Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict
Donna Hicks, Ph.D.; Foreword by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
January 29, 2013
240 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
Read Donna Hicks's post on how dignity empowered the victims of 9/11 on the Yale Press Log
The desire for dignity is universal and powerful. It is a motivating force behind all human interaction—in families, in communities, in the business world, and in relationships at the international level. When dignity is violated, the response is likely to involve aggression, even violence, hatred, and vengeance. On the other hand, when people treat one another with dignity, they become more connected and are able to create more meaningful relationships. Surprisingly, most people have little understanding of dignity, observes Donna Hicks in this important book. She examines the reasons for this gap and offers a new set of strategies for becoming aware of dignity's vital role in our lives and learning to put dignity into practice in everyday life.
Drawing on her extensive experience in international conflict resolution and on insights from evolutionary biology, psychology, and neuroscience, the author explains what the elements of dignity are, how to recognize dignity violations, how to respond when we are not treated with dignity, how dignity can restore a broken relationship, why leaders must understand the concept of dignity, and more. Hicks shows that by choosing dignity as a way of life, we open the way to greater peace within ourselves and to a safer and more humane world for all.
Donna Hicks, Ph.D., is an associate, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University. During nearly two decades in the field of international conflict resolution, she has facilitated dialogue between communities in conflict all over the world and has worked as a consultant to corporations and organizations, applying the dignity model. She lives in Watertown, MA.
"Original, soundly grounded in scholarship, and extremely important and timely!"—Evelin Lindner, Founding President, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies
—Archbishop Desmond Tutu
"No single factor is more critical, yet more neglected, in the successful resolution of conflicts than basic human dignity. In this insightful, wise, and practical book, illustrated by powerful examples, Donna Hicks explains why dignity is so important and what we can do about it. Highly recommended!."—William Ury, co-author of Getting to Yes and author of The Third Side
"With lucid and persuasive scholarship, Donna Hicks discusses a topic relevant for everyone: the desire to be treated well. Dignity is a must-read."—G.A. Bradshaw, The Kerulos Center and author of Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us about Humanity
“Drawing notably from evolutionary psychology, William James, John Burton’s human needs approach and other theoretical frameworks, Hicks offers a very pragmatic model to help deal with all different types of conflict. A model that is simple yet quite profound; one which I will not only use in my work with clients but also one I will remember when facing conflicts in all other areas of my life. Dignity: so complex yet so simple. A thoroughly recommended read for all.”—Ewa Kremplewska, The Psychologist
2013 Book of the Year, Colorado Conflict Center.