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Book Notes - Mark Juergensmeyer's Gandhi's Way
Nov 6, 2004, 12:09a

Mark Juergensmeyer - Gandhi's Way: A Handbook of Conflict Resolution

* When resolving a conflicy, we should imagine a solution that includes the best features of both sides of an argument so that we create a "win-win" situation
    - each side has some portion of truch in its possession

* We should incorporate the solution into the struggle itself - the way you fight and the goal for which you are fighting are the same

* Redirect the focus of a fight from persons to principles

* Ways of resolving a conflict:
1) Forced victory - removes the person but the underlying conflict between principles remains
2) Accomodation & compromise - let each side win a little, but each side loses a little as well
3) Arbitration & law - judge which side is right, but often neglect the truth in the loser's position
4) Satyagraha (*best*) - attempts to find a new position, more inclusive than the old ones, and moves into it

* No doubt in Gandhi's mind that one could find the right way to act in any situation

* Truth is those things that defend life, enhance life, allow life to flourish, and bring lives together in harmony

* "Violence" includes any coercion, be it physical, verbal, or emotional, and violence should not be used to solve a problem. If you try to use violence to win a peaceful end, you will fail, Gandhi argued.

* "No action which is not voluntary can be called moral."

* Noncooperation is a potent force for breaking the structures of authority

* 10 basic principles:
1) Do not avoid confrontation
2) Stay open to communication and self-criticism
3) Find a resolution and hold fast to it
4) Regard your opponent as a potential ally
5) Make your tactics consistent with the goal
6) Be flexible
7) Be temperate
8) Be proportionate
9) Be disciplined
10) Know when to quit

* Necessary prerequisites to a Gandhian solutoin:
1) The eagerness for a harmonious outcome
2) The determination of both sides to stand by the truth
3) The ability of both to imagine other options

* Double advocacy - the idea that one should attempt to argue for the truth of both sides of a dispute

* Create counter-structures to those you seek to abolish

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