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The Sultan Center for World Affairs

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

  • 6:20 AM
We are a network of scholars, both researchers and practitioners, dedicated to ending cycles of humiliation throughout the world.

We believe that by eliminating these harmful cycles, a space is opened for mutual respect and esteem to take root and grow, thereby leading to the resolution of previously intractable conflicts. We believe that both global sustainability of social cohesion and ecological survival require a mindset of connection and a spirit of shared humility - and not a mindset of humiliation.

As researchers we study the dynamics of humiliation, the antecedents and consequences of humiliating behaviors, and interventions that can help break the cycle of humiliation and restore human dignity. As practitioners we attempt to bring incidents of humiliation in international affairs to the attention of people across the globe, to create public awareness of the destructive effects of such humiliation, and to promote ways of dealing with tensions in human affairs that generate human dignity and respect.

Many reject research on "evil" as naïve appeasement. This is not our view. We believe that "understanding" and "condoning" ought not be conflated. Nelson Mandela showed the world that humiliation does not automatically lead to mayem. His example attests to the constructive ways out of humiliation that merit to be studied and promoted. We wish to learn from those constructive elements in Mandela-like or Gandhi-like approaches (please note that we are aware of the various criticisms that may be aimed at Mandela or Gandhi) - for example, Mandela could have instigated a genocide of the white elite, yet he did not.

In our work, we wish to make research relevant to practice and vice versa (as in participatory action research). We invite you, researchers and practitioners from around the world who share our goals, to join us. Please read our call for creativity, a detailed description of our mission and a short description of what we mean when we speak about humiliation. See also our newsletters and our collection of quotes.
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