Newsletter Nr. 3 (November 2004, subsequent to our 4th Conference, our 2004 NY Workshop)

By Evelin Lindner, New York, November 2004


•  Thanks!
•  What our Workshop Attempted to Achieve
•  The Difference Between Our Paris Conference and Our NY Workshop
•  Rationale, Methodology, and Frame of our NY Workshop
•  How Our Workshop Unfolded:
•  First Roundtable
•  Second Roundtable
•  Public Reception and Business Discussion
•  Third Roundtable
•  Open Space Session
•  Final Papers
•  Preliminary Papers/Notes
•  Relationships
•  Next Conferences
•  Welcome Again




Dear Participants of our 2004 Workshop on Humiliation and Violent Conflict in New York, November 18-19!

Dear Friends!




May I express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to all of you who joined our Workshop on Humiliation and Violent Conflict in New York in 2004! You ALL made our workshop a unique and extremely exiting experience! As after our Paris conference in September, I felt as if I went through a hurricane, so many creative contributions 'swirled' through our workshop! Please see here some pictures of the workshop and other pictures with Morton Deutsch!

Our workshop was a closed meeting. We could have had many more participants and unfortunately had to say 'no' to many of you who wrote to us and wished to participate. We would like to express our regret to all of you who did not have the chance to participate. We will try to broaden our activities (and resources!) in the future! Please bear with us and give us your support so that we can grow in a constructive way!

I would like to thank our host, the Columbia University's Conflict Resolution Network (CU-CRN), with special help from SIPA – Center for International Conflict Resolution, Columbia University (CICR) and the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR).

Please let me express special thanks to Alba Taveras, Melissa Sweeney, Judit Révész, and Andrea Bartoli, Peter Coleman and Morton Deutsch! Warm thanks also to Rebecca Klein for diligently taking notes during the entire workshop, to Linda Hartling and Donald Klein for setting the frame of appreciative inquiry, Beth Fisher-Yoshida, Linda Hartling, Carlos E. Sluzki, and Donald Klein for being moderators, to Alan Klein for leading our Open Space Session, and to Steve Perry Flythe and Craig Dorsi for filming.

The Research Workshop was made possible by a generous contribution from the Slifka Foundation, and we wish to express our warm gratitude.


What Our Workshop Attempted to Achieve

As you all know, our conferences and workshops are very innovative in that they attempt to build bridges and open new horizons. We wish to make research relevant for practice and vice versa. Bridge-building and opening-new-horizons is difficult, by definition, and requires all of us to learn how to 'walk the talk'. What is wasted time for some of us, is the most interesting part of the conference for others, and the other way round. While some wish to concentrate on academic debate, others wish to build the value base of our network or the organizational structure of our group. We all need to stretch ourselves. And, even if this is difficult, it is necessary, we believe. People are often compartmentalized in isolated realms, for example in academic disciplines (literally 'disciplining' their members), or in academics and practitioners. Often different languages are spoken to an extent that we do not learn from each other. We wish to make all aware that turfs, though often staunchly defended, may at times also stultify potential mutual fertilization. Academics would be surprised, for example, if they knew how much research is carried out by practitioners, and how much they could indeed learn from practitioners. We would like to invite both – academics and practitioners – into something of a Third Room where we meet as equals who wish to jointly draw maximum use of the efforts we all invest.


The Difference Between Our Paris Conference and Our NY Workshop

In our conference in Paris we gathered our Core Team as well as people interested to be more involved in the work of our group. Most of our participants had taken an interest in the notion of humiliation prior to the conference and had included a focus on dignity (versus humiliation) in their research, educational activities, and interventions. In many ways, our Paris conference was a more 'inner' group conference than our NY workshop. Our next year's conference will take place in Berlin, Germany, September 15-17, 2005, and will be organized by Eric van Grasdorff, and Véronique Lingfeld.

To our NY workshop, we invited eminent scholars and practitioners, many from our Advisory Board, who are interested in the notion of humiliation and its role, as well as in promoting equal dignity, however, who have not worked with the notion of humiliation so far in more depth. We invited these eminent scholars and practitioners to reflect on the role humiliation may play (or not). Our next year's roundtable workshop will take place in New York, December 14-15, 2005.


