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Considering the Relationships among Social Conflict, Social Imaginaries, Resilience, and Community-based Organization Leadership

Max O. Stephenson, Jr., Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance

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Abstract

This article focuses on the question of what role community-based organization leaders play in shaping the possibility for the emergence of new social imaginaries. It argues that deep social conflicts and efforts to secure purposive change are likely to demand strong civil society organization response and that certain forms of imagination are necessary and must be actively employed among community-based leaders if new imaginaries are to be discerned and effectively shared in ways that encourage sustained dialogue and the development of new social understandings. The article explores these briefly and draws illustratively upon two relevant examples from the peacebuilding literature to contend that such imagination-led leadership is necessary to catalyze new social imaginaries that can lead to more resilient social orders.

Key words

post-conflict situations; resilience; social imaginaries
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087