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Conversations in Conflict Studies: ''Don’t Be Critical: The Rise of 'Collaborative Thuggery'''

400 Eggers Hall, the PARCC Conference Room

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''Don’t Be Critical: The Rise of 'Collaborative Thuggery.'''Guest Speaker: Robert A. Rubinstein, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Professor of International Relations at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, where from 1994-2011 he directed the Program on the Analysis and Resolution of Conflicts (PARC).  His work focuses on medical anthropology and public health, and on multilateral responses to complex emergencies.
Since the publication of Barbara Gray’s germinal work Collaborating: Finding Common Ground for Multiparty Problems in 1989, collaboration has become widely valued in public and private discourse.  In this conversation I will discuss how collaboration morphed from being an important tool for joint action to becoming a moral good, indeed a cudgel limiting civil discourse, marking critical disagreement as bad, and hiding the contested nature of some public policies.  I consider the promotion of collaboration as a façade obscuring pre-planned actions, a smokescreen for the lack of real public participation in policy development.  The result, “Collaborative Thuggery,” harms rather than improves civil discourse.


Conversations in Conflict Studies is a weekly educational speaker series for students, faculty, and the community. The series, sponsored by PARCC, draws its speakers from Syracuse University faculty, national and international scholars and activists, and PhD students. Pizza is served. Follow us on Twitter @PARCCatMaxwell, tweet #ConvoInConflict.

If you require accommodations, please contact Deborah Toole by email at datoole@syr.edu or by phone at 315.443.2367. 


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Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration
400 Eggers Hall