From the spread of a global pandemic to movements demanding social change, the year 2020 ushered in a series of watershed moments, challenging institutions and communities to find and implement systemic change. In a new book available in December, mediation and international conflict resolution experts Dr. Beth Fisher-Yoshida and Joan Camilo Lopez provide strategies for translating academic theory into practices that respect and utilize local knowledge and can ultimately lead to comprehensive, long-term social transformation.
In “Redefining Theory and Practice to Guide Social Transformation: Emerging Research and Opportunities,” Dr. Fisher-Yoshida partners with NECR lecturer and Youth, Peace, and Security Program Manager Joan Camilo Lopez to draw upon their peacebuilding work in international contexts such as Medellín, Colombia to provide an innovative fieldwork method designed to facilitate solutions for longstanding, complex challenges.
The book walks community organizers, academicians and conflict and peacebuilding practitioners through an infusion of theories and case studies, ranging from Dr. Morton Deutsch’s theories of power to the story of Son Batá, a group of Afro-Colombian artists and community leaders who transformed their community. In eight chapters, readers learn practical approaches, including developing self-awareness, relationship building, responding to unintended consequences and conducting remote fieldwork amid COVID-19-related restrictions.