Type of Document Dissertation Author Fetissenko, Maxim Borisovich Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-11152004-155656 Title Communication, Coercion, and Prevention of Deadly Conflict Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Communication, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Marilyn Young Committee Chair Jay Rayburn Committee Member Maria Morales Committee Member Stephen McDowell Committee Member Keywords
- Conflict Resolution
- Conflict Prevention
Date of Defense 2004-11-01 Availability unrestricted AbstractThis dissertation examines coercion in its relationship to persuasion and conflict resolution and prevention. Building on the analysis of coercion by Alan Wertheimer, this dissertation offers a new conceptualization of coercion as a communication phenomenon and examines how existing conceptualizations of coercion may be shaping both the discourse on international conflict and practical approaches to its resolution. It also offers a discussion of several key implications of the revised conceptualization of coercion for the theory and practice of conflict resolution and prevention and outlines second-order changes necessary for the creation of a workable conflict prevention protocol capable of averting deadly conflict. The theory of conflict provention by John Burton serves as a starting point for the analysis of the theory and practice of conflict resolution and prevention.
The author argues that coercion is a bona fide mode of communication, closely related to persuasion. Contrary to the assumption underlying other analyses, coercion is not a single conceptual entity. Rather, the term has at least two distinct meanings, coded in the dissertation as moralized and sociological. The chief factor that defines coercion within the framework of sociological discourse is the source of punishment threatened by the sender. Within the framework of moralized (ordinary language) discourse, the key factor that separates coercion from other modes of influence is the legitimacy of the threat. Freedom of choice and rationality do not separate persuasion from coercion.
Building on the analysis of coercion in part 2 of the dissertation, part 3 offers an examination of the current state of the theory and practice of conflict resolution and prevention through the lens of Applied Behavioral Analysis and Performance Management. The author challenges several dominant assumptions about conflict, such as the assumption that negotiation, mediation, or problem solving are always the best means of resolving deadly conflicts. He concludes that the exclusion of legitimate coercion from the arsenal of conflict resolution and prevention is at the root of the systemic failure to end deadly conflict.
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