We hope that this sort of interaction between researchers and practitioners will, over time, improve mutual respect for and understanding of the kinds of knowledge that direct experience and systematic analysis taken together can provide. Bridging the gap between scholarship and practice remains an overriding challenge for international conflict resolution George, We believe this volume will also be of value for scholars of international relations and conflict resolution.
For them it will collect useful knowledge, raise important issues for the future development of knowledge, and generate a variety of propositions to examine and hypotheses to test in future research in this area. The remainder of this book consists of 13 studies, one methodological and 12 substantive, concerned with particular techniques of conflict resolution. They identify the inherent difficulties of this task and show how progress can be made in the face of these obstacles.
They conclude that a systematic approach based on social scientific concepts and techniques can produce useful generalizations about which techniques work under which conditions and thus raise the level of understanding available to conflict resolution practitioners. The main challenges of evaluation defined in Chapter 2 concern developing analytical concepts, selecting cases for analysis, measuring outcomes and the factors affecting them, and making inferences about cause and effect. The conceptual challenges include defining and classifying interventions, defining success, and setting reasonable expectations for the effects of an intervention.
The problems of case selection include delineating the relevant universe of cases and drawing a representative sample of them—for instance, the universe of known cases may not be representative of all actual cases. Measurement problems include taking into account events that cannot be observed, such as closed negotiations or unpublicized mediation efforts. Key inference problems are raised by the lack of adequate comparison situations and the need to compare actual events with imagined, or counterfactual, ones; the need to take into account the effects of other events that occur at the same time as the intervention; the need to consider indirect effects of the interventions; and the need to sort out the overlapping and conflicting effects of the multiple efforts that are often made to resolve a conflict.
The authors then consider ways of meeting these challenges. With regard to the conceptual challenges, they emphasize the importance of clear definitions and taxonomies of intervention types and of conceptual frameworks that link concepts together and generate hypotheses about the conditions under which interventions have particular consequences over a short and longer span of time.
With regard to sampling, suggestions are made to carefully develop purposive sampling frames guided by theory as an alternative to the sort of random sampling that only has meaning in the context of a specified universe of cases. The chapter discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the main available systematic methods of making inferences: experiments including quasi-experiments and simulations, multivariate analysis, and enhanced case study methods such as the approach of structured and focused case comparison. The authors reach three important conclusions. First, they conclude that theory development, including taxonomies and hypotheses about.
Second, a dialogue between theory and experience, with progress in each leading to refinements in the other, is the best route to improved understanding. Many of the substantive studies in Chapters 3 through 14 take up the challenges defined in Chapter 2 , making new contributions to knowledge by clarifying concepts; defining types of interventions; stating explicit hypotheses about causes, effects, and causal mechanisms; defining outcome indicators; and so forth. In this respect these chapters may be previews of the directions that the field is likely to take during the first decade of the new millennium.
Below, we briefly summarize the topics and findings of the 12 substantive studies in this book. The summaries are not intended to substitute for the studies; rather, they are intended as a guide to the reader. We group the summaries under the four strategies of conflict resolution previously identified: traditional diplomacy and power politics, conflict transformation, structural prevention, and normative change. This classification is artificial in some cases because some conflict resolution approaches employ more than one of these strategies.
For example, truth commissions may promote conflict transformation while also recommending structural prevention measures. These complexities are mentioned below and are more evident in the chapters that follow. Chapters 3 through 6 assess conflict resolution techniques strongly rooted in traditional diplomacy. Chapter 3 , for example, focuses on the use and threat of force. It examines the limited ability of the United States, despite its military dominance in the post-Cold War era, to achieve diplomatic objectives through threats of force and limited exemplary uses of force.
Barry Blechman and Tamara Cofman Wittes explain this paradox of power by identifying a number of conditions that, although neither necessary or sufficient for the success of a U. Blechman and Wittes examine eight major post-Cold War cases: Panama — , Iraq — , Somalia — , Macedonia — , Bosnia — , Haiti — , Korea — , and Taiwan To a large extent they find that the enabling conditions were present in those cases in which U. The authors go beyond this correlation to suggest how the enabling conditions operated to produce the outcomes in the eight cases.
The authors draw three noteworthy conclusions from their case analyses. First is the critical importance of how much is demanded of the target. The greater the demand made, the greater the reluctance to comply. Thus, in six of seven cases of success the demand made was a relatively modest one—compliance was relatively easy. A second finding was that coupling threats with positive incentives for compliance increased success. Positive incentives were employed in six of seven success cases.
A third important lesson concerned the degree of public support for the policy in the United States. Potent threats are harder to sustain because they imply greater risks, triggering the U. This aversion, seen as a legacy of the Vietnam War, constrains American presidents from making threats that are sufficiently credible and potent to achieve ambitious objectives. The authors conclude that, as long as this situation continues, the targets of U.
The findings of this study suggest these possible implications for U. In this situation the authors suggest that U. In Chapter 4 , Bruce Jentleson evaluates the success or failure of efforts. The chapter clarifies several conceptual and methodological issues and identifies lessons drawn from a comprehensive assessment of experience with economic sanctions.
His analysis reinforces the findings of previous writers on deterrence and coercive diplomacy, including Blechman and Wittes in Chapter 3 , that the task of deterrence is easier than the task of compellence and that the success of sanctions, either for deterrence or coercive diplomacy, depends on the threat being perceived by the target as sufficiently potent to induce it to accept the demands on it.
Again, as in earlier studies, Jentleson finds that the stronger the demand, the more credible and more potent the threat must be to achieve compliance.
Managing Personality Conflicts
The crucial components of strategy design are the definition of objectives, the targeting strategy, measures for sanctions enforcement, and the broader policy of which sanctions are a part. Proceeding from this framework, Jentleson assesses whether and how the post-Cold War environment has affected the efficacy of sanctions. In other respects it is more problematic to tap that efficacy. Consequently, unilateral U. The threat of serious Western collective action in pursuing sanctions is vital to the sanctions being sufficiently credible and formidable to elicit compliance.
Jentleson advocates that U. With regard to sanctions strategy, Jentleson emphasizes the greater potential efficacy of comprehensive and decisive sanctions over partial and incremental ones and the need to take enforcement more seriously, both to reduce leaks in sanctions and to buttress credibility. Stedman examined the activities of spoilers in several recent conflicts and drew the lesson that it is important to distinguish between different types of spoilers.
As noted above, it is important for policy makers in dealing with conflict situations to have a correct image of the adversary. Stedman presents an analysis of types of spoilers that can be used to classify spoilers and judge how best to interact with them in order to advance the peace processes they may try to derail. He provides practitioners with a framework that can assist them in classifying future spoilers and with propositions that lead to advice on how to proceed once the spoiler has been correctly classified.
Stedman also discusses the difficulty and uncertainty involved in correctly classifying spoilers. In Chapter 6 , I. Ripeness focuses attention on the timing rather than the substance of proposals for conflict settlement. Zartman maintains that more attention is needed to the timing question because those who focus on substantive aspects of negotiation have generally ignored or downplayed timing.
Zartman reemphasizes that ripeness and the related notion of the mutually hurting stalemate are perceptual phenomena, necessary but not sufficient for the opening of productive negotiations. Not all ripe