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The EDiCT Manual applies contemporary empathy research to real world conflict situations. It offers ideas for practitioners in conflict transformation, and for anyone dealing with conflict in everyday life.
Illustrated by case studies from Kenya and Nepal, the EDiCT Manual explains current thinking about empathy as a process of understanding another person, and how empathy is stopped when people come into conflict. It offers an approach for re-growing empathy as individuals and communities come out of conflict, and strategies for supporting this.
To read or download a summary of the EDiCT Manual, click here
The EDiCT project is a collaboration between Professor Lynne Cameron at the Open University and the Birmingham-based NGO Responding to Conflict, Director Simon Weatherbed. It was funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
Empathy Dynamics in Conflict Transformation (EDiCT) is a knowledge exchange project designed to bring academic research into dialogue with conflict transformation experts and practitioners. It is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, and connected to the Global Uncertainties programme.
EDiCT follows on from "Living with Uncertainty: Metaphor and the dynamics of empathy”, a project carried out as part of the Global Uncertainties Research Fellowship awarded to Professor Lynne Cameron at the Open University. Its goal is to apply the findings of the earlier project to the practice of conflict transformation through collaboration with practitioners.
Living with Uncertainty investigated how people construct, negotiate or resist empathy with others through dialogue and interaction. That research has produced a model of the interactional dynamics of empathy, insights into strategies that people use to support and block empathy, and a methodology for analysing the dynamics of empathy in dialogue and interaction. The initial application to post-conflict reconciliation in Northern Ireland and to conflict transformation interventions in Kenya showed the potential of the research to contribute to the field of conflict transformation. The EDiCT project concretises that contribution by working further with the project partner, Responding to Conflict (RTC), a conflict transformation and peace building non-governmental organisation.
In its first workshop, the EDiCT project brought together a group of academics and conflict transformation experts to produce a shared framework that maps models of conflict transformation processes against the research findings about empathy dynamics, called the Empathy in Conflict Map (EiC Map). The map was then developed through collaboration with conflict transformation practitioners in Nepal and Kenya.
In March 2012, Lynne Cameron (PI, OU) and Simon Weatherbed (RtC) visited Nepal to interview actors in the reintegration of young people who had been involved with armed groups in the civil conflict which ended in 2006. This visit enabled the Empathy in Conflict Map to be developed for the settlement phase of conflict transformation. Nepali practitioners met with Kenyan peace builders in a workshop held in London in August 2013. Through sharing experiences and analysing these in terms of empathy~dyspathy dynamics, a set of tools was devised for use in any conflict transformation context and work was begun on a Manual for practitioners. A first draft of the Manual was presented to the expert group in December 2013 and is to be published online and in hard copy during 2014.