The Infinity Loop for Optimising Development of Empathy

Authors: Iván Győző Somlai

The Infinity Loop for Optimising Development of Empathy


There is a human instinct to deplore undesired events rather than to understand them, creating room for error in judging future events. Understanding, in turn, requires mutual, deep analysis and relationship building that explores and analyses one another’s metacontext: society, culture, language, history, personal household circumstances, education, occupations, motivations and so on. Sincere understanding can elicit empathy which thereafter facilitates acceptance and adoption of changes in attitudes, behaviours and values.Be it bureaucratic disagreements, political imbroglios, development project multinational team disagreements or violent security circumstances, it has often been exceedingly difficult to attempt—let alone actually engage in—useful dialogues with adversaries, disputants or counterparts (what hereinafter I often refer to as “Others”). Yet dialogic efforts are indispensible in increasing understanding among conflicting or adversarial parties. To assist in overcoming such impasse in communication, this paper highlights a process integrating socio-anthropological and psychological techniques in abetting discernment and bridging disparate worlds.

Keywords: Conflict; Communication; Dialogue; Process; Infinity Loop


“An international relationship is not a free-standing object, isolated from the day-to-day traffic of governmental business, a museum piece to improve and edify. [A] relationship [is] the aggregate of all the different ways in which we [get] on together, although it [is] naturally infused by interests of all kinds, including culture and scholarship.”[i]

Frustrations can build through not only an inability to comprehend one another’s perspectives, but by imperfect cross-cultural communication and – especially during major disagreements – by feelings of mistrust. The (potential) misalignment of expectations contributes ambiguities for both sides about what, how much or why one should give and take.



Heterogeneity, as Maruyama[ii] has amply postulated, symbioticizes diversity, optimizes resource utilization and increases the probability of surviving catastrophes. Heterogeneity can develop within oneself as well, partly through the nurturing of polyocular vision, that is, the capability to see others’ points of view. Again, as Maruyama (1994) explains, those…

“…who believe in the existence of one truth, will inevitably, ask: ‘If you have different views, which one is right?’ But consider the following: in the binocular vision it is irrelevant to raise the question as to which eye is correct and which is wrong. Binocular vision works, not because two eyes see different sides of the same object, but because the differential between the two images enables the brain to compute the invisible dimension. When there are different points of view, (some Westerners) tend to say: ‘Let’s ignore the parts on which we differ, and work on the parts on which we agree! Well, if you reduce binocular vision to parts on which two eyes agree, what is left is one flat surface, if any. For the same reason, insistence on the “objective” parts on which everybody agrees is a tremendous impoverishment of our vision, even though many people would consider this as “scientific” thinking.”

An interpretation of what Maruyama is saying, supported by my own conviction from experience, is threefold:

  1. That a holistic perspective may often be more enlightening than a particularistic view;
  2. That “objective” thinking may at times have less significance than we would like to believe; and that therefore....
  3. We ought not to discount the importance of subjective perspectives, because these often yield clues to the reasons for particular attitudes, behaviours and practices.

If we were to encapsulate the empathy issue it is this: the paucity of efforts to develop empathy amongst belligerents and government; or between insurgents and villagers; or between criminals and security services simply abet continuation of misunderstandings over certainty; suspicion over trust; contempt over respect; shallowness over profundity. We must learn to better communicate and to believe that one can always learn from others regardless of one’s beliefs, societal stature or experiences.

Perspicacious selection, sequencing, combining and application of modalities for improving one’s understanding of key interlocutors are not possible without an adequate frame of reference.

In the following paragraphs I shall detail a suggested process for more harmonious and effective communication between counterparts, disputants or adversaries, referring to the interlocutor on your other side as the “Other”.

Optimising the development of empathy

A pragmatic methodology for systematically optimising the development of empathy amongst dissident stakeholders is the following “Infinity Loop” evolved by myself (Somlai, 1992) during efforts to find meaningful ways of interacting between expatriates and hosts so as to enhance mutual understanding and thereby promote more effective cross-cultural, multiethnic collaborations both domestically and internationally.[iii] I have facilitated discussions about this model and efforts to utilise it in Nepal, Pakistan, Indonesia, Russia and Canada; in this article I have considerably expanded on previous description of the process in order to allow easier self-study and reflection.