Rationale, Methodology, and Frame of our NY Workshop



Given the current context of the field of international conflict, including the very recent illustrations of treatment of Iraqi prisoners, the impact of emotions on conflict has become one of the most important questions worldwide. However, there are only scattered publications in the research and applied literature that would address issues on conflict and emotion directly, as well as their relations and their impact on public policy.

The two-day workshop was held at Teachers College, Columbia University, hosted by the Columbia University's Conflict Resolution Network (CUCRN), with special help from SIPA – Center for International Conflict Resolution (CICR) and the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR).

CICR on behalf of CU-CRN and HumanDHS invited a selected group of scholars, counselors, conflict resolution practitioners, mediators and teachers among other professions for the two-day workshop to explore issues of conflict and emotions and its application to actual negotiations and diplomacy. The aim was to particularly probe the role of the notion of humiliation from the two different angles of conflict and emotion.

The conference was envisaged as a learning community gathering, interactive and highly participatory. The purpose was to create an open space to identify and sharpen our understanding of the discourse and debate on emotion and conflict and the role that might, or might not be played by humiliation within this field. We see humiliation as entry point into broader analysis and not as 'single interest scholarship'. We are aware that most participants focus on other aspects than humiliation in their work and have not thought about humiliation much, or even at all. We do not expect anybody to do so beforehand. We would love that everybody comes with his/her background, his/her theoretical concepts and tools, and that we, during the conference, reflect together. We invited everybody to use their focus and give a thought to whether the notion of humiliation could be enriching, or not, and if yes, in what way. We warmly invited diverging and dissenting views.



We chose a dialogical methodology that stresses interaction and participation because we wished to create an atmosphere of openness and respectful inquiry through three roundtables and the use of Open Space Technology. We believe that notions such as dignity and respect for equal dignity are important not only for conflict resolution, but also for conferences such as this workshop. The name Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies attempts to express this. We wish to strive for consistency between what we think are important values for conflict resolution and the way we conduct our work and our conferences.

Every roundtable was opened by brief remarks by each participant to present their entry points into the inquiry. In order to facilitate feedback, we were asking that papers/notes were sent in advance. A brief synopsis of 1 to 4 pages, with only major references, was available beforehand through this site. Longer papers were welcome as well, not least for the envisaged publications of the results of the conference.

All participants are warmly invited to send in their final papers as soon as they can. We envisage to combine your papers with the notes that were taken by Rebecca Klein during the workshop and the cards that many wrote during the 'five minutes long reflective intermissions'.
We would like to ask for your help with finding a publisher for an edited version.



by Linda Hartling, 2004, Ph.D., Associate Director, Jean Baker Miller Training Institute, Wellesley College, Boston, USA

In our conferences we aim at creating a humiliation-free, collaborative learning environment characterized by mutual respect, mutual empathy, and openness to difference. The perspective of 'appreciative inquiry' is a useful frame of our work. Our HumanDHS efforts are not just about the work we do together, but also about HOW WE WORK TOGETHER. At appropriate points during our conferences, for example at the end of each day, we take a moment to reflect on the practices observed that contributed to an appreciative/humiliation-free learning experience.

It is important to emphasize that an appreciative approach is not about expecting people to agree. In fact, differences of opinion enrich the conversation and deepen people's understanding of ideas. Perhaps, this could be conceptualized as 'waging good conflict', which means practicing radical respect for differences and being open to a variety of perspectives and engaging others without contempt or rankism. As we have seen in many fields, contempt and rankism drains energy away from the important work that needs to be done. Most people only know 'conflict' as a form of war within a win/lose frame. 'Waging good conflict', on the other side, is about being empathic and respectful, making room for authenticity, creating clarity, and growth.


How Our Workshop Unfolded

We began our workshop with welcoming the participants. See here the list of participants.

Donald Klein and Linda Hartling then set the frame of our conference within 'Appreciative Inquiry' and we created a list of agreed upon norms having to do with the nature and tone of our dialogue.

Andrea Bartoli made the point that we wanted to engage in dialogue, and not in discussion. The term dialogue emphasizes an open mind, a readiness to engage in asking questions and searching for answers in cooperation, instead of making statements and defending them in adversarial mode.

