The Conflict Tipping Podcast

The Conflict Tipping Podcast

The Conflict Tipping Podcast, hosted by Laura May PhD, focuses on innovative strategies for responding to social conflict. Episodes will bring in guests with expertise in all facets of conflict, from organizational behavior, emotions, technology, media, public and private social responsibility, and political polarization. Subscribe if you’re interested in conflict resolution, facilitation, peacebuilding, or the future of civil society -- we’d love to have you as part of our community!


June 3, 2024 48 mins

Join special guest Ankur Delight and Laura May as we review Amanda Ripley's book, "High Conflict".

Book blurb:

New York Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist Amanda Ripley investigates how good people get captured by high conflict—and how they break free. Our journey begins in California, where a world-renowned conflict expert struggles to extract himself from a political feud. Then we meet a Chicago gang leader w...

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Resilience in Adversity: Mediation and Climate Action in Malawi with Brown Masingati

(Info on how to donate to Brown's work below!)

Join host Laura May as she speaks with Brown Masingati, a member of Mediators Beyond Borders International. Brown talks about his roots in Malawi, the 'Warm Heart of Africa,' spotlighting his incredible work in addressing poverty, gender-based violence, and the impact of climate change. Discover how Br...

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Peace, Conflict, and the Power of Inclusion: Insights from Dr. Julia Palmiano Federer

What happens if you put two mediation fangirls who also happen to be intersectional feminists together into the same conversation? This episode! Host Laura May and guest Dr. Julia Palmiano Federer dive into critical discussions on peacebuilding and conflict mediation. Highlights include:

  • Julia's journey from Manila to Vancouver, and her path t...
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Exploring Indigenous Approaches to Peacebuilding: The Idea of Ubuntu

In this episode of the Conflict Tipping podcast, host Laura May interviews Bryony Vince, a PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield in the UK and an advocate for context-specific indigenous approaches to peace-building. Bryony talks about her PhD focus on Ubuntu, a South African worldview that underscores interconnectedness and mutual dependence, as a tool fo...

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Power Perception and Conflict Prevention in the Black Sea Region: A Conversation with Neli Kirilova

In this episode of 'Conflict Tipping Podcast', host Laura May speaks with Neli Kirilova, a researcher focused on power perception and conflict prevention in the Black Sea Region. Kirilova discusses why the Black Sea region is a nexus for conflict, largely due to cultural, religious, and linguistic diversity. She also delves into how ...

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Strengthening Mental Health in Conflict Zones: A Conversation with Dr. Nawaraj Upadhaya

In this episode of the Conflict Tipping Podcast, host Laura May interviews Dr. Nawaraj Upadhaya, Global Mental Health Director at HealthRight International. Dr. Upadhaya shares about his experience developing and implementing a WHO-associated Self-Help Plus intervention in Uganda and Sudan, targeting individuals dealing with mild to moderate str...

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In the latest episode of the Conflict Tipping podcast from, meet Dr Louise Ridden, a specialist in nonviolence and Unarmed Civilian Protection.  We talk about:

  • What is Unarmed Civilian Protection?  Where is it used?
  • How does UCP 'happen' in conflicts?
  • What is the role for mediation and mediators in UCP?
  • False binaries in war and peace
  • The role of peace-keeping and UCP in violent conflicts
  • Spaces, bodies, and time in...
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In this episode, Laura engages in a riveting conversation with Anne Ikiara, the Executive Director of the nonprofit Digital Action.  She has a remarkable background directing social enterprises in Global Majority countries and is known as an author, poet, speaker, gender consultant, and social advocate.

We talk about:

  • Lived Experience of Disinformation and Violence: Anne shares her personal connection to the impacts of disinfo...

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Hear from Dr. Samuel Ritholtz, a Max Weber fellow at the European University Institute and specialist in queer experiences of conflict, crisis, and displacement, as they talk about their research into anti-LGBT violence during Colombia's civil war. We explore the violence's impact on LGBT communities, the dynamics of paramilitaries, and the concept of queer peacebuilding. Let's dive in!

In this episode, we discuss:

  • The logic be...
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Laura May is joined by Dr. Patricia Cernadas Curotto, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Geneva interested in compassion, conflict resolution, inter-group relations, and emotions. Laura attempts to convince Patricia to add kite surfing to her interests as they dive into Patricia's research:

  • 💑 How sleep deprivation affects even "perfect" relationships.
  • 🧐 The connection between basic needs like sleep and handling c...
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Welcome to the Conflict Tipping podcast from, where we explore social conflict and what to do about it. In this episode, we explore the effects of party polarization on electoral participation with Dr. Morgan Le Corre Juratic, a postdoctoral researcher at Aarhus University in Denmark. She recently completed her PhD at the European University Institute, focusing on party competition, political behavior, and support for d...

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In this episode, learn about Stanford PhD candidate Luiza Almeida Santos' research into fostering empathy across political divides.  Listen if you are interested in learning more about:

  • What empathy is (and is not)
  • How empathy helps us - and 'them'
  • Building common ground
  • Carrying out conversations across divides


About Luiza:

Luiza is a psychology Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University, studying how political conflicts d...

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In this episode, meet Dr Benjamin Abrams, who has just released his brand-new book about mass mobilisations called "The Rise of the Masses".  Listen if you are interested in:

  • Why mass mobilisations such as protests happen
  • The Black Lives Uprising, Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, or even the French Revolution
  • The emotions of protest
  • How physical space can support mass mobilisations
  • Ben's admiration for guillotines

Buy the...

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In this episode, Laura speaks with David Liddle, founder and CEO of the TCM Group, about his career as a dedicated mediator and 'people first' professional.  Listen if you are interested in:

  • His early career mediating in estates in the UK
  • Transformational culture and restorative justice in the workplace
  • A role for mediators in broader social conflicts
  • Redefining HR in modern organisations

About David: David has developed ...

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In this episode, Host, Laura May, talks with guests, Dr. Solveig Richter and Laura Camila Barrios Sabogal about Colombia as a case study for how conflict behaves and how conflict transforms itself.  Topics discussed include:

  • The role of language in the Peace Accords
  • Security concerns
  • Listening to local partners
  • Psychological support
  • Involving communities in the research and the final products

Connect with the Guests:


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In this episode, Laura speaks with Dr. Miguel Varela Rodriguez, an academic at the University of Valladolid in Spain, and peace mediation expert.  Listen if you're interested in:  
  • How cancer and conflict are portrayed on social media
  • Use of images in peace mediation
  • The role of technology and AI in peace mediation
  About Miguel:   Miguel is a PhD sociologist and photographer. His work looks at social conflict, public he...
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    In this episode, Laura speaks with Dr. Shannon Wheatley Hartman of the Interactivity Foundation.  Listen if you are interested in learning more about:
    • A collaborative approach to academia and the classroom
    • Dealing with group think
    • When NOT to collaborate
    • Embracing cultural humility
    • Community conversations and democracy as an aspirational idea
    • Avoiding both-sides-ism
    • Bringing together communities and building inclusive events
    • <...

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    In this episode, Laura speaks with Dr. Zdena Mtetwa-Middernacht, whose doctoral research focused on whiteness in migration. Listen if you are interested in:  
    • Why you might need to learn to fake an Australian accent
    • Colonisation and legacies of privileged whiteness in Zimbabwe
    • What intersectionality means and how it affects our lives
    • Transnationalism and living in two places at once
    • Wearing different identity hats, and living d...
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    In this episode, Laura speaks with PhD candidate Brianna Hernandez, whose work focuses on gender, conflict, and environmentalism.  She is currently at Florida International University, committee member for the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and a WWF panda ambassador.   Listen if you want to hear about:
    • The problem of binaries and black-and-white thinking
    • Why we can't 'just add women and stir' in peacebuil...
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    In this episode, Laura speaks with PhD candidate Adrian Wagner, whose research focuses on the integration of collective or community trauma.  He is undertaking his PhD at the Universität Witten/Herdecke, is a research fellow at the European School of Governance, and works as a coach and facilitator for transformational leadership.   This episode is for you if you want to hear about:  
    • The long footprint of collective traumas (e...
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