Not to overload details, it would be advantageous to recognize that whatever position you are in within your organization or company, you are part of a larger entity under a work climate unique to your employer; in turn, your organization is enveloped by the metacontext of the region, country and particular ethnocultural, religious, political, financial, economic, ecological, legal and other influences. Your own organization (subgroup) may itself belong to a larger main group (e.g. part of a transnational company or a multinational military force). Thus it is taken for granted that you are aware of and reasonably understand the context within which you, yourself, operate. Yet, if honest with yourself, you would admit that as familiar as you are within your own metacontext, its complexity makes it nonetheless impossible to know or understand all of its intricacies. Moreover, your own organization (probably) uses consultants to defuse conflicts or improve effectiveness and efficiency of your services or products; and your own country hires lawyers to decrypt the complexities of legal interpretations.

Figure 1 - Overlap of people, their organizations and their larger environment

Figure 1 Ivan_1

How exceedingly more complex is it, then, to decipher the intricate web of influences over your “Other’s” pervasive, interdependent, and largely impersonal systems?

As Hodgson (2001: xiii) points out,

Differences between different systems could be so important that the theories and concepts used to analyze them must also be substantially different, even if they share some common precepts. A fundamentally different reality may require a different theory”.[iv]

In Figure 2 below, “YOU” refers to you: the policeman, the soldier, the social worker, the development practitioner, the disaster or humanitarian specialist, the peace researcher; while your member opposite, counterpart/colleague, informant or adversary is the “OTHER”, the individual you are dealing with in your, or the “Other’s”, territory....or even within your own organization or project.

Figure 2 - Infinity Loop for optimising development of empathy

Figure 2 Ivan 2

Using the figure as a guide, the process involves three complementary stages, each with relevant phases and/or steps. This communicative concept may seem as a “different reality”; but let us remember that regardless how long such a systematic process might take, “[t]his ought not be an impediment to trying, nor need it be thought of as a pessimistically long timeframe. Why? Because working towards meaningful negotiations and resolutions under the current practices”[v] has failed in numerous insurgencies around the world; in other words, there is a demonstrable need for alternative communication strategies that lead to effective harmonization both on the individual and institutional levels.


The reader is asked to overlook some of the descriptions and modalities which, for sake of providing an integrated summary of options, may have elements that apply to only insurgent or criminal interlocutors vs. those that concern more innocuous work related counterparts.


  1.  Acknowledgment Stage

All stakeholders should try to understand and accept that there are, indeed, differences in your—or the majority society’s-- culture generally, and the subgroups specifically, in patterns of thought, behaviour, attitudes and ethics. Not in every culture can people provide concrete answers to abstractions such as “truthfulness”, “loyalty” or “self”. Subsumed in these differences is the reality that the reasons for wishing to collaborate may be poles apart. At the second stage you will try to search for those reasons.

Ivan 3

The parties (i.e. You and the Other) would be successful were they to candidly admit that while one stakeholder does not necessarily agree with any or all differences, it nonetheless recognizes that local context obligates or shapes these differences. As such, these differences have innate -- if somewhat incomprehensible -- validity. However we must not flounder within a sea of….

“….relativistic morality, according to which right and wrong ….are in the eye of the beholder; a "terrorist" to one eye is a "freedom fighter" to another,….and so on. Such blurring of distinctions….leads to moral bankruptcy….These symmetries should be broken by reference to objective norms of right and wrong adopted by civilized society. There is simply no moral equivalence between those who labor to minimize the suffering of innocent and those who pride themselves on maximizing such suffering.[vi]

Consider this to be the "be true to thyself" stage wherein a sincere dialectic ought to be pursued. And this is where most conflict transformation initiatives sow their fate: for if, knowingly, the parties consent to continue despite vast personal perspectives and other differences and without going to the next step (Transpection) so as to at least attempt to understand the “Other”, then from the outset one can expect a status quo—if not progressive deterioration--of the relationship. Furthermore, if under such circumstances—i.e. mutual ignorance--experts are then engaged to fulfil the stakeholders' obligations, the existing group relational forces—i.e. the prevailing groupthink-- will usually and ultimately outweigh the personal forces. This is because it is easier for individuals to try to forge understanding with other individuals; and any success in increased understanding can be shared with members of the group.

A comparison may be made with the reading of great literature (Lewis, 1961):


We want to be more than ourselves…we want to see with other eyes, to imagine with other imaginations, to feel with other hearts, as well as with our own.”[vii]

Ivan 4

 This Acknowledgement Stage is, of course, an exercise that should be undertaken before even meeting any adversary or counterpart, as this would be excellent preparation for a civilised exchange. Were this indeed done and the reasoned personal perceptions retained, then whenever a meeting would be realised between you and the “Other”, you should feel more reassured in your approach and, conversely, your counterpart should likewise sense your disposition.