In the beginning of the workshop, we all sat in a large circle, with tables in front of everybody. A consensus emerged to change thus setup. At first, the tables were removed and put aside. Then, during the roundtables, their respective participants sat in an inner circle in the middle of the room, while the rest of the participants listened in from outside. In the inner circle one chair (in roundtable 3 we decided for two chairs) was left empty so that always one of those from outside could join the inner circle for a question or a contribution. Those who joined from outside were encouraged to limit their contribution and leave the chair as soon as they had finished, freeing it for the next one who wished to join.


First Roundtable

Subsequently, we began with our first roundtable that lasted for two hours, moderated by Beth Fisher-Yoshida, designed to probe the following question: 'What's relevant in a destructive conflict?' A broad take on destructive conflict was envisaged, however, during the discussion, it became obvious that most participants already focused on the role that is being played by humiliation. See the notes that everybody sent in beforehand further down and also here.


Second Roundtable

After lunch we had our second roundtable, again lasting for two hours, moderated by Carlos E. Sluzki and Donald Klein, aiming to deal with the following question: 'Is humiliation relevant in a destructive conflict?' Everybody agreed that emotions have been neglected in the conceptualization of conflict and that humiliation needs to be looked into more closely. See the notes that everybody sent in beforehand further down and also here.


Public Reception and Business Dialogue

In the evening of our Day One we had a public reception. Towards the end, we spoke about the way HumanDHS should and could be developed further in the future. The founding of a non-profit organization was discussed, the development of a broad education program, and the founding of a small strategic planning group. This discussion in many ways represented a prolongation of the informal internal meeting our Core Team had on the eve of our Workshop, where we discussed organizational development.

The discussion has rapidly evolved in the days that followed. The core question is in what way HumanDHS can best achieve its goal of promoting equal dignity around the world and help discontinue practices of humiliation. HumanDHS entails four elements or agendas, 1. global networking, 2. research, 3. education, and 4. intervention (entailing numerous sub-projects). The core question is, how can the global network best be linked up with research, education and intervention

One view is that HumanDHS ought to be developed as one single organization, entailing all four agendas. The other opinion is that HumanDHS ought to develop in a de-centralized way, thus opening up for flexibility, the multiplication of ideas, and empowerment of people who adopt those ideas. This approach suggests that HumanDHS should keep its characteristic of being a global network/think tank that spurns ideas, and that those who 'adopt' these ideas would then found sub-organizations, in a franchise-like approach, under the umbrella of HumanDHS.

Donald Klein writes (personal message to Lindner, December 1, 2004 ): 'There are those, such as Lois Holtzman and colleagues at the East Side Institute who believe that 'thought' is inherent in performance and that, indeed, performance is the most effective way to mobilize thinking. In other words, they decry the dichotomy between thought and practice. Although I may not be as extreme in my view, I, too, have noted that academic work rarely incorporates the considerations that must be included if application is to be effective. Another way of looking at it is that the dichotomy between academic research and practice is contrived. Actually we are dealing with two kinds of practice (or performance): (1) academic inquiry, which is its own kind of 'practice' and (2) application (usually referred to as 'practice'). Academic research thus can be seen as a way to focus further research (which is the kind of practice that academicians are usually involved in).

A colleague of mine (Kenneth Benne) from some years ago used to advocate a whole new 'practice' which he called 'research into application'. Here is where the studies of the dissemination of knowledge probably fit. The field with which I identify (Applied Behavioral Science) is located within the area of applied research, namely, how to apply what we know to real life situations. It is within ABS that action research emerged as one of the most productive ways to merge theory building and application within the same research enterprise.

All of which suggests that in the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies network we have the unique challenge of integrating our academicians and reflective practitioners within a single interrelated set of members'.


Third Roundtable

In the morning of Day Two of our workshop we had our third roundtable. Again, it lasted for two hours, and was moderated by Linda Hartling and Donald Klein. It addressed the following question 'Can the notion of humiliation be useful for public policy planning? What can we envisage as best practice models?' See the notes that everybody sent in beforehand further down and also here.

Arie Nadler's comment (written to Lindner in an email on November 23, 2004 ) may summarize the mood: 'I want to convey to you my feeling that the more I think about it the more I see the important heuristic value of the project on humiliation. Although there are other similar concepts, the concept of 'humiliation' is broad and specific enough at the same time to give it a special appeal and relevance. Also, for some reason it holds a degree of emotional energy (at least for me) that allows me to connect to this concept in more than just a cerebral level. It is no wonder that it was able to get together the positive energies of so many diverse and varied people as were present in NYC'.


