Conflict resolution

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For conflict resolution between editors of Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Dispute resolution.

Conflict resolution, otherwise known as reconciliation, is conceptualized as the methods and processes involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of conflict and retribution. Often, committed group members attempt to resolve group conflicts by actively communicating information about their conflicting motives or ideologies to the rest of the group (e.g., intentions; reasons for holding certain beliefs), and by engaging in collective negotiation.[1] Dimensions of resolution typically parallel the dimensions of conflict in the way the conflict is processed. Cognitive resolution is the way disputants understand and view the conflict, with beliefs and perspectives and understandings and attitudes. Emotional resolution is in the way disputants feel about a conflict, the emotional energy. Behavioral resolution is how one thinks the disputants act, their behavior.[2] Ultimately, a wide range of methods and procedures for addressing conflict exist, including but not limited to negotiation, mediation, diplomacy, and creative peacebuilding.

The term conflict resolution may also be used interchangeably with dispute resolution, where arbitration and litigation processes are critically involved. Furthermore, the concept of conflict resolution can be thought to encompass the use of nonviolent resistance measures by conflicted parties in an attempt to promote effective resolution.[3] Conflict resolution as an academic field is relatively new. George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, was the first university to offer a PhD program.

Theories and models[edit]

Dual concern model[edit]

The dual concern model of conflict resolution is a conceptual perspective that assumes individuals’ preferred method of dealing with conflict is based on two underlying themes or dimensions: concern for self (assertiveness) and concern for others (empathy).[1]

According to the model, group members balance their concern for satisfying personal needs and interests with their concern for satisfying the needs and interests of others in different ways. The intersection of these two dimensions ultimately leads individuals towards exhibiting different styles of conflict resolution.[4] The dual model identifies five conflict resolution styles/strategies that individuals may use depending on their dispositions toward pro-self or pro-social goals.

Avoidance conflict style
Characterized by joking, changing or avoiding the topic, or even denying that a problem exists, the conflict avoidance style is used when an individual has no interest in dealing with the other party, when one is uncomfortable with conflict, or due to cultural contexts.[nb 1] During conflict, these avoiders adopt a “wait and see” attitude, often allowing conflict to phase out on its own without any personal involvement.[5] By neglecting to address high-conflict situations, avoiders risk allowing problems to fester out of control.
Yielding conflict style
In contrast, yielding or “accommodating” conflict styles are characterized by a high level of concern for others and a low level of concern for oneself. This passive pro-social approach emerges when individuals derive personal satisfaction from meeting the needs of others and have a general concern for maintaining stable, positive social relationships.[1] When faced with conflict, individuals with a yielding conflict style tend to give into others’ demands out of respect for the social relationship.[citation needed]
Competitive conflict style
The competitive or “fighting” conflict style maximizes individual assertiveness (i.e., concern for self) and minimizes empathy (i.e., concern for others). Groups consisting of competitive members generally enjoy seeking domination over others, and typically see conflict as a “win or lose” predicament.[1] Fighters tend to force others to accept their personal views by employing competitive power tactics (arguments, insults, accusations, violence, etc.) that foster feelings of intimidation (Morrill, 1995).[full citation needed]
Cooperation conflict style
Characterized by an active concern for both pro-social and pro-self behavior, the cooperation conflict style is typically used when an individual has elevated interests in their own outcomes as well as in the outcomes of others. During conflict, cooperators collaborate with others in an effort to find an amicable solution that satisfies all parties involved in the conflict. Individuals using this type of conflict style tend to be both highly assertive and highly empathetic.[5] By seeing conflict as a creative opportunity, collaborators willingly invest time and resources into finding a “win-win” solution.[1] According to the literature on conflict resolution, a cooperative conflict resolution style is recommended above all others.[6][7]
Conciliation conflict style
The conciliation or “compromising” conflict style is typical of individuals who possess an intermediate level of concern for both personal and others’ outcomes. Compromisers value fairness and, in doing so, anticipate mutual give-and-take interactions.[5] By accepting some demands put forth by others, compromisers believe this agreeableness will encourage others to meet them halfway, thus promoting conflict resolution.[8] This conflict style can be considered an extension of both “yielding” and “cooperative” strategies.[1]

Political conflict resolution in practice[edit]

Moshe Dayan and Abdullah el Tell reach a ceasefire agreement during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War in Jerusalem on 30 November 1948

