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MandE Learning Session, October 25, 2013

Peace and Conflict Theory
Based on John Paul Lederachs Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies

Objective: Understand more about the broader foundation of why PBO does what it does. This can help us
understand the work of PBO better.
Two things to talk about
o What have been the general themes of violent conflict recently?
o How are these violent conflicts transformed into peace?
What is peace?

Peace as no public war in society
Peace as the presence of love, understanding, welcoming, forgiveness, and reconciliation in society

The nature of conflict in the last 40 or 50 years

o The situation in the past War Outside: Different countries fighting each other
International violent conflict
For example: World War 1, World War 2
o The recent situation War I nside: Groups of people from the same country fighting each other
Local, not international
(although sometimes influenced by outsiders: for example, China and the US and
their impact on the Pol Pot time)
Identity, not nationality, conflicts the identity of my group becomes the most important
Northern Ireland (Catholic vs. Protestant), Serbia (one ethnic group vs. another),
Philippines (Muslim vs. Christian), Somalia (one tribe vs. another tribe), Rwanda (Hutu
vs. Tutsi)
Lon Nol vs. Khmer Rouge
Old people vs. New people
Countryside vs. City
Farmers vs. Educated people
Communist vs. Buddhist, Cham, Christian
Khmer vs. Vietnamese
Hun Sens bodyguards vs. Rannaridhs bodyguards
Common features of these violent conflicts

o Based on attitudes and ideas among many normal, everyday people
Takes a long time to develop 10, 20, 30, 100 years..
o Stereotypes of the enemy
lazy, big nose, cheater, too modern, too western, not pure Khmer, etc.
o The enemy lives very close to you, sometimes your neighbor
Not in another country

o Very little trust in society
o A lot of fear all the time
o Many people are involved in the violent conflict
o Many people see very bad things
o Many people support the system of violent conflict
Difficult to say no
o People are easily manipulated
Common Themes of Societies after Violent Conflict

o Solve disagreements and conflicts by either fighting or avoidance (silence, ignoring)
o Many people psychologically affected by what they did and/or saw in the past
This is passed on to children
o Problems, including the past violent conflict, are blamed on others
No taking of responsibility
the other side started it
it started because of outsiders
o Others who are different are excluded and hated
Feeling safe and proud by hating others
o Not discussing the past violent conflict
o Women are treated badly
o People want to attach themselves to powerful and popular leaders
For safety reasons, they will keep me safe
o Look out for only myself, fear, no trust, the important thing is that I survive
Driving in PP???
o People afraid of taking risks, afraid of change
Maybe I will not be safe, maybe I will be blamed or shamed

How are these conflicts transformed?

o High-level treaties, accords, and agreements with high-level leaders
Important, but not very effective
A Treaty or Accord is passed or signed, but that does not change a lot like a beautiful
house with no solid foundation
Paris Peace Accords, Hun Sen/Rannaridh agreement
The foundation, the real problem is the KASH (knowledge, attitudes, skills, habits) of
the normal, everyday people
These KASH are learned over many years
o Violent conflict is like a house that takes a long time to be built and to be
strong and lasting
each part of the house supports war
Will take many years (20, 30, 40, 100 years.) to transform and learn different
o peace is like a new house that takes a long time to be built and to be strong
and lasting
each part of the new house supports peace
o Violent conflicts like these are transformed through the long-term (20, 30, 40, 100 years)
work of building the different parts of the house so that it can be a strong house of peace
The new house needs to be built in a different way

o When building the new house, the most important people are the middle level leaders (for
example: pastors, community leaders, organization leaders, chief of police, etc.). start from the
Middle level leaders
They have close interactions with many grassroots everyday people
They have strong influence with these people
They can impact the top levels and grassroots everyday people
High level leaders
They are not closely connected to the grassroots everyday person
They have a lot of influence, but are unlikely to want to change
Everyday people
They have a lot of interactions with everyday people, but have very small circles
of influence
Therefore, changing the KASH of middle level leaders has the most impact for long
term peace building and reconciliation
o This relates with PBOs theory of change (the way PBO operates and thinks about building
Healthy Relationship and Connections Theory: peace comes from different groups
learning to accept and love each other. Strong relationships are very important for
This also relates to the I ndividual Change Theory: peace comes when many individuals
KASH are transformed.
From the House of War to the House of Peace
-Some common KASH changes needed in societies who have experienced violent conflict in the past