Open Space Session

In the afternoon of Day Two, we had our Open Space Session. It lasted for two and a half hours, and focused on future directions of our work, and was facilitated by Alan Klein. Donald Klein explained the Open Space design as follows: It involves creating a kind of 'marketplace' of possibilities based on topics nominated by participants. The only requirement is that whoever nominates the topic, acts as the convener of the discussion of the topic and takes responsibility for having notes taken. A report is subsequently made about the essence of what was discussed, including any conclusions or recommendations, at a plenary session following the topic groups. The Open Space design has the advantage of focussing on whatever is of greatest interest to participants at the moment. It allows for parallel discussion of multiple topics, followed by a period of sharing and general discussion.


Final Papers

All participants are warmly invited to send in their final papers as soon as they can. We envisage combining your papers with the notes that were taken by Rebecca Klein during the workshop and the cards that many wrote during the 'five minutes long reflective intermissions'.
We would like to ask for your help with finding a publisher for an edited version.

Please see further down the papers/notes that participants sent in prior to the workshop so that everybody could get acquainted with all others beforehand.

Please ask the authors for their authorisation if you wish to quote them!

Morton Deutsch
Please see here the Morton Deutsch Library, as well as the Interrupting Oppression and Sustaining Justice Site

Morton Deutsch
Destructive Conflict and Oppression

Summary prepared for the Workshop on Humiliation and Violent Conflict, Columbia University, New York, November 18-19, 2004.

Evelin Lindner
Humiliation in a Globalizing World: Does Humiliation Become the Most Disruptive Force? (2004)
See the same text here, as short summary, short table, executive summary, and longer paper (not to be cited without author's authorization). It is important to note, that Lindner's work, even though she convenes this conference, is designed to stimulate interest and by no means meant to dominate this conference.


Preliminary Papers/Notes

Please see further down the papers/notes that participants sent in prior to the workshop so that everybody could get acquainted with all others beforehand.

Please ask the authors for their authorisation if you wish to quote them!

See here the work by:
Andrea Bartoli
Linda Hartling
Donald Klein

Paul A. Stokes

Victoria Firmo-Fontan

Morton Deutsch
Destructive Conflict and Oppression (2004)

See for the long version: Oppression and Conflict
Paper presented at the Interrupting Oppression and Sustaining Justice Working Conference at ICCCR, NY, February 27-29, 2004.

Peter T. Coleman and Jennifer Goldman
Conflict and Humiliation (2004)

Sara Cobb
'Humiliation' as Positions in Narratives: Implications for Policy Development

Carlos Sluzki
Elements of Humiliation-Shame Dynamics for Computational Modeling and Analysis of Real-Life Scenarios

Bertram Wyatt-Brown
Honor, Shame, and Iraq in American Foreign Policy (2004)

Paul A. Stokes
We Are All Humiliated (2004)

Daniel L. Shapiro
The Nature of Humiliation (2004)

Lourdes R. Quisumbing
Citizenship Education for Better World Societies: A Holistic Approach
Paper read at the 8th UNESCO APEID International Conference on Education, 29 November 2002, Bangkok

Educating Young Children for a Peaceful World
Second World Forum on Early Care and Education
16-19 May 2000, Singapore

Values Education for Human Solidarity

Arie Nadler
Going beyond guilt and revenge: The effects of admitting responsibility and expressing empathy for the enemy's suffering on inter-group reconciliation (2004)

Heidi and Guy Burgess
Introduction to Their Work (2004)

Project Overview: Advancing the Peace and Conflict Resolution Fields. A Next-generation Brainstorming Project
Developing 20-year Strategies for Addressing the Hard Questions

Conflict Information Systems

Taking the Peace and Conflict Resolution Fields Outside the 'Box'

Hroar Klempe
Reflections on ‘Conflict’ in Cultural Perspective (2004)

Philip Brown
Humiliation, Bullying and Caring in School Communities (2004)

Susan L. Podziba
The Human Side of Complex Public Policy Mediation (2004)

James Edward Jones
The Third Force: A Practical, Community-Building: Approach to Settling Destructive Conflicts
Muslim Peacebuilding after 9/11
Paper presented at The Islamic Society of North America Fourth Annual Islamic Conflict Resolution Symposium. 'Muslim Peacebuilding after 9/11'. Westin O'Hare, Chicago IL, April 18 – 20, 2003.