Wars may occur between warring parties who contest an incompatibility. The nature of an incompatibility can be territorial or governmental, but a warring party must be a "government of a state or any opposition organisation or alliance of organisations that uses armed force to promote its position in the incompatibility in an intrastate or an interstate armed conflict".[9] Wars can conclude with a peace agreement, which is a "formal agreement... which addresses the disputed incompatibility, either by settling all or part of it, or by clearly outlining a process for how... to regulate the incompatibility."[10] A ceasefire is another form of agreement made by warring parties; unlike a peace agreement, it only "regulates the conflict behaviour of warring parties", and does not resolve the issue that brought the parties to war in the first place.[11]

Peacekeeping measures may be deployed to avoid violence in solving such incompatibilities.[12] Beginning in the last century, political theorists have been developing the theory of a global peace system that relies upon broad social and political measures to avoid war in the interest of achieving world peace.[13] The Blue Peace approach developed by Strategic Foresight Group facilitates cooperation between countries over shared water resources, thus reducing the risk of war and enabling sustainable development.[citation needed]

Conflict resolution is an expanding field of professional practice, both in the U.S. and around the world. The escalating costs of conflict have increased use of third parties who may serve as a conflict specialists to resolve conflicts. In fact, relief and development organizations have added peace-building specialists to their teams. Many major international non-governmental organizations have seen a growing need to hire practitioners trained in conflict analysis and resolution. Furthermore, this expansion of the field has resulted in the need for conflict resolution practitioners to work in a variety of settings such as in businesses, court systems, government agencies nonprofit organizations, government agencies and educational institutions serving throughout the world.[citation needed]

Culture-based[edit]

Conflict resolution as both a professional practice and academic field is highly sensitive to cultural practices. In Western cultural contexts, such as Canada and the United States, successful conflict resolution usually involves fostering communication among disputants, problem solving, and drafting agreements that meet underlying needs. In these situations, conflict resolvers often talk about finding a mutually satisfying ("win-win") solution for everyone involved.[14]

In many non-Western cultural contexts, such as Afghanistan, Vietnam, and China, it is also important to find "win-win" solutions; however, the routes taken to find them may be very different. In these contexts, direct communication between disputants that explicitly addresses the issues at stake in the conflict can be perceived as very rude, making the conflict worse and delaying resolution. It can make sense to involve religious, tribal, or community leaders; communicate difficult truths through a third party; or make suggestions through stories.[15] Intercultural conflicts are often the most difficult to resolve because the expectations of the disputants can be very different, and there is much occasion for misunderstanding.[citation needed]

In animals[edit]

Conflict resolution has also been studied in non-humans, including dogs, cats, monkeys, snakes, elephants, and primates.[16] Aggression is more common among relatives and within a group than between groups. Instead of creating distance between the individuals, primates tend to be more intimate in the period after an aggressive incident. These intimacies consist of grooming and various forms of body contact. Stress responses, including increased heart rates, usually decrease after these reconciliatory signals. Different types of primates, as well as many other species who live in groups, display different types of conciliatory behaviour. Resolving conflicts that threaten the interaction between individuals in a group is necessary for survival, giving it a strong evolutionary value.[citation needed] These findings contradict previous existing theories about the general function of aggression, i.e. creating space between individuals (first proposed by Konrad Lorenz), which seems to be more the case in conflicts between groups than it is within groups.

In addition to research in primates, biologists are beginning to explore reconciliation in other animals. Until recently, the literature dealing with reconciliation in non-primates have consisted of anecdotal observations and very little quantitative data. Although peaceful post-conflict behavior had been documented going back to the 1960s, it was not until 1993 that Rowell made the first explicit mention of reconciliation in feral sheep. Reconciliation has since been documented in spotted hyenas,[17][18] lions, bottlenose dolphins,[19] dwarf mongoose, domestic goats,[20] domestic dogs,[21] and, very recently, in red-necked wallabies.[22]

Education[edit]

Universities worldwide offer programs of study pertaining to conflict research, analysis, and practice. Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo has the oldest-running Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) program in Canada.[23] PACS can be taken as an Honours, 4-year general, or 3-year general major, joint major, minor, and diploma. Grebel also offers an interdisciplinary Master of Peace and Conflict Studies professional program. The Cornell University ILR School houses the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution, which offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional training on conflict resolution.[24] It also offers dispute resolution concentrations for its MILR, JD/MILR, MPS, and MS/PhD graduate degree programs.[25] At the graduate level, Eastern Mennonite University's Center for Justice and Peacebuilding offers a Master of Arts in Conflict Transformation, a dual Master of Divinity/MA in Conflict Transformation degree, and several graduate certificates.[26] EMU also offers an accelerated 5-year BA in Peacebuilding and Development/MA in Conflict Transformation. Additional graduate programs are offered at Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, and Trinity College Dublin.[27] George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution offers BA, BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, as well as an undergraduate minor, graduate certificates, and joint degree programs.[28] Nova Southeastern University also offers a PhD in Conflict Analysis & Resolution, which is offered in both online and on-campus formats.[29]

