by Sarah Chayes
A National Public Radio reporter covering the last stand of the Taliban in their home base of Kandahar in Afghanistan's southern borderland, Sarah Chayes became deeply immersed in the unfolding drama of the attempt to rebuild a broken nation at the crossroads of the world's destiny. Her NPR tour up in early 2002, she left reporting to help turn the country's fortunes, accepting a job running a non-profit founded by President Hamid Karzai's brother. With remarkable access to leading players in the postwar government, Chayes witnessed a tragic story unfold-the perverse turn of events whereby the U.S. government and armed forces allowed and abetted the return to power of corrupt militia commanders to the country, as well as the reinfiltration of bands of Taliban forces supported by U.S. ally Pakistan. In this gripping and dramatic account of her four years on the ground, working with Afghanis in the battle to restore their country to order and establish democracy, Chayes opens Americans' eyes to the sobering realities of this vital front in the war on terror.
The story Chayes tells is a powerful, disturbing revelation of misguided U.S. policy and of the deeply entrenched traditions of tribal warlordism that have ruled Afghanistan through the centuries.
by Michelle LeBaron and Venashri Pillay
Cultural differences among members of a group, be it a multinational business team or a multinational family, are frequently the source of misunderstanding and conflict. Using stories from a variety of cultures to illustrate techniques for resolving or at least reducing culture-inspired conflicts, LeBaron, Pillay and contributors from around the globe demystify the intricate and important relationships between conflict and culture. The authors describe processes and identify the tools and skills that make for successful conflict resolution. The stories, which are at the heart of the book, are from a variety of cultures and geographic locations and have application for groups in all kinds of settings: business, law, social services, government, non-governmental agencies, academia, even families.
This paper introduces dimensions of culture, as analyzed by Geert Hofstede in his classic study of cultures in organizations, and considers how they might affect user-interface designs. Examples from the Web illustrate the cultural dimensions.
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