Neil Altman
Humiliation, Retaliation, and Violence
, in Tikkun Magazine, January/February 2004

Gay Rosenblum-Kumar
Humiliation, Conflict and Public Policy (2004)

Brigid Donelan and Patricia O'Hagan
Humiliation and Resiliency in the Social Integration Process: Towards a model framework and policy dialogue at the United Nations (2004)

Joshua Weiss
The Role of the Third Side (2004)

Annette Anderson-Engler
Humiliation and Displaced Identity (2004)

Miriam Marton
Relevance of Sexual Violence Against Female Noncombatant Victims of Destructive Conflict in the Study of Humiliation (2004)

Duke Duchscherer
Nonviolent Communication as Core Principle for Any Public Policy
to Prevent Humiliation Dynamics

Kathleen Modrowski
Human Rights Education: From Humiliation towards Living in Dignity (The Human Rights Cities Model) (2004)

Thomas J. Scheff
Thoughts in Response to Blind Trust (2004) by V. Volkan, a Theory of Collective Violence (2004)



The Jean Baker Miller Training Institute recently hosted a conference about Creating Relational Possibilities , with its last session about Holding a Vision of Hope. I think that both headings are also important for our group and our conferences. We are not motivated by financial rewards or by wanting to have 'a job'. Our motivation is provided by our values and goals and the enthusiasm and hope we can create in our group. We want to contribute to building 'a better world' and this is what drives us. Thus, the inner cohesion of our group must be our priority, otherwise none of our activities will have any grounding and we will fail. This is, incidentally, also the cutting edge guideline in corporate sector consultancy ('hire for attitude, not for skill!' Kjell A. Nordström, Stockholm). In other words, it applies even to ordinary companies that need to make profit. Therefore, nurturing the relationships among ourselves, caring for each other, keeping our spirits up, must be the object of our primary attention.

We believe that it is important for all of us to walk the talk. We wish to invite people into our group who are willing and able to promote our mission with humility and in a cooperative relational spirit of mutual support and respect. Competitive and adversarial behavioral styles that draw their strength from dominating and humiliating others have no room in our work. We wish to encourage 'selfless leadership' and would wish to avoid including in our group autocratic 'big-ego' styles.

The overall framework for our work that we hold to be important is that we wish to work for and not against, namely for equal dignity for all. And, even though we aim at raising awareness for the destructive consequences of cycles of humiliation and the suffering of people who are being exposed to humiliating treatment, we do not wish to engage in violently humiliating humiliators, which would merely turn the spiral of humiliation further. We rather wish to promote respectful approaches also to humiliators and the non-violent humbling of humiliators.

As to the question of pessimism, optimism, and hope, we believe that lamenting over what we have not yet accomplished only drains our energy and makes it more difficult to conceptualize as a challenge whatever is still missing, as a next step, which we have to undertake with enthusiasm, motivation and courage in a joint effort! 'Pessimism, as well as indignated lamenting, is a luxury we can afford only in good times, in difficult times it easily represents a self-inflicted, self-fulfilling death sentence' (Evelin Lindner, 2004).


Next Conferences

We are very grateful to our hosts in NY, the Columbia University's Conflict Resolution Network (CU-CRN), with special help from SIPA – Center for International Conflict Resolution, Columbia University (CICR) and the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR), and greatly appreciate the wonderful hospitality our Workshop on Humiliation and Violent Conflict was offered.

Our next year's Roundtable Workshop on Humiliation and Violent Conflict will take place in New York, December 14-15, 2005.

The other annual Human DHS conference, the one that we had in Paris this year, will take place in Berlin, Germany, September 15-17, 2005, and will be organized by Eric van Grasdorff, and Véronique Lingfeld.


Welcome Again!

I would like to end this newsletter by thanking you again for all the wonderful mutual support. I think there was nobody who did not contribute, therefore let me give my warmest thanks to ALL OF US! I very much look forward to our next year's conferences!

Evelin, New York, November 2004