In February 2007, CRI had the honor of hosting Dr. Ronald Fisher for a 10 week appointment as Senior Visiting Scholar. Students and faculty all benefited from his approachable manner and his willingness to share both his expertise and his time, and he contributed to many significant events during his time at DU.
Dr. Fisher came to the Institute from American University in Washington, D.C., where he is a Professor of International Relations in the Division of International Peace and Conflict Resolution in the School of International Service. He has a distinguished and extensive background in interactive conflict resolution, which involves informal, third party interventions in protracted and violent ethno-political conflict. Dr. Fisher has worked on the longstanding dispute in Cyprus and similar conflicts in other parts of the world.
Dr. Fisher arrived in Denver in time to attend CRI's February conference Peacebuilding and Trauma Recovery: Integrated Strategies for in Post-War Reconstruction, chairing a session on Integrating Trauma Studies and Peacebuilding in Educational Settings. He presented a paper entitled "The APA/CPA Ethnopolitical Warfare Initiative and Curriculum" which provided an overview of the work and product of a Curriculum Design Task Force mandated by the Joint Initiative of the American and Canadian Psychological Associations on Ethnopolitical Warfare. This Task Force produced a graduate level curriculum that combined trauma relief with conflict resolution in the context of peacebuilding.
While at the Institute, Dr. Fisher presented to faculty, gave guest lectures, held office hours, chaired a symposium on Cyprus (see box) and taught a three day intensive course for graduate students, The course, "Interactive Conflict Resolution: Concepts and Skills for International Peacebuilders", provided an overview of Interactive Conflict Resolution which uses various methods to engage members of conflicting identity groups or nations in face-to-face dialogue, conflict analysis, cross-conflict training, problem solving, and reconciliation directed toward the building of peace with equity and justice. Dr. Fisher's model of third party consultation was offered as a guide for leading conflict analysis and problem-solving workshops which bring together unofficial representatives of conflicting parties. Graduate students participating in the course also had an opportunity to engage in shared self-reflection on their own interests and aspirations as facilitators and peacebuilders.
Dr. Fisher produced an extensive bibliography during his visit, with assistance from CRI master's candidate Dennis Barbour, "Applications of Social Psychology to International Conflict: An Endnote Electronic Bibliography". This publication is being offered for sale as part of the Institute's Working Paper Series.
- T. Thompson