by the phenomenologist Alfred Schütz. His view erects
non-biological foundations for human existence and, thereby, challenges
the Burtonian biological account. It provides us also with conceptual
tools which can be employed to give the problem-solving workshop a
In order to understand the philosophical context of
phenomenology a short study of its general features is
This book is a critical study of John Burton's work, which outlines an alternative framework for the study of international conflict, and re-examines conflict resolution. It argues that culture has a constitutive role in international conflict and conflict resolution. The book provides an overview of the mediation literature in order to locate problem-solving workshop conflict resolution within the context of peaceful third-party involvement. It analyses human needs thinking and examines the similarities between it and Burton's thinking. The book also examines the logic of Burton's argument by means of metaphor analysis, by analysing the metaphors which can be found in his human needs theory. It studies further Burton's views of action and rationality, and moves into phenomenology and social constructionism. The book takes as its starting-point a totalist theory of international conflict resolution, namely Burton's sociobiologically-oriented conflict theory, and demonstrates the logic of argument and the denial of culture underlying his problem-solving theory. It explains the dimensions of the social world in order to lay a foundation for the study of conflict and conflict resolution from the social constructionist perspective. The book presents a phenomenological understanding of conflict and problem-solving conflict resolution. Finally, it argues that problem-solving workshop conflict resolution can be best understood as an attempt to find a shared reality between the parties in conflict.
J. Burton, Resolving Deep-rooted Conflict: A
Handbook (London and New York, University Press of America,
1987), p. 27.
This section is based on an application of H.
Dreyfus and S. Dreyfus, ‘Towards a Phenomenology of Ethical
Expertise’, Human Studies , 14: 4 (1991), 229-50. Only
The problématique of culture in international conflict analysis
resolution in general, and problem-solving conflict resolution in
particular. In other words, it aims at providing an alternative language
for the study of conflict resolution. Alfred Schutz’s
phenomenology and social constructionist theories of human
‘being’ are employed in order both to criticise
Burton’s views of human nature and to establish a conceptual
framework which does not arise from human needs
facilitator is crucial to
bridge these two models: he or she, as a purified mind, transfers the
parties from the first, cost-benefit, to the second, discursive,
The next chapter of the book moves into phenomenology.
The aim is through sociological phenomenology to emphasise discursive
and hermeneutical elements of problem-solving workshop conflict
resolution. By employing a