Tuija Talvitie: Research helps us resolve conflicts

In many ways, research is a central part of the work of a conflict resolution organisation: research information is simultaneously the foundation, tool and guide for our work.

Peace brokering also requires information on the conflict region, its history, the background of the conflict itself as well as the political, economic and social situation. Reliable conflict analysis is always based on multidisciplinary research literature, and it is further developed together with researchers and experts. Complicated challenges require a cross-disciplinary approach, simple quick fixes are foreign to our field.

Conflict prevention and resolution is also its own research field. The particular focus of research during the past 25 years has been on processes: negotiations, brokering, dialogue. Literature discussing negotiation in a broader sense has also shaped our field and its practices. It has been a pleasure to note that research on conflict resolution is also gaining traction in Finland, and we would be delighted to cooperate wherever it is deemed helpful.

We increasingly need other types of expertise to supplement traditional social science viewpoints as well as applied cooperation between research and practice. One of the most interesting perspectives is to analyse the new possibilities afforded by technology for supporting peace processes and more general social dialogue as well as resolving disputes. The new field of PeaceTech is fascinating and holds great promise, and it is also an excellent example of researchers working together with professionals in the field. In the future, PeaceTech applications will make conflict resolution better, more transparent and more approachable.

At a time when public debate is dominated by fake news and alternative facts, the significance of science and research is greater than ever. Through research we can anticipate and solve problems, make decisions based on research data and evaluate the impact of our work.

 #siksitiede #researchmatters

Tuija Talvitie, Executive Director of CMI

In the series Science Advocates, people describe the significance of research and research-based teaching for themselves. Read the other instalments on the Researchmatters website (scroll down).

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This is where science comes in.

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