International Conference on Indigenous Conflict Management Strategies
Indigenous conflict management and resolution strategies—utilizing local actors and traditional community-based judicial and legal decision-making mechanisms to manage and resolve conflicts within or between communities—have not been given sufficient attention. Instead, much of the scholarship has been focused on conventional Western approaches. However, a critical assessment of global conflict trends indicates that since World War II there have been more local (intra-state) conflicts than interstate or global conflicts. This phenomenon supports the view that current conflicts are local rather than global. Indeed, even when considered global, every conflict is local inasmuch as local people suffer the ramifications. Examples of such conflicts abound in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America, etc. Solutions to conflicts must therefore be local for application, relevance and sustainability, and replicated globally in similar situations.
The argument for indigenous approaches may on the surface appear to be a desperate return to the past—nostalgia for the good old days when things are believed to have worked—but a deeper understanding could be found in the fact that conventional Western approaches to conflict resolution throughout the world are yet to be fully embraced. In addition, indigenous approaches give space to conflicts caused by agents of globalization which include nation states and national/global companies farming, mining, or otherwise occupying indigenous land/spaces. Where the conflict involves indigenous v. non-indigenous groups, then traditional approaches would face off against more global entities that might be using “Western” methods. In this regard, what is the place of power disparity in conflict management? Would the parties resort to indigenous approaches as a choice or in desperation? The need to interrogate indigenous mechanisms of conflict management has, therefore, become more imperative.
The conference engages authors/presenters on critical issues in the processes/procedures, cultural imperatives and application of indigenous approaches to conflict management in different parts of the world. Participation in this conference is open to all interested members of the academia, religious authorities, traditional rulers, civil society organizations, officials of political parties and other political activists, professional groups, labor unions, officials of the international organizations, etc.