This chapter clarifies the role of relevance structures, typifications, language and discursive rationality in conflict and conflict resolution processes. Problem-solving workshop conflict resolution forms a framework for mutual cultural adaptation. The participants need to find a 'scheme of translation' to produce ways to understand each other and to create a shared reality. Since the problem-solving workshop offers a context for mutual adaptation, it needs to be studied how typifications change in that context. Face-to-face interaction between the conflicting parties is one of the core ideas on which most of the problem-solving conflict resolution approaches rely. Discursive rationality is fundamental in the context of problem-solving conflict resolution, because it contributes to the prevention of the further breakdown of 'sociality' and facilitates the finding of a shared language game. Since the workshop is an encounter where mutual cultural adaptation can take place, problem-solving workshop conflict resolution consists of discursive possibilities.
This introductory chapter discusses the theme of this volume, which is about the connection between the United Nations' (UN) evolving approach to intra-state conflicts and the value system of the international community. This study takes issue with the relatively reductionist explanations of what the UN is and how it relates to peace and security. It explores the interest-norm complexes within which the cases in the Congo, Cyprus, Angola, and Cambodia were handled by the UN. This volume shows how relevant actors' normative preferences were resolved in specific peacekeeping environments where the UN was especially active in addressing intra-state conflicts.