Framing and Dispute Resolution: New Approaches to Unlocking
Professor Barbara Gray, Pennsylvania State University

Other partners, with Penn State, are Syracuse, Ohio State, Wageningen University--Netherlands; NIH, and a few others. This project is complementary to the "Resistance to Collaboration" project in that it focuses on framing (and re-framing) intractable conflicts, and, is the modest precursor to what is anticipated as a major research (and practice) undertaking that involves support from (a) NSF (this project has to do with the conflicts generated by the negative impacts of tourism on natural and human systems in Alaska, Hawaii and the Virgin Islands) and (b) the European Union (this piece involves comparative framing in the context of policy making for biodiversity).

This project builds on work done previously by Gray and her colleague Roy Lewicki (Ohio State University), and the Consortium on the Framing of Intractable Environmental Conflicts, work that identified the primary kinds of disputant framing that pose obstacles to resolution in these kinds of cases. Gray, Lewicki and Michael Elliott (Georgia Institute of Technology) edited the product of their work: Making Sense of Intractable Environmental Conflict: Concepts and Cases (Washington, D.C.: Island Press) which appeared in 2003.

In this current effort, both researchers and practitioners are joining together to move into new arenas, to concentrate on frame change, trust, and how knowledge of framing can be used to design interventions to unlock seemingly intractable or difficult conflicts.