Protesters, Police, and Mimetic Structures: The Implications of “Control” and “Respect” for Policies, Processes, and Behavior (Working Title)
Description: Dissident voices are a necessary part of democratic society; likewise, non-repressive police also play an essential role in providing security and and a context for public communicative actions. When there is a mimetic rivalry for control of social spaces this can escalate to outright violence. The rhetoric of animosity and resentment can resemble violent conflict; in fact each side is often deemed an “enemy” by the other. Stereotypes mimetically shape the respective realities. However, profound mutual respect and recognition of each other’s roles can lead to the emergence of new and creative ways to address societal challenges.Within mimetic structures of blessing the energy of conflict is harnessed for change and transformation.
Vern Neufeld Redekop is a Full Professor in the School of Conflict Studies at Saint Paul University, Ottawa. His involvement in training and program development has taken him to Indigenous communities in Canada as well as to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sudan, Taiwan and other countries. His theoretical and practical insights found expression in
his book, From Violence to Blessing: How anUnderstanding of Deep-Rooted Conflict Can Open Paths to Reconciliation, which included two chapters devoted to mimetic theory and scapegoating respectively and was organized around the concepts of mimetic structures of violence and mimetic structures of blessing. Subsequent research has focused on protest crowds and police, resulting in (with Shirley Paré) Beyond Control: A Mutual Respect Approach to Protest Crowd – Police Relations. Oxford University Press has published Introduction to Conflict Studies: Empirical, Theoretical, and Ethical Dimensions, which he co-authored with Jean-Francois Rioux. He edited
(with Thomas Ryba) René Girard and Creative Mimesis and René Girard and Creative Reconciliation. Current research focuses on Spirituality, Emergent Creativity, and Reconciliation and Community Dialogue processes on Social Reconciliation and Economic Development.
Suggested Reading: Vern Neufeld Redekop (with Shirley Paré) Beyond Control: A Mutual Respect Approach to Protest Crowd – Police Relations (Bloombury, 2010). link to book on Amazon.com