Communication for Conflict Resolution: the Pashtun Tribal Rhetoric for Peace Building in Afghanistan
Focusing on communication as an important means besides other efforts for conflict resolution in an asymmetric armed conflict in Afghanistan, this study looked for a rhetorical communication approach appropriate to Pashtun tribal setting in South-eastern (Loya Paktya region) Afghanistan. The study explored and found some perceived essentials of such persuasive communication by conducting face-to-face semi-structured in depth interviews with 17 participants. Thematic analysis was used to code
... was used to code and categorize data. Aristotle's rhetorical theory provided a framework for this qualitative study by narrowing down the focus to exploring credibility of the communicator (ethos), the rationality of the message (logos), and the emotional appeals (pathos), particular for the south-eastern Pashtun tribal setting, during communication. In addition, considering the relation between rhetorical and soft power theories in influencing the choice of an audience, this project also asked participants if and how communication in their tribal setting could be framed as an influencing power by attraction rather than by coercion. Therefore, soft power of which persuasive communication is a crucial part was also used as a theoretical framework for this study. The findings show the significance of persuasive communication in future conflict resolution efforts in Afghanistan.