Many students completing a doctoral program enter the field as researchers, theorists, analysts, policy makers and professors in higher education.[citation needed]

Pax Ludens, a non-profit based in the Netherlands, is an organization that puts together conflict resolution simulations set in an international relations scenario to help students learn about the intricacies of where conflict emerges in the world of international politics.

Conflict resolution is a growing area of interest in UK pedagogy, with teachers and students both encouraged to learn about mechanisms that lead to aggressive action, and those that lead to peaceful resolution.

Tel Aviv University offers two graduate degree programs in the field of conflict resolution, including the English-language International Program in Conflict Resolution and Mediation, affording students to learn in a region which is the subject of much research on international conflict resolution.

The Nelson Mandela Center for Peace & Conflict Resolution, Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi is one of the first centers for peace and conflict resolution to be established at an Indian university. It offers a two-year full-time MA course in Conflict Analysis and Peace-Building, as well as a PhD in Conflict and Peace Studies.[30]

Conflict management[edit]

Conflict management refers to the long-term management of intractable conflicts. It is the label for the variety of ways by which people handle grievances—standing up for what they consider to be right and against what they consider to be wrong. Those ways include such diverse phenomena as gossip, ridicule, lynching, terrorism, warfare, feuding, genocide, law, mediation, and avoidance.[citation needed] Which forms of conflict management will be used in any given situation can be somewhat predicted and explained by the social structure—or social geometry—of the case.

Conflict management is often considered to be distinct from conflict resolution. In order for actual conflict to occur, there should be an expression of exclusive patterns, and tell why the conflict was expressed the way it was. Conflict is not just about simple inaptness, but is often connected to a previous issue. The latter refers to resolving the dispute to the approval of one or both parties, whereas the former concerns an ongoing process that may never have a resolution. Neither is it considered the same as conflict transformation, which seeks to reframe the positions of the conflict parties.

Counseling[edit]

When personal conflict leads to frustration and loss of efficiency, counseling may prove helpful. Although few organizations can afford to have professional counselors on the staff, given some training, managers may be able to perform this function. Nondirective counseling, or "listening with understanding", is little more than being a good listener—something every manager should be.[31]

Sometimes the simply being able to express one's feelings to a concerned and understanding listener is enough to relieve frustration and make it possible for an individual to advance to a problem-solving frame of mind. The nondirective approach is one effective way for managers to deal with frustrated subordinates and coworkers.[32]

There are other more direct and more diagnostic ways that could be used in appropriate circumstances. However, he great strength of the nondirective approach,[nb 2] however, lies in its simplicity, its effectiveness, and the fact that it deliberately avoids the manager-counselor's diagnosing and interpreting emotional problems, which would call for special psychological training. Listening to staff with sympathy and understanding is unlikely to escalate the problem, and is a widely used approach for helping people to cope with problems that interfere with their effectiveness in their place of work.[32]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ For example, in Chinese culture, reasons for avoidance include sustaining a good mood, protecting the avoider, and other philosophical and spiritual reasonings (Feng and Wilson 2011).[full citation needed]
  2. ^ Nondirective counseling is based on the client-centered therapy of Carl Rogers.