  1. Transpection Stage

Were the first step completed honestly, the respective individuals would be open to other ideas and ways of doing, i.e. ameliorated attitudes and behaviours. Then, they could endeavour to step into the minds of their counterparts and explore the reasons behind the differences; this process helps to develop empathy. An analogy would be a consultant doing an institutional or organizational assessment, wherein one seeks an intimate understanding of the “corporate culture” in order to make sense of the problems, issues and good decisions and the cross-influences emanating thereof.

As an intermediate step, if one has time, it would be useful to try to research as much as possible before meeting with a specific “Other”, whether through personal connections, school or work records, news media, internet, known community members, reports and so on. Any amount of prior information might provide you with initial insights as to your counterpart’s ideology, personality and type of compensation required to keep the person communicative. Compensation does not mean necessarily money, but rather any form of ethical satisfaction to make him or her feel comfortable in rapport building with you and later continuing communication.

It is essential to distinguish between the mind (of an individual) and the environment (i.e. the collective culture); this is now going beyond the analogy with an institution, as discussed above, for the metacontext, the broader societal environment, presents an ever more variegated background that influences individuals. However, we do wish to focus on how the individual relates to his or her own work group and how the latter interfaces with other groups in the organization.

Patient and persevering transpection should lead to the realization that not all cultures have quantitative and hierarchical epistemologies (a popular example being Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Values”). Moreover, adequate transpection should mitigate the making of interpretations only through one’s own culture: for our quest for understanding and trust comes not by transposing the majority’s or our own culture, ethics, administration and philosophy upon a minority’s or “Other’s” culture, ethics, administration and philosophy. Rather, our quest would be successful by recognizing that our own practices and philosophy could be broadened through contact with the minority or other culture --and vice versa. In other words, our intent, in the end, is not to interpret the host or “Other’s” culture through your mind, but to strive for sufficient insight to interpret the “Other” culture through the “Other’s” mind-- and vice versa.

Making and defending declarations about one’s knowledge and understanding about a place requires not only immersion in and familiarity with the time, place, and circumstances in question, but a capacity to distil, analyse and select from the array of available, but oft unreliable, source material to make and assess one another’s claims.

So how could one get into another’s mind? Borrowing from interdisciplinary insights within cross-cultural communication, psychosociology, anthropology, neuroscience and even musicology reveal some practical methods. Let us just briefly mention the most pertinent approaches essential for optimizing the Transpection stage: the Set; the Exchange; the Transition.

Phase 1 – The Set

As you may have already had a chance to do some research on the person whom you wish to meet (but even if you haven’t), it would be important to meet at an appropriate venue. To a great extent this will be determined by the level of secrecy required (e.g. in case of dealing with insurgents); the amount of time you might realistically have (it is counterproductive to rush); the need for privacy (e.g. sensitive business deliberations); the benefit of sociocultural appropriateness (what image emerges from regaling an insurgent leader promoting economic equality and poverty elimination of the downtrodden in a five star hotel?); and, in the end, whoever has the power to suggest the venue (there is advantage in your being able to influence location).

A venue setup is your first step in nonverbal communication and constitutes an important aspect of the ensuing dialectic. If yours be a chance encounter then your preparatory setup is inconsequential; however any planned meeting should also consider venue elements such as lighting, furniture arrangement and comfort, temperature, any fragrances, decorations, windows and extraneous sound interference.

Recall some important meetings from previous occasions. Had you felt differently when meeting in a smoky coffee shop, a small NGO office, a Director General’s office at the Government Secretariat, a shopping mall, five-star hotel, in a corn field, while travelling together in a vehicle or at the back of a store? From personal experience and remembering what affected you in those meetings, you ought to be able to appreciate the advantages of having an appropriate setting, and then extrapolate those to your present needs.

Other considerations of the Set include personal facets such as what you wear (design, colouretc.), and what you might display on yourself that reflect position, accomplishments or honours (e.g. flag, rank, service club pin etc.).

In summary, the Set should reflect the environment that would likely elicit the most productive information gathering, exchange and mutual satisfaction.

Phase 2 – The Exchange

In the 19th century, the famous Russian composer….

“Mussorgsky believed that human speech was governed by musical laws—that a speaker conveys emotions and meaning by musical components such as rhythm, cadence, intonation, timbre, volume, tone etc.”[viii]

Other associated components may include speed of speaking (slower is better); vocal attractiveness (“what sounds beautiful is good”), which has been shown by Guerrero and Hecht (2008) to be favoured by listeners (p.155)[ix] and that subjectively defined attractiveness can even elevate a person’s power and assertiveness; and manipulations of vocal pitch level, which can have a significant impact on how listeners perceive and judge a speaker.[x] Also, vocal stress may be caused by prepared lies more than by spontaneous lies, according to research by O’Hair & Cody (1987).[xi]

You can unknowingly sabotage your intentions to harmoniously glean useful information by unconsciously showing superior status or lack of deference to the “Other”. Speech, or verbal communication, remains a sine qua non of effective, normal information exchange. However, just as the “Set” (above) optimises the non-verbal environment, verbal communication further evinces emotion and provides detail. So we need to effectively and harmoniously combine both.

In support of Mussorgsky’s intuitive acumen, subsequent interdisciplinary research has shown that voice quality in some cases may prove even more influential than visual engagement.

The following allied modalities must also be kept in mind for a successful exchange.

Alignment: Your non-verbal body language and verbal communication ought to be sensibly synchronised.

Attitude: Smile; be polite, sincere and truthful.

Validation: Keep your “Other” in the forefront with encouragement to tell his/her story, along with your timely prompts and questions.

Patience: Have realistic expectations; do not hurry yourself, nor should you push, rush or interrupt your “Other”.

Phase 3 – The Transition

Aim to have your “Other” leave the meeting satisfied that it was worthwhile and hopefully prepared to engage again at a later date.

Like a successful business or sales person, if you wish to gain or retain a client, you will have patiently listened to his or her story and naturally elicited information that now helps you better understand the person, thus enabling you to orient further questions and suggestions to the “Other’s” interests such as: family circumstances, other relationships, likes and dislikes, desires, occupation and vocational details, knowledge about particular subjects germane to your needs (e.g. political, ethnocultural, religious, organizational, specific skills etc.).

Would this step be followed, it would gradually become evident that in some societies, the "how" of a particular interaction is more important than the "why", and that -- among many other considerations -- hierarchical and spatial arrangements may have more significance than in many other cultures.

Thus, when outsiders come with great ideas, but no appreciation of or empathy with the locus, how is it possible to have local people (the “Others”) understand you and you (possibly the outsider) propose successful local solutions? As research by Keysar and Wu (2007) noted:

Many actions and words have multiple meanings. In order to sort out what a person really means, we need to gain some perspective on what he or she might be thinking and, [some], who don’t have that skill very well developed, probably tend to make more errors in understanding what another person means,”[xii]

In your assessment of the “Other”, an excellent suggestion by Morris (2013) is to consider three general components of credibility: trustworthiness, competence and likability, with their respective traits[xiii]:

Figure 3 - Components of credibility

Figure 3 Ivan 5

While many may exceed in competence,[xiv] the other two components are, perhaps, better indicators of reliability.


Now, the first two steps bring us to a crucial “Junction” at which the next phase—Replication— starts and which, if blocked or considered irrelevant, makes this whole exercise a one-sided, ineffective affair.

Ivan 6

  1. Replication Stage

Regardless how assiduously the first two steps are done, if these steps be taken by only one of the stakeholders, then an intended dialogue or polylogue remains but a monologue. Martin Buber (1961) elaborates distinctions between genuine dialogue (“where each of the participants really has in mind the other or others … and turns to them with the intention of establishing a living mutual relation between himself and them”), technical dialogue (“which is prompted solely by the need of objective understanding”) and monologue disguised as dialogue (“in which two or more men meeting in space speak each with himself in strangely tortuous and circuitous ways”).[xv]

An iterative process for progressing with replication and encouraging the “Other” to open up to you should incorporate the following thought progressions (which correlate with my third paragraph in the Transpection Stage above).

  1. Predetermine what you would like your “Other” to discuss or explain?
  2. Delve into the “Other’s” motivations for believing why he or she should open up with you, not why you think he or she should.

Think of how you convinced a friend to share a secret with you or to do a prank at school or to help you meet someone: through your conscious or unconscious application of psychology (e.g. because deciding something is hard, relying on someone who makes or suggests the decision is easier; preferring to arrange meetings early to mid-morning; ensuring your counterpart has some snacks; hinting at rewards) combined with practical experience you had been successful in influencing without manipulating[xvi].

The Junction requires the encouragement of the replication of the first two steps by the stakeholders with whom you are doing the enquiry. Without a conceptual reciprocation of "Acknowledgment" and "Transpection", mutual understanding, communication and growth are absent or impeded. So, each of the phases and steps has to be replicated by the “Others”.

Like Westerners’ denial or incomprehensibility of the Buddhist doctrine of “no-self” (anattaa), or the Hindu belief in reincarnation (samsara), or Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), or other complex concepts, the process of Replication does not guarantee any resolution to the intercultural, metaphysical or philosophical quandary; it may, however, lead to better understanding from each other’s perspectives.

Initiation of this 3-stage process could be by any of the stakeholders and, ideally, should be simultaneous, as this is not a sequential exercise by one side and then the other. If you—for example—feel relatively confident in your own “Acknowledgement” and the “Other” seems willing or anxious to talk, you should let that person talk while eliciting information that helps you to understand the “Other’s” perspectives. Your reciprocal exploration should ideally be a mutually reinforcing effort.

However, as in all likelihood those learning this process would have an advantage, it behoves the practitioners of this process to encourage and motivate the “Other” to likewise develop trust and believe in sharing appurtenant aspects of one’s life. Moreover, if we desire to have the “Other” feel content with the exchange (be it actual meeting, some other form of communication or simply a brief introductory chat), you must focus on prioritising the “Other’s” needs and wants while simultaneously deferring to the “Other’s” ego ahead of yours.

With the above in mind, in view of the multifaceted preparations, if you do not feel sufficiently confident then see if there be an alternate to conduct the encounter either alone or with your presence (so that you could learn from a more seasoned colleague’s approach). Regardless how the interaction might turn out—meeting confirmed or not; dialogue informatively rich or not—as long as the “Other” felt comfortable with you, there is a good chance that same person would be willing to again interact with you; and if patience, optimism and confidence are sustained, progress and peaceful resolutions have a chance to emerge.


I have outlined a 3-stage process for enhancing trust and understanding: Acknowledgement, Transpection and Replication. Would the above process be started at the earliest in a context of conflict, there may be a good chance that a particular conflict’s most serious consequences could be averted. Successful application of this process may even lead to what some might consider as antithetical, synallagmatic results: that is, trust and friendship could evolve, colleagueship and dialogue may flourish, blurring the distinction between different “sides”. In turn, this implies more flexibility in roles (between, for example, expatriate advisor and host implementer), the potential weakening of hierarchy and the strengthening of relationships. In the end, a shift in our own fundamental understanding may come about, and trust will have had a foothold. With increased trust comes understanding and the evolution of empathy. Empathy can nurture harmony, respect, compassion and incentive for mutual exploration of common ground. Peace in every aspect of life is a laudable objective.





[i] Patten, C. (1998) East and West. Toronto, McClelland and Stewart Inc.

ii Maruyama, M. (1994) Heterogeneity, Interaction and Subsedure in: Caley, M.T. and Sawada, D. Mindscapes; Gordon and Breach; Amsterdam.

[iii] Somlai, I.G. (1992). Fancy Footwork: Entrapment in and Coping with the Nepali Management Model; Ratna Pustak Bhandar; Kathmandu (2nd edition, revised & expanded).

[iv]Hodgson, G. (2001). How economics forgot history: The problem of historical specificity in social science economics as social theory, Routledge, London and New York: inNikos Astroulakis, Ethics and International Development: The Development Ethics Paradigm. East-West Journal ofEconomics and Business Vol. XVI – 2013, No 1 (99-117)

[v] Somlai, I.G. (2007). “The Web in the Shadows / Chaayaamaa Maakuraako Jaalo: Anatomy of stakeholder influences in an insurgency”; in “Contentious Politics and Democratization in Nepal”, Sage,143-171.

[vi]Pearl J. (2005)On Clash, Morality, Renaissance and Dialogue;Chapter from After Terror: From Clash of Civilizations to Dialogue, Akbar Ahmed and Brian Forst editors, Polity Press, Winter.

[vii] Lewis, C.S. (1961). An Experiment in Criticism. London: Cambridge University Press. 137 & 139).

[viii]Figes, O. (2003). Natasha’s Dance. Picador, New York, p.234.

[ix] Guerrero, L.K. & Hecht, M.L. (2008). The nonverbal communication reader (3rd ed.). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, Inc.

[x] Tigue, C.C., Borak, D.J., O’Connor, J.J.M., Schandl, C., & Feinberg, D.R. (2012). Voice pitch influences voting behavior. Evolution and Human Behavior, 33,210-21; and

Ko, S.J., Judd, C.M. & Stapel, D.A. (2009). Stereotyping based on voice in the presence of individuating information: Vocal femininity affects perceived competence but not warmth. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(2), 198-211.

[xi] O’Hair, D. & Cody, M.J. (1987). Gender and vocal stress differences during truthful and deceptive information sequences. Human Relations, 40(1), 1-14.

[xii]Keysar, B. and Wu, S. “The Effect of Culture on Perspective Taking,” Journal Psychological Science. 2007 Volume 18—Number 7.

[xiii]Morris, C.A. (2013) Beyond Expert Credentials: Every Aspect of Credibility Counts.TheJury Expert; March/April, Vol. 25 Issue 2, p13.

[xiv]Morris, C.A. (2008). “Preparing the Narcissistic Witness: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall.” The Jury Expert, September, Vol. 20: Issue 3.

[xv]Buber, M. (1961), Between Man and Man, London, Collins.


[xvi]b. Both influential and manipulative techniques affect another person by inducing some conformity without force.

“Influence” is having the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone through personal example or other motivation. Successful influence is based on strong rapport, clear and congruent communication, as well as awareness and understanding of others and often results in inspiration.

“Manipulation” is to some extent similar; however it controls or influences a person unscrupulously so that results go in the manipulator’s favour. Those being manipulated feel pressured, trapped, regretful or angry towards the manipulator: that is not what you want!



Buber, M. (1961). Between Man and Man. London: Collins

Figes, O. (2003). Natasha’s Dance. New York: Picador. p.234.

Guerrero, L.K., and Hecht, M.L. (2008). The nonverbal communication reader (3rd ed.). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, Inc.

Hodgson, G. (2001). How economics forgot history: The problem of historical specificity in social science economics as social theory. London: Routledge. In Nikos Astroulakis. (2013), Ethics and International Development: The Development Ethics Paradigm. East-West Journal of Economics and Business, XVI (1), 99-117

Keysar, B., and Wu, S. (2007). The Effect of Culture on Perspective Taking. Journal Psychological Science, 18(7), 600-606.

Ko, S.J., Judd, C.M., and Stapel, D.A. (2009). Stereotyping based on voice in the presence of individuating information: Vocal femininity affects perceived competence but not warmth. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(2), 198-211.

Lewis, C.S. (1961). An Experiment in Criticism. London: Cambridge University Press.

Maruyama, M. (1994) Heterogeneity, Interaction and Subsedure in Caley, M.T., and Sawada, D., Mindscapes; Gordon and Breach: Amsterdam

Morris, C.A. (2008). Preparing the Narcissistic Witness: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. The Jury Expert, September, Vol. 20: Issue 3.

Morris, C.A. (2013) Beyond Expert Credentials: Every Aspect of Credibility Counts. The Jury Expert; March/April, Vol. 25 Issue 2, p13

O’Hair, D., and Cody, M.J. (1987). Gender and vocal stress differences during truthful and deceptive information sequences. Human Relations, 40(1), 1-14.

Patten, C. (1998). East and West. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Inc.

Pearl, J. (2005). On Clash, Morality, Renaissance and Dialogue. In Ahmed, A., and Forst, B. (Eds.), After Terror: From Clash of Civilizations to Dialogue. Polity Press.

Somlai, I.G. (1992). Fancy Footwork: Entrapment in and Coping with the Nepali Management Model  (2nd edition, revised & expanded). Kathmandu: Ratna Pustak Bhandar

Somlai, I.G. (2007). The Web in the Shadows / Chaayaamaa Maakuraako Jaalo: Anatomy of stakeholder influences in an insurgency (143-171). in Contentious Politics and Democratization in Nepal. Sage.

Tigue, C.C., Borak, D.J., O’Connor, J.J.M., Schandl, C., and Feinberg, D.R. (2012). Voice pitch influences voting behavior. Evolution and Human Behavior, 33, 210-21



IG Somlai has worked in or with 3 insurgencies in Central America and Asia as well as experienced a revolution in his early years in Europe. Educated in Europe, North America and Asia, his 18 years’ service at three universities as well as global multisectoral consulting with interdisciplinary, cross-cultural and inter-religious teams, has provided him insights in mediation, motivation, multinational team harmonization, disaster and humanitarian response training and effective project management. Ivan remains an Associate - Centre for Asia Pacific Initiatives, University of Victoria (; Managing Editor (since 2006) - International Journal of Social Forestry (; and Director - ETHNOBUREAUCRATICA ( Correspondence may be directed to