While tradition may not offer much in the way of legitimacy to parties to the conflict, the wise conflict resolution process designer would be well advised to look to tradition to lend legitimacy to the process. The culture of the parties needs to be given a place of primacy in the design. John Paul Lederach, for example, often discusses coming to the recognition during his time in Nicaragua , that some process concerns taken as definitional in mediation in the United States, were inappropriate, if not actually damaging there. In particular the notion of a neutral third party did not fit into the ways in which the Nicaraguan participants, from different cultural groups themselves, dealt with conflict. From his experience there, Lederach developed his notion of the "insider partial." Aside from increasing the likelihood of success of the intervention, whatever agreement may be produced is much more likely to be supported by parties' constituencies if cultural norms and traditions are key in determining all aspects of the process.
In the end, appealing to our values rather than our vanity will win our business. (A good example is a TV spot for Kia , which is unfortunately only available with subtitles online but still worth watching. It celebrates the shared wanderlust dreams of a young adult who has just quit his job, sold his possessions and bought a Kia to travel America and his 60-ish father who, in a charming twist, decides to join him in the adventure. Me, I didn’t have the money or the guts to do that when I was young. Still don’t. But it’s a great dream. And I like Kia for keeping it alive.)