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Mayer, Bernard (27 March 2012). The Dynamics of Conflict: A Guide to Engagement and Intervention (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. ISBN 978-0470613535. 
  3. ^ Roberts, Adam; Ash, Timothy Garton, eds. (3 September 2009). Civil Resistance and Power Politics:The Experience of Non-violent Action from Gandhi to the Present. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199552016. 
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  5. ^ a b c Bayazit, Mahmut; Mannix, Elizabeth A (2003). "Should I stay or should I go? Predicting team members intent to remain in the team.". Small Group Research (Sage Publications) 34 (3): 290–321. doi:10.1177/1046496403034003002. 
  6. ^ Sternberg, Robert J.; Dobson, Diane M. (1987). "Resolving interpersonal conflicts: An analysis of stylistic consistency.". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (American Psychological Association) 52 (4): 794–812. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.52.4.794. ISSN 0022-3514. 
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  8. ^ Van de Vliert, Evert; Euwema, Martin C. (1994). "Agreeableness and activeness as components of conflict behaviors.". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (American Psychological Association) 66 (4): 674–687. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.66.4.674. 
  9. ^ Uppsala Conflict Data Program. "Definitions: Warring party". Accessed April 2013.
  10. ^ Uppsala Conflict Data Program. "Definitions: Peace agreement". Accessed April 2013.
  11. ^ Uppsala Conflict Data Program. "Ceasefire agreements". Accessed April 2013.
  12. ^ Bellamy, Alex J.; Williams, Paul (29 March 2010). Understanding Peacekeeping. Polity. ISBN 978-0-7456-4186-7. 
  13. ^ McElwee, Timothy A. (2007). "The Role of UN Police in Nonviolently Countering Terrorism". In Ram, Ralph; Summy. Nonviolence: An Alternative for Defeating Global Terror(ism). Nova Science Publishers. pp. 187–210. ISBN 978-1-60021-812-5. 
  14. ^ Ury, William; Fisher, Roger (1981). Getting To Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (1st ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co. ASIN B0010KGZD0. ISBN 0-395-31757-6. 
  15. ^ Augsburger, David W. (1992). Conflict Mediation Across Cultures:Pathways and Patterns (1st ed.). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-0664219611. 
  16. ^ de Waal, Frans B. M. (28 July 2000). "Primates—A natural heritage of conflict resolution.". Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science) 289 (5479): 586–590. doi:10.1126/science.289.5479.586. ISSN 0036-8075. 
  17. ^ Wahaj, Sofia A.; Guse, Kevin R.; Holekamp, Kay E. (December 2001). "Reconciliation in the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta).". Ethology (Wiley-Blackwell) 107 (12): 1057–1074. doi:10.1046/j.1439-0310.2001.00717.x. ISSN 0179-1613. 
  18. ^ Smith, Jennifer E.; Powning, Katherine S.; Dawes, Stephanie E.; Estrada, Jillian R.; Hopper, Adrienne L.; Piotrowski, Stacey L.; Holekamp, Kay E. (February 2011). "Greetings promote cooperation and reinforce social bonds among spotted hyaenas.". Animal Behaviour 81 (2): 401–415. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2010.11.007. 
  19. ^ Weaver, Ann (October 2003). "Conflict and reconciliation in captive bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus.". Marine Mammal Science (Society for Marine Mammalogy) 19 (4): 836–846. doi:10.1111/j.1748-7692.2003.tb01134.x. 
  20. ^ Schino, Gabriele (1998). "Reconciliation in domestic goats.". Behaviour (Brill Publishers) 135 (3): 343–356. doi:10.1163/156853998793066302. ISSN 0005-7959. JSTOR 4535531. 
  21. ^ Cools, Annemieke K.A.; Van Hout, Alain J.-M.; Nelissen, Mark H. J. (January 2008). "Canine reconciliation and third-party-initiated postconflict affiliation: Do peacemaking social mechanisms in dogs rival those of higher primates?". Ethology (Wiley-Blackwell) 114 (1): 53–63. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0310.2007.01443.x. 
  22. ^ Cordoni, Giada; Norscia, Ivan (29 January 2014). "Peace-making in marsupials: The first study in the red-necked wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus)". PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science) 9 (1). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086859. 
  23. ^ University at Waterloo. "Peace and Conflict Studies
  24. ^ "About Cornell ILR Scheinman Institute". Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  25. ^ "Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution – Degrees". Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. 2014. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  26. ^ "Graduate Program in Conflict Transformation". Eastern Mennonite University's Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. 
  27. ^ "Guide to MA Program in Peace and Conflict Resolution and Related Fields". Internationalpeaceandconflict.org. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  28. ^ "Academics & Centers | The School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution". George Mason University. 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  29. ^ "PhD in Conflict Analysis & Resolution Program". Nova Southeastern University. 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  30. ^ "Jamia - Centres - Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution - Introduction". Jmi.ac.in. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  31. ^ Knowles, Henry P.; Saxberg, Börje O. (1971). "Chapter 8". Personality and Leadership Behavior. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co. ASIN B0014O4YN0. OCLC 118832. 
  32. ^ a b Johnson, Richard Arvid (January 1976). Management, Systems, and Society: An Introduction. Pacific Palisades, Calif.: Goodyear Pub. Co. pp. 148–142. ISBN 978-0-87620-540-2. OCLC 2299496. OL 8091729M. 

