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Marc Ross

Marc Howard Ross
William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor Emeritus in Political Science
Ph.D., Northwestern University

Marc Ross

Marc Howard Ross teaches courses in conflict theory, conflict management, and the politics of ethnicity and race. His recent research focuses on the role of culture in ethnic conflict and its management. It draws on conflict surrounding such issues as Loyal order parades in Northern Ireland, the holy sites in the old city of Jerusalem, language conflicts in Catalonia and Quebec, the confederate battle flag in the US south, and the politics of memory in post-Apartheid South Africa.

Ross is the author of four books: The Culture of Conflict: Interpretations and Interests in Comparative Perspective, The Management of Conflict: Interpretations and Interests in Comparative Perspective, Grass Roots in an African City: Political Behavior in Nairobi and The Political Integration of Urban Squatters. He has edited Theory and Practice in Ethnic Conflict Management: Theorizing Success and Failure and Cultural Strategies of Agenda Denial: Avoidance, Attack and Redefinition, and he has published scores of scholarly essays. He serves on the editorial boards of the scholarly journals Behavior Science Research, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Political Psychology and is a past chair of the Peace and Conflict Studies Section of the International Studies Association as well as a past president of the Society for Cross-Cultural Research. Ross' work has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation's Anthropology Program, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the United States Institute for Peace and the Mellon Foundation's New Directions Program.

Recent Publications:

“The Political Psychology of Competing Narratives: September 11 and Beyond.” In Craig Calhoun, Paul Price and Ashley Timmer, (eds), Understanding September 11. New York: The New Press, 2002, 303-320. (A shorter version appears on:

“Ritual and the Politics of Reconciliation,” in Yaacov Bar-Simon-Tov (ed). From Conflict Resolution to Reconciliation. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press (in press).

“Adding Complexity to Chaos: Policy Making in Conflict Situations,” in Mari Fitzduff and Cheyanne Church (eds). NGOs at the Table: Strategies for Influencing Policy in Areas of Conflict. Rowan and Littlefield (in press).

“Competing Narratives and Escalation in Ethnic Conflicts: The Case of the Holy Sites in Jerusalem.” Sphera Publica: Revista de Ciencias Sociales y de la Comunicaci_n. Special Issue: “Las Violencia en la generac_n de cultureas fonteriazas. 3, 2003, 189-208.

“PICA as a Peacebuilding Tool,” in Alex Austin, Martina Fischer and Oliver Wils (eds). Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment: Critical Views on Theory and Practice. Berghof Handbook for Conflict Transformation. Berlin: Berghof Center for Constructive Conflict Management, 2003. (Also available on:

"Action Evaluation in the Theory and Practice of Conflict Resolution," Peace and Conflict Studies. 8 (Spring 2001), 1, 1-15.

"Psychocultural Interpretations and Dramas: Identity Dynamics in Ethnic Conflict," Political Psychology. 22 (Spring 2001), pp. 157-178.

"Creating the Conditions for Peacemaking: Theories of Practice in Ethnic Conflict Resolution," Ethnic and Racial Studies. 23 (November 2000), 1002-1034.

"'Good-Enough' Isn't So Bad: Success and Failure in Ethnic Conflict Management," Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 6 (2000), 27-47.

"PBS Ain't So Different: Public Broadcasting, Election Frames, and Democratic Empowerment," Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics. 5 (September 2000), pp. 8-32 with Matthew Kerbel and Sumiya Apee).

"The Relevance of Culture for the Study of Political Psychology," in Stanley Renshon and John Duckitt (eds), Political Psychology: Cultural and Cross-Cultural Perspectives. Basingstoke and London: Macmillan, 2000, pp. 33-46.