Negotiating the Nexus: Symbiotic Relationship of Theory and Practice in Conflict Management

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8 Scopus citations


The field of conflict resolution has long recognized that theory and practice are both vital in studying peace and conflict. But theory and practice often exist in separate worlds, each vying for privilege and recognition. However, many scholars and practitioners work in the theory–practice nexus, constantly negotiating as they move back and forth between the two domains. But even though tensions often exist between theory and practice, this essay proposes that they function together is a symbiotic relationship. Several ways are proposed for how a symbiotic approach to theory and research can be beneficial for the study and practice of conflict management, and the benefits of doing so are outlined. It is proposed that theory and practice come together in special ways in the classroom, and scholars and practitioners are encouraged to consider possibilities for promoting through teaching and pedagogy the coevolution of knowledge that is the essence of symbiosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-264
Number of pages13
JournalNegotiation and Conflict Management Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • collaborative inquiry
  • knowledge coproduction
  • reflective scholar
  • symbiosis
  • theory-practice nexus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management


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