o Identity
Before: exclude and hate
Now: embrace and love
Jesus first sermon - Luke 4:16-27
o Dealing with Conflict
If I hurt someone:
Before: blaming others
Now: taking responsibility and changing myself
The Lost Son Luke 15:11-32
If someone hurt me:
Before: ignoring and avoidance
Now: discussion and forgiveness (not forgetting)
Jesus and Peter John 21: 4-17
If there is a problem in the community - Jesus and the woman in adultery John 8:1-11
Before: shame and blame
Now: empathy and encouragement
But not pretending nothing is wrong
Before: shallow thinking
Now: deeper thinking
Where is the man? Why the different standard for men and women?
o Dealing with Trauma and Guilt and Shame
Before: ignoring the past
Now: confronting the past and healing

Jesus and Peter John 21: 4-17
o Dealing with the Problems of Others
Before: fear and thinking only about my survival and my image
Now: thinking about the needs of others
The Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37


The Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. Teacher, he asked, what must I do to inherit
eternal life?

26 What is written in the Law? he replied. How do you read it?

27 He answered, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength
and with all your mind[a]; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.[b]

28 You have answered correctly, Jesus replied. Do this and you will live.

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, And who is my neighbor?

30 In reply Jesus said: A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers.
They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be
going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when
he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where
the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring
on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The
next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. Look after him, he said, and when I
return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.

36 Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?

37 The expert in the law replied, The one who had mercy on him.

Jesus told him, Go and do likewise.

John 8:1-11-The Woman Caught in Adultery

but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down
to teach them.
The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made
her stand before the group
and said to Jesus, Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
In the
Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?
They were using this question as a
trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.
When they kept on questioning him, he
straightened up and said to them, Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at
Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the
woman still standing there.
Jesus straightened up and asked her, Woman, where are they? Has no one
condemned you?
No one, sir, she said.
Then neither do I condemn you, Jesus declared. Go now and leave your life of sin.

Luke 4:16-27-Jesuss First Sermon

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as
was his custom. He stood up to read,
and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he
found the place where it is written:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lords favor.

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the
synagogue were fastened on him.
He began by saying to them, Today this scripture is fulfilled in your
All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. Isnt this Josephs
son? they asked.
Jesus said to them, Surely you will quote this proverb to me: Physician, heal yourself! And you will tell
me, Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.
Truly I tell you, he continued, no prophet is accepted in his hometown.
I assure you that there were
many widows in Israel in Elijahs time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe
famine throughout the land.
Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region
of Sidon.
And there were many in Israel with leprosy
in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them
was cleansedonly Naaman the Syrian.

All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this.
They got up, drove him out of the
town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff.
he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

John 21:4-17-Reconcilliation of Peter

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
He called out to them, Friends, havent you any fish?
No, they answered.
He said, Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some. When they did, they were
unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, It is the Lord! As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, It
is the Lord, he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a
hundred yards.

When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
Jesus said to them, Bring some of the fish you have just caught.
So Simon Peter climbed back into the
boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not
Jesus said to them, Come and have breakfast. None of the disciples dared ask him, Who are you?

They knew it was the Lord.
Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the
This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon son of John, do you love me more than
Yes, Lord, he said, you know that I love you.
Jesus said, Feed my lambs.
Again Jesus said, Simon son of John, do you love me?
He answered, Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.
Jesus said, Take care of my sheep.
The third time he said to him, Simon son of John, do you love me?
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, Do you love me? He said, Lord, you know all
things; you know that I love you.
Jesus said, Feed my sheep.

Luke 15:11-32-The Parable of the Lost Son
Jesus continued: There was a man who had two sons.
The younger one said to his father, Father, give me
my share of the estate. So he divided his property between them.
Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered
his wealth in wild living.
After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and
he began to be in need.
So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his
fields to feed pigs.
He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him
When he came to his senses, he said, How many of my fathers hired servants have food to spare, and here I
am starving to death!
I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against
heaven and against you.
I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired
So he got up and went to his father.
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his
son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
The son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be
called your son.
But the father said to his servants, Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and
sandals on his feet.
Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Lets have a feast and celebrate.
For this son of mine
was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. So they began to celebrate.
Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.
he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.
Your brother has come, he replied, and your
father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.
The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.
But he
answered his father, Look! All these years Ive been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you
never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.
But when this son of yours who has
squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!
My son, the father said, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
But we had to celebrate
and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.