The overarching objective and expected impact of this project is to provide alternative and deepened understanding based on empirical evidence of how to handle conflicts in intercultural contexts within democratic societies in order to set up security solutions for communities, which are carried by the active participation of the citizens. ALTERNATIVE has at its core 4 intensive case studies (which mainly take the form of action research) built around, supported by and mutually feeding into 3 more theoretically oriented work packages. These parts together produce a spectrum of theoretically grounded and empirically tested models of dealing with conflicts in intercultural settings by RJ processes.
The theoretically oriented work packages deal mainly with alternative epistemologies of justice and security, conflict analysis, and RJ models application and their relevance for European policies. The action research is dedicated to different levels of intercultural conflicts in a few selected security sensitive areas: at the micro-level - everyday conflicts between local residents and residents with migrant background in public/social housing (Vienna); at the meso-level – conflicts in a small town with Roma and non-Roma inhabitants (Hungary); at the meso- and macro-level – interethnic conflicts within 3 multi-ethnic and multicultural regions: conflicts between Serbs and Albanians, Serbs and Muslims, and Serbs and Croats (Serbia); and at the meso- and macro-level - civil conflicts at 3 different sites: conflicts between a local community and gangs of youths; between long term residents and recent immigrants; and inter-community sectarian conflict (Northern Ireland). Our proposal is fully in line with the main objectives of the “Security Theme Work Program”; its expected impact is also fully in line with the impact expected in the “Topic SEC-2011.6.5-1 Conflict resolution and mediation”: To provide alternative understanding of how to handle conflicts within democratic societies.
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