The Value of Forgiveness in Western and Arab/Muslim Conceptualizations of Interstate Conflict Resolution

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Abstract

The incorporation of the principle and practice of forgiveness into interstate conflict resolution programs is a cross-cultural sticking point between Arab/Muslim and Western discourse and practices. Some Western scholars adamantly reject the principle and practice at the higher levels, while most Arab/Muslim scholars embrace forgiveness at all levels of conflict resolution. Our research contradicts the Western tendency of rejecting the inclusion of forgiveness utilizing a convenience sample of laypersons from the United States and Iraq to demonstrate that the principle and practice is accepted by both samples when resolving conflict between 2 countries. Our findings are theoretically important as they demonstrate both openness to, and cross-cultural comparability in this context.

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