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Image: Mighty Sparrow performing in a Calyspo tent, undated

Stefan Szczelkun reviews Everard M. Phillips, The Political Calypso: a sociolinguistic process of conflict transformation

For Everard M. Phillips recent Trinidadian political calypso is something as serious as your life. He ascribes to it a direct role in a ‘non-formal’ process of jurisprudence, or what he prefers to call ‘conflict transformation’. His ideas on conflict transformation draw on studies of globally widespread practices of dispute resolution by informal mediation, challenging the literal and formal approach to law built into the history of western states and their courts. Phillips defines conflict as ‘an inevitable part of the triadic process of learning, growth and change’ (p.17): he prefers the idea of transformation of meanings to that of ‘conflict resolution’, which often ends up resolving a problem in a way that brings more advantages to one party – usually the state – than the other, reproducing the original inequalities… continued here:  A Rough Passage to Navigate.


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