Works cited[edit]

  • Augsburger, D. (1992). Conflict mediation across cultures. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster / John Knox Press.
  • Bannon, I. & Paul Collier (Eds.). (2003). Natural resources and violent conflict: Options and actions. Washington, D.C: The World Bank.
  • Ury, F. & Rodger Fisher. (1981). Getting to yes: Negotiating agreement without giving in. New York, NY: Penguin Group.
  • Wilmot,W. & Jouyce Hocker. (2007). Interpersonal conflict. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies.
  • Bercovitch, Jacob and Jackson, Richard. 2009. Conflict Resolution in the Twenty-first Century: Principles, Methods, and Approaches. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor.
  • de Waal, Frans B. M. and Angeline van Roosmalen. 1979. Reconciliation and consolation among chimpanzees. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 5: 55–66.
  • de Waal, Frans B. M. 1989. Peacemaking Among Primates. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.
  • Judge, Peter G. and Frans B. M. de Waal. 1993. Conflict avoidance among rhesus monkeys: coping with short-term crowding. Animal Behaviour 46: 221–232.
  • Veenema, Hans et al. 1994. Methodological improvements for the study of reconciliation. Behavioural Processes 31:29–38.
  • de Waal, Frans B. M. and Filippo Aureli. 1996. Consolation, reconciliation, and a possible cognitive difference between macaques and chimpanzees. Reaching into thought: The minds of the great apes (Eds. Anne E. Russon, Kim A. Bard, Sue Taylor Parker), Cambridge University Press, New York, NY: 80–110.
  • Aureli, Filippo. 1997. Post-conflict anxiety in non-human primates: the mediating role of emotion in conflict resolution. Aggressive Behavior 23: 315–328.
  • Castles, Duncan L. and Andrew Whiten. 1998. Post-conflict behaviour of wild olive baboons, I. Reconciliation, redirection, and consolation. Ethology 104: 126–147.
  • Aureli, Filippo and Frans B. M. de Waal, eds. 2000. Natural Conflict Resolution. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
  • de Waal, Frans B. M. 2000. Primates––A natural heritage of conflict resolution. Science 289: 586–590.
  • Hicks, Donna. 2011. Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict. Yale University Press
  • Silk, Joan B. 2002. The form and function of reconciliation in primates. Annual Review of Anthropology 31: 21–44.
  • Weaver, Ann and Frans B. M. de Waal. 2003. The mother-offspring relationship as a template in social development: reconciliation in captive brown capuchins (Cebus apella). Journal of Comparative Psychology 117: 101–110.
  • Palagi, Elisabetta et al. 2004. Reconciliation and consolation in captive bonobos (Pan paniscus). American Journal of Primatology 62: 15–30.
  • Palagi, Elisabetta et al. 2005. Aggression and reconciliation in two captive groups of Lemur catta. International Journal of Primatology 26: 279–294.
  • Lorenzen, Michael. 2006. Conflict Resolution and Academic Library Instruction. LOEX Quarterly 33, no. ½,: 6–9, 11.
  • Winslade, John & Monk, Gerald. 2000. Narrative Mediation: A New Approach to Conflict Resolution. Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco.
  • Bar-Siman-Tov, Yaacov (Ed.) (2004). From Conflict Resolution to Reconciliation. Oxford University Press
  • Tesler, Pauline. 2001, 2008. Collaborative Law: Achieving Effective Resolution in Divorce without Litigation (American Bar Association).
  • Tesler, Pauline and Thompson, Peggy. 2006. Collaborative Divorce: The Revolutionary New Way to Restructure Your Family, Resolve Legal Issues, and Move On with Your Life (Harper Collins).
  • Kellett, Peter M. (2007). Conflict Dialogue. London: Sage Publications. ISBN 1-4129-0930-9. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Peter T. Coleman (2011). The Five Percent: Finding Solutions to Seemingly Impossible Conflicts. ISBN 978-1-58648-921-2. 
  • Caraccilo, Dominic J. "Beyond Guns and Steel: A War Termination Strategy", Santa Barbara, California: PSI, 2011. ISBN 978-0-313-39149-1.
  • Michal Alberstein, Amy Cohen, Hanan Mandel, Orna Rabinovitch-Eini, Jay Rothman, Amira Schiff and Ephraim Tabory, ed. (2013). International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution. ISSN 2211-9965. 

External links[edit]