It is TransConflict’s assertion that the successful transformation of conflict requires a multi-dimensional approach that engages with and aims at transforming the very interests, relationships, discourses and structures that underpin it.
It is TransConflict’s assertion that conflict be regarded not as an isolated event, but as an integral part of the transformation of the whole range of societal relationships.
Conflict transformation is much more than a set of techniques; it is a particular way of looking at conflict itself. As such, it requires a long-term, gradual and complex process, demanding sustained engagement and interaction; one that addresses a range of dimensions (the micro, meso, macro levels; local and global).
Conflict transformation is concerned with five specific types of transformation:
a) Actor – modifying actors’ goals and their approach to pursuing these goals.
b) Context – influencing the context in which conflict occurs so as to challenge the meaning and perceptions of conflict itself, particularly the respective attitudes and understandings of specific actors towards one another.
c) Issue – redefining the issues that are central to the prevailing conflict, and reformulating the position of key actors on those very issues.
d) Rule – changes in the norms and rules governing decision-making at all levels determine the extent to which conflicts are constructively resolved.
e) Structural – conflict is underpinned by, and embedded in, the prevailing structure of relationships, power distributions and socio-economic conditions, changes to which impact the very fabric of interaction between previously incompatible actors, issues and goals.