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Chapter 5 Going Hybrid: Using Facebook Groups for People-to-People Dialogue

From the book Volume I Contemporary Trends in Conflict and Communication

  • Arik Segal and Yotam Keduri


International conflicts in the 21st century pose a dire challenge for peace and conflict professionals due to the influx of non-state actors, globalization and development of communication technology. Within this context, ‘Track III’ diplomacy efforts engaging non-state actors through ‘people-to-people’ dialogue have been the tool of choice for many grassroots organizations seeking to build peace using ‘bottom-up’ approaches to conflict resolution. This chapter aims to give an overview of the opportunities online dialogue platforms hold in improving existing dialogue methodologies. It is based on observation and research of an online, Israeli-Palestinian people-to-people dialogue project, the “Yala Young Leaders’ MENA Leaders for Change Program”, that took place during the 2014 Gaza Engagement, mostly on Facebook. The present study represents an early attempt to overcome this lacuna by integrating established analytical tools from parallel fields - notably Gottman etal.’s Rapid Couples Interaction Scoring System, designed to analyze the intractability of conflictual statements in discourse between married couples. The resulting adaptation of this scale, the Online Conflict Dynamics Matrix (‘ODCM’) is designed to codify utterances by type and analyze the resulting sequences in order to assess the dynamics that lead up to confrontation, resolution, or stalemate. A first of its kind, this matrix represents an important step in the development of discourse analysis to in the field of conflict research - a critical tool for assessing how technological innovations can contribute to the conduct of peacebuilding projects and to the field of peace and conflict.

© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
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