A CRISIS AND CONFLICT </li></ul>
  13. <ul><ul><li>Considering the complexity of diversity management its important elements are the management of crises and conflicts ; Traditional approaches to crises and conflicts: management vs. resolution . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New(er) approaches to crises and conflicts : prevention & management & resolution; attempts to make use of all available methods and techniques. However, most approaches focus just on the application of specific methods and techniques in a specific crisis/conflict situation. They fail to address a broader social context that might provoke new crises and conflicts in the future; they do not determine long-term strategies and framework for the prevention, management and resolution of possible future crises and conflicts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diversity management as overarching concepts and approaches. </li></ul></ul>
  14. CRISES AND CONFLICTS <ul><li>TENSIONS ↔ CRISIS ↔ CONFLICT </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An useful analytical tool for the analysis, explaining and understanding the process of conflict the concept of ABC conflict triangle (see, e.g., Galtung) can be used: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attitude </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Δ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Behavior Contradiction </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In this context, the used terms/concepts describe: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Contradiction: conflict of interests (an object of mutual desire, frustration) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Attitude: cooperation, acceptance, hatred </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Behavior: non-violent, violent </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. COPING WITH THE PAST AS A COMPONENT OF DIVERSITY MANAGEMENT <ul><li>The role of the past in the construction and interpretation of the present and of the present (collective as well as individual) identities; constant (re)intepretation and construction of the past and present. </li></ul><ul><li>Those who control the past control and direct the present. </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptance – reconciliation with the past and with the present </li></ul>
  16. Reconstruction and Reconciliation <ul><li>Reconstruction can be defined simply as the rebuilding, reparation and reconstruction of damage caused by military conflicts as materialized in several concrete policies, measures, programs and projects. </li></ul><ul><li>Reconciliation – a very complex process in which key actors present their accounts and views of the past developments and their roles and responsibility in this context. Ideally, individual responsibility for different actions and wrongdoings could be established thereby reducing the social trauma . In my view, if it is to be successful, it should be a permanent process . The term can be used also to describe other processes of reconciling differences (e.g. in parliaments, in political process, in religions). </li></ul>
  17. <ul><li>Reconciliation: The process (formal and informal procedural rules), content, temporal framework (exactly determined period that is included) and institutional framework (formal institutions and their roles) as well as the acceptance of the results should be established and agreed upon in advance . Traditionally, truth or peace committees or similar organizational forms are established – with a different degree of direct involvement of state authorities. </li></ul>
  18. Definition of reconciliation as a process: <ul><li>Reconciliation is a specific process that leads to the commonly acceptable and accepted (re)interpretation of the past, especially of specific shared traumatic past developments. In a way, it is a past oriented and usually painful process of healing that, however, has several present and future oriented goals and impacts. Ideally, it can establish individual responsibility and create the formal basis and conditions for peace, coexistence and cooperation in the present and future, as well as for the necessary social cohesion that enables the elaboration and realization (through cooperation) of common interests. </li></ul>
  19. <ul><li>Reconciliation with the past is a symbolic act, possible only if all relevant parties are willing to participate. Usually, before reconciliation can begin certain necessary preconditions – such as reconstruction, the return of refugees and displaced persons, introduction of the adequate regulation, measures and policies for the protection of minorities, etc. – need to be ensured. </li></ul><ul><li>It is believed that reconciliation should enable normalization, while some even consider it a part of normalization. </li></ul>
  20. Reconciliation = / vs. Normalization <ul><li>CULTURAL CONTEXT of RECONCILIATION -> Christianity and especially Catholicism: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Portrayed as a two way process, reconciliation inherently presupposes certain missionary elements that derive from Christian theologies (considering all differences within Christian religions it is better to use plural in this context) and the concept of forgiveness (on behalf of victims). This is the reason that reconciliation is sometimes described and perceived as an institutional design that rewards the bad guys (perpetrators of wrongdoings). </li></ul></ul>
  21. Reconciliation - cases <ul><li>List of truth and reconciliation commissions : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Argentina </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Canada </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chile </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>El Salvador </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fiji </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ghana </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Guatemala </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Liberia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Morocco </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Panama </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peru </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rwanda </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sierra Leone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solomon Islands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>South Africa </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>South Korea </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>East Timor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>United States </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other cases: Australia, attempts in the Balkans, discussions in other countries </li></ul>
  22. <ul><li>Considering diverse situations, diversities and specific developments, it is necessary to study reconciliation in every Balkan country as a specific case study. </li></ul><ul><li>Common characteristics and similarities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>political will and readiness to start the process of reconciliation in most countries of the region do not exist or are very limited, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>there are no serious attempts to determine and agree upon the content(s), procedures and institutions for the process of reconciliation, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>there is a dispute regarding the actors that should be involved in the process of reconciliation and their roles, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>there is no consensus regarding the desired outcomes and long-term goals of reconciliation. </li></ul></ul>
  23. <ul><li>I would conclude that reconciliation in the region does not exist; it is not even spelled out and accepted as a realistic goal. Much less is it understood as a permanent process that requires acceptance and participation of all relevant actors, who accept reconciliation as the basis for their power-sharing and cooperation in determining and realizing their common interests. </li></ul><ul><li>The international community continues to promote reconciliation in the region. However, it has not spelled out how it understands it. </li></ul><ul><li>Reconciliation has not been promoted as the permanent process that would go on for generations and of which results could be beneficial for the decrease of tensions and conflicts in individual environments as well as for coexistence and cooperation. </li></ul>

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