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Brad J. Bushman--Traditionally it has been assumed that aggressive people have low self-esteem.  For example, following a series of incidents in which school children fired guns and killed their classmates at various American schools, several organizations (including the United States Department of Education) prepared lists of alleged warning signals to be used to identify children who might be considered relatively likely to engage in such destructive violence, and nearly all the lists included low self-esteem as a significant risk factor.

Greg Laden--Someone is always wrong on the Internet. The idea that the most free-wheeling part of the Internet--blogs--would be a place where conflict is resolved seems laughable.  The detachment of argument from social cues normally used to moderate our conversations combined with the intentional sloughing off of civil norms means that the only resolution that happens here might be the screen resolution of your computer.  It would be easy to say that the Internet is where conflict is born, not resolved.

Stefan Wolff--The Arab Spring has ushered in a new period of political development across the Middle East and North Africa, but not one that has generated only positive outcomes. Overthrowing the Gadhafi regime in Libya was extremely costly in human life; yet such success has, to date, eluded the protest movement in Syria. Where revolutions succeeded, be it through protest, a military campaign, or a negotiated transition, outcomes, remain uncertain and are often far from what regime opponents within countries and outside expected, such as in Egypt and Yemen.

Mike McCullough--Living things, as Erwin Schrödinger observed, appear to be special entities with regard to the laws of physics: Instead of becoming increasingly disordered, as the second law of thermodynamics mandates, living things become more ordered as they grow and develop. To fuel their anti-entropic activity, however, organisms must capture resources from their environments.

Antonius Robben--Technological innovations in the security field are changing the anthropological study of violence and human conflict. 


Police, secret services, and private companies are pushing for seamless surveillance systems that are affecting people’s lives, the sovereignty over their bodies, and freedom of expression. Body scans, biosensors, permanent camera supervision, and activity analyses of cars and persons circulating in public places have become everyday realities for civilians.

Elliot Aronson -- One reason that conflicts are often difficult to resolve is the nearly universal human need for self-justification. Most of us believe that we are smart, ethical, and competent. If we find ourselves in a situation that threatens to make us feel stupid, immoral, or incompetent, we experience “cognitive dissonance,” a feeling of discomfort and anguish. Likewise, when we hold any strong commitment to a person, group, or cause, we will feel dissonance when evidence challenges the wisdom of that commitment. Dissonance, like hunger or thirst, is so unpleasant that we are motivated to reduce it.

Debra L. Martin, Anna Osterholtz, and Ryan Harrod -- As anthropologists, we study ancient human skeletons as a means to explain human behavior. We want to understand the biological impacts of violence and prolonged periods of abuse at the hands of others. We work with theories about the ways that nonlethal and lethal violence are used to subdue and exploit humans looking back into time and across different cultures. Captivity, warfare and torture are very old and ancient practices, going back as far as there are written records and burials. Bioarchaeology has made contributions to explaining how violence is used to create and reinforce particular kinds of social orders because we can access the whole skeleton, the context and meaning of death, and the community within which the individual lived, all through archaeological reconstruction.