Episode 015 - Dr. Andrea BartoliSeek What Unites, Not What Divides
Dr. Andrea Bartoli: Seek What Unites, Not What Divides
In this episode, Susan interviews Dr. Andrea Bartoli, someone who takes important professional risks to get good work done. Dr. Bartoli is currently Dean at Seton Hall School of Diplomacy and International Relations and an incredibly brave, intelligent and collaborative soul. He has been part of peacemaking initiatives in Mozambique, Guatemala, Algeria, Kosovo, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burma/Myanmar, East Timor, Colombia, and has been an advocate of innovative processes to build common ground in the university systems in which he has spent most of his professional career.
In this podcast, he tells the story of his contribution in Mozambique to bring about the end of a 16-year civil war. This work, he says, was the most important and formative of his long career in the field of peacemaking. Instrumental to the success of the endeavor was a strong belief that, in spite of the huge challenges, peace was possible. As Dr. Bartoli says, “Peace is always possible. This must be repeated over and over in situations where you do not see the possibility of peace. . .If peace was possible in Mozambique, then it is possible in Syria, Afghanistan, it is possible everywhere.”
The story of Mozambique started simply – giving assistance to just one friend. That friend, in turn was connected to expanding systems of people, ultimately to an entire country and then, by way of example, to the world. Dr. Bartoli reflects how “each of us has a daily decision to make regarding how we use ourselves to evolve systems to a more harmonious and constructive place.” And, he says, “I think that the human spirit is much stronger than war, much stronger than violence. I think that violence and war are mistakes, collective mistakes, of not applying yourself to the discipline of seeking what unites and not what divides.”
Towards the end of the interview, Dr Bartoli talks about the importance of innovative process choice in peacemaking and diplomacy and, similarly, in the “diplomacy” required to run large complex systems such as universities.
Dr. Andrea Bartoli, an international conflict resolution expert who has served in key academic and diplomatic positions for more than two decades, joined the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University as Dean in July 2013. Prior to his appointment, Bartoli served as dean of George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR). Previously, he founded and directed the Center for International Conflict Resolution (CICR) at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) where he remains a Senior Research Scholar at the Saltzman Institute on War and Peace Studies. He also served as chair of the Columbia University Seminar on Conflict Resolution and launched its master’s program in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. A highly collaborative scholar, Bartoli has a record of publishing with colleagues and students. His primary research endeavors have been related to genocide prevention and international conflict resolution.
Bartoli’s international portfolio spans more than two decades and four continents. He has served as the Permanent Representative of the Community of Sant’Egidio to the United Nations and the United States since 1992. In this role he has been involved in many successful diplomatic activities. He has served in numerous peacemaking processes including in Mozambique (1990–1992), Guatemala (1995), Algeria (1995), Kosovo (1998), Burundi (1999-2000), Democratic Republic of the Congo (1996-current) and Casamance (1994- current). Bartoli has also been a participant in the U.S. State Department’s testimony on Religious Persecution Abroad before Congress and was a member of the Department of State’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group in 2012.
Bartoli oversaw the development and implementation of CICR and S-CAR’s interventions in Burma/Myanmar, East Timor, Colombia, Iraq and the African Great Lakes Region. He has worked for and collaborated with both public- and private-sector partners such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the Global Coalition to Prevent Armed Conflicts, the Ford Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the European Union, Parliamentarians for Global Action as well as for the governments of Norway, East Timor, Portugal, Sweden, Poland and Switzerland.
He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in anthropology from the University of Rome and his research doctorate degree from the University of Milan.
Show Notes (See below for links to resources and topics mentioned in this podcast)
o Andrea Bartoli, Dean at Seton Hall School of Diplomacy and International Relations
o Earlier he taught at the George Mason School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution
o Also at SIPA, School for International and Public Affairs at Columbia University
o Part of the Community of Sant’Egidio
o Served as Permanent Representative of Community of Sant’ Egidio to the United Nations
o Worked in peacemaking in Mozambique, Guatemala, Algeria, Kosovo, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burma/Myanmar, East Timor, Colombia, and other places
* What stands out to you?
o Experience in Mozambique between 1990 and 1992 was the most formative and important and the model of everything done afterwords
o I was one piece of a larger process led by the Mozambicans where the asked Sant’Egidio to assist
o Prior to becoming involved Mozambique process, had no knowledge of peacemaking
o Spiritual community of friends living the gospel in service of the poor and making peace
o Andrea Riccardi started community in 1968, Bartoli joined in 1970
o Not a conflict resolution organization per se
o Sant’Egidio extends an invitation to take interior life seriously and takes seriously one’s responsibility towards others and towards the poor
o The community has been at the forefront of the work against the death penalty, of birth registration to avoid children being neglected or abandoned
o Peace was an area where the community became relevant after Mozambique
o “Movement from potentiality toward actuality comes when you encounter a challenge” and respond
o The construct was friendship, the person asking was a friend in need, Bishop Jaime Goncalves
o There was a creative response, not simply a professional response
* The situation in Mozambique in 1990
o It was difficult to be a Catholic at that time because of a Marxist group, Frelimo, that had taken control
* Frelimo (Frente De Liberacion de Mozambique)
* Sant’Egidio in Mozambique
o The Sant’Egidio response was not only donations, but accompaniment
* “We will walk with you, seeking something better for you, we didn’t really have a sense of what that better could look like, we were not
thinking about peace, we were not thinking about peacemaking, we were not thinking about anything, we were simply wanting to help a friend.”
o Two fundamental responses, a creative response and a responsible response.
o “You have a community that becomes attentive to the needs of one person and through one person encounters a much larger human system, that is, everyone else in Mozambique”
* The problems in Mozambique
o The Frelimo Government was trying to create a nation state out of a territory that had never been a country before
* There were ethnic, cultural differences
* It was a highly centralized structure
* It did not respect the traditional structure
* Fractures within the emergent system
o Renamo, the Mozambican National Resistance, (Resistencia Nacional de Mozambique) was part of a violent response
* Sant’Egidio served as a neutral
o This was enough international oversight, but also provided some deniability in that it was simply an NGO and not the United Nations
* Was this a success?
o Mozambique is a great success, but you must still say that it is success in the making
* The agreement signed in Rome was the proof that lasting statebuilding requires political ingenuity,
* In Mozambique you see the primacy of policy, the capacity of human beings to come together and build political institutions that represent the interests and needs of the time.
* “Peace is always possible. This must be repeated over and over in situations where you do not see the possibility of peace.”
* If peace was possible in Mozambique, then it is possible in Syria, Afghanistan, it is possible everywhere.
* Seek what unites, not what divides, a line attributed to Pope John 23rd, a line used by Andrea Riccardi in his opening remarks
o This was the ethos and guiding driver of the talks
o I need to control myself, I can make a choice, and the choice is to seek what unites and not what divides
* “People need to hear that peace came to Mozambique because people started dancing. It didn’t come because the UN came; it didn’t come because you had a commission of inquiry, it came because there was a sudden restructuring, complete and profound and credible and genuine between the leadership and the people.”
* How can human systems suddenly restructure so completely?
o The impact of one person at a time
o The power of each of us to make a decision
* “Every time I encounter anyone anywhere in the world that has any inclination toward peace, seeking what unites and what divides, I must strengthen that result, I must accompany that result.”
* Don’t have expectations, discipline yourself to remain open to the opportunities that the moment provides
o Be attentive to yourself, to others, to the process, and to the emergent moment
* The use of Open Space is very clear to me and I use it
* The use of facilitative processes
o The design and process is innovative
o We all need to be more aware of the importance of process on outcome and the capacity of different contributors
o Traditional actors play new roles and traditional processes are used in new settings
o Clarity in process will have huge implications on the way we get to outcome.
* “I think that the human spirit is much stronger than war, much stronger than violence. I think that violence and war are mistakes, collective mistakes, they are mistakes of not applying yourself to the discipline of seeking what unites and not what divides. Being violent to others is a violation of your own humanity.”
* “Peace must be learned, peace is not just something that happens. Peace is a choice, peace is a struggle.”
* Links to Resources and topics mentioned in this podcast
o Andrea Bartoli’s faculty page: http://www.shu.edu/profiles/andreabartoli.cfm
o Seton Hall School of Diplomacy and International Relations: https://www13.shu.edu/academics/diplomacy/index.cfm
o The George Mason School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution: http://scar.gmu.edu/
o Columbia School of International and Public Affairs: https://sipa.columbia.edu/ o The Community of Sant’Egidio: http://www.santegidio.org/
o Andrea Riccardi, founder of Sant’Egidio: http://www.andreariccardi.it/en/ o An overview of Frelimo: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Frelimo o An overview of RENAMO: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RENAMO
o An overview of the Open Space process: http://www.openspaceworld.com/