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Negotiating Buck Naked

Doukhobors, Public Policy, and Conflict Resolution

Soon after the arrival of Doukhobors to British Columbia, new immigrants clashed with the state over issues such as land ownership, the registration of births and deaths, and school attendance. As positions hardened, the conflict, often violent, intensified and continued unabated for the better part of a century, until an accord was finally negotiated in the mid-1980s.

Negotiating Buck Naked examines the accord closely. Why did the violence end? How was the accord reached? What factors enabled it to succeed when numerous other interventions had failed? How did it change the patterns of conflict between the factions? To answer these questions, Cran develops a theoretical framework for understanding the process of dispute resolution, emphasizing that competing discourses are juxtaposed and that it is these different but equally valid narratives that must be negotiated. Using this approach, Cran extracts from the Doukhobor conflict valuable lessons for understanding the nature of both terrorism and hegemonic practices, and traces how we view conflict and intervention from a Western perspective.

Negotiating Buck Naked offers new ways of dealing with conflicts considered to be intractable. It will be useful to conflict resolution practitioners, policy makers, peace makers, and peacekeepers.


"An unparalleled testimony of persecution, protest, conflict resolution and hope. By taking seriously stories, cultures and communities, Gregory Cran masterfully weaves together astonishing firsthand narratives of twentieth-century Doukhobor oppression with a rigorous academic analysis of conflict and terror. The important lessons Cran draws about the treatment of minority groups, public policy and conflict resolution animated by his direct personal involvement, his remarkable command of primary materials and his reaching analysis will be of equal interest to historians, sociologists, politicians, lawyers and others who deal with, or care about, conflict and its resolution in our modern democratic societies."—Trevor C. W. Farrow, Faculty of Law, University of Alberta
UBC Press

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