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!

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Friday Nov 04, 2022

In this episode Laura interviews Tamsin Parnell, a linguistics researcher whose doctoral work focuses on identities, discourses, and division around Brexit. She is a research associate at the University of Warwick, visiting lecturer at Birmingham City University, and is interested in media and political discourses.  In this episode, Tamsin (and her cat Willow!) join Laura to talk about Brexit, covid-19, immigration, and how to reduce inflammatory speech and division. Tamsin's Linkedin: Tamsin's twitter: @tamsinparnell    

Thursday Oct 20, 2022

In this episode Laura interviews Jan Gerrit Voelkel, who is a Ph.D. Student in Sociology at Stanford University. Jan's research studies intergroup and interpersonal relationships with two guiding research questions. First, what causes people's willingness to harm others and defend inequalities? And second, how can personal or societal change be achieved that increases equality and/or reduces harm? Jan has developed interventions that increase support for policies that aim to reduce economic inequality or increase opportunity for immigrants. Jan has also led the Strengthening Democracy Challenge, a megastudy that tested 25 crowdsourced interventions for reducing anti-democratic attitudes and partisan animosity. Jan's academic page: Jan's twitter: Project: Lab twitter:

Monday Oct 10, 2022

In this episode Laura interviews Professor Aleksandra Cichocka, Professor of Political Psychology at the University of Kent School of Psychology. Prof. Cichocka received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Warsaw in 2013. During her doctoral studies she was a Fulbright Fellow at New York University. After completing her PhD, she joined Kent, where she leads the Political Psychology Lab. Twitter:,   Publications: 

Thursday Sep 15, 2022

In this episode Laura interviews Oded Adomi Leshem, a Senior Research Associate at the PICR Lab and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, both housed in the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. His research is located at the nexus of international relations, political science, and social psychology with a specialization in the beliefs and perceptions of people mired in protracted conflicts. Oded studies the hopes and fears of people living in conflict zones and the impact of these future-oriented perceptions on political behavior. More broadly, he's interested in the formation and transformation of political attitudes and ideologies during violent conflicts. Apart from his focus on advancing theories in conflict resolution and political psychology, a key aspect of his research agenda is to design and test psychological interventions aimed at conflict transformation. More about Oded: ResearchGate: LinkedIn: Twitter: Email:

Friday Aug 26, 2022

In this episode Laura interviews Helen Winter, Co-Founder and CEO of, a program that strives to accelerate mutual integration of refugee and local communities and the rebuilding of refugee lives. R3SOLUTE aims to foster sustainable peace by reducing the social and economic costs of conflicts and maximizing the value of constructive debate for individuals, organizations, and communities. Helen is an avid certified mediator and lawyer. She previously worked as a mediator with L. A. Superior Court and consultant with OnDeckMediation where her expertise included anti-discrimination law. In addition, her experience includes working with the United Nations Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services where she analyzed and addressed systemic issues within the organization. She is also an ambassador with International Justice Mission in Germany.

Friday Aug 05, 2022

In this episode Laura interviews Dr. Samantha Hardy Lawson, Principal at Conflict Coaching International and Adjunct Associate Professor at James Cook University. Dr. Lawson is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the James Cook University (JCU), Conflict Management Resolution (CMR) Program. Sam is accredited under the National Mediator Accreditation System and certified as a transformative mediator by the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation in the United States. She is an experienced conflict coach and the founder of the REAL Conflict Coaching System. A leader in the field of conflict management and resolution, Sam is a principal at Conflict Coaching International and runs a consultancy practice in creative conflict engagement and education. She has published widely in conflict resolution, including her books Dispute Resolution in Australia, 3rd ed. (2014), co-authored with David Spencer, and Mediation for Lawyers (2010), co-authored with Olivia Rundle.

Thursday Jul 21, 2022

In this episode Laura interviews Dr. Juan Diaz-Prinz, a senior expert on mediation and dialogue at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Juan is a mediator, trainer, and facilitator who has dedicated his career to bridging the gap between theory and practice in mediation. He started his career in the Office of the International Mediator in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1998-2004) and then co-founded the CSSP: Berlin Center for Integrative Mediation. He served as its director and senior mediator between 2005 and 2013. He later supported the founding of the European Institute of Peace for mediatEUr: the European Forum for International Mediation and Dialogue. Before joining USIP, he was working on developing the Conflict Management Space as an online platform for developing simple innovative training material for practitioners working in the field.

Wednesday Jul 13, 2022

Stefan Pfattheicher is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Behavioural Science at Aarhus University. Pfattheicher’s work is primarily in social psychology, focusing on prosocial behavior, empathy, and more recently vaccine-hesitancy. His work as appeared in many international journals, among which Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Health Psychology, and Psychological Science. You can learn more about his research (and read some of his excellent articles) here:Stefan Pfattheicher - Research - Aarhus University (

Wednesday Jul 13, 2022

In this episode Laura interviews Rob Fersh and Monika Glowacki of the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution, a non-profit organization founded in 2009 to promote consensus solutions to issues of domestic and international importance. Prior to co-founding Convergence, Rob served as the United States country director for Search for Common Ground, an international conflict resolution organization. While at SFCG, he directed national policy consensus projects on health care coverage for the uninsured and U.S.-Muslim relations. In the 1986-98 period, Rob served as president of the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), a leading NGO working to alleviate hunger in the United States. Rob also served on the staffs of three Congressional committees, working for U.S. Representative Leon Panetta and for Senators Patrick Leahy and Edmund Muskie. While a Congressional staff member and at FRAC, he was deeply involved in shepherding passage of bipartisan legislation to reduce hunger in the United States. Monika is the Director of the initiative on Digital Disinformation at Convergence, where she will bring together people across differences to explore the root causes of problems with online information and media systems, and pathways towards a more equitable vision for the future of the internet. Monika has worked in research and analysis exploring the intersection of technology, people, politics and power. She is interested in critical analysis of the impact of technology on our lives, societies and economies, as well as how technology can be reimagined to serve the public interest and our wellbeing. Learn more at

Monday Jul 11, 2022

Colin Rule and Laura May provide an overview of what the Conflict Tipping podcast is about.


Your Host: Laura May, PhD

Laura is a Senior Consultant with Prospex Institute, former Executive Director of the International Mediation Institute and a negotiation and mediation lecturer.  Her doctoral research asked “in what ways does blame make villains in politics” and covered the gamut from literature studies and linguistics to psychology and neuroscience, victimology to political science.  Her expertise includes emotions, polarization, blame, and international politics.  Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn or ResearchGate—or even both!

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