MacPhail, J., Niconchuk, M., & El-wer, N. (2017, accepted manuscript) “Conflict, the Brain, and Community: A Neurobiology-Informed Approach to Resilience and Community Development” in R. Phillips, S. Kenny, & B. McGrath (Eds.) Handbook of Community Development. Routledge Press.
Abstract: Whether due to violent conflict, displacement, or poverty, many communities across the world are living under profound stress. In this chapter, the authors explore the impacts of profound stress from the neural to the behavioral level, from the individual to the community, investigating how stress impacts community development and can often lead to antisocial behaviors such as violence and inter-group conflict that severely reduce the space for collective, pro-social action. Drawing on years of experience in conflict and post-conflict communities in the Middle East, the authors integrate critical questions of tribalism, displacement, and culture, ultimately arguing that community development efforts are made stronger by an understanding of profound stress in communities and individuals, and that community development efforts should take account of the science of stress, trauma, and resilience.