Gabrielle Rifkind

“Global psychopathology – how war monsters people” – why empathy fails in the conditions of war and how a theory of managing radical differences has more to offer.  War creates the conditions for human regression. The conflict parties have often done terrible things to each other. These are not the conditions for self-awareness. Instead, it is far more likely to find the parties in a deep state of denial, particularly as to the horrors they have committed on the enemy, and the suffering they have caused their own people by not finding a solution earlier. This kind of denial often creates a rigid mindset where the leadership needs to believe in the rightness of their cause. Within this state of mind there are a number of psychological states and interests which will be obstructive to peace making. What can be done?

About the Speaker

Gabrielle Rifkind is the founder and director of the Oxford Process which is an organisation that specialises in preventive diplomacy and behind the scenes mediation. She comes from a psychological background and is interested in the relationship between geopolitics and the human mind and what motivates peo-ple both to get into and out of conflict. A political entrepreneur Rifkind has, over two decades, created a number of quiet behind-the-scenes round-table discus-sions, often between groups who are not currently in dialogue with their adver-saries in areas of conflict in the Middle East. One month a year Gabrielle works as a painter and this is integral to her sanity and self-expression. It deeply influ-ences her work in terms of a certain iconoclastic spirit and need to think outside the box. She sells her paintings and the proceeds go to her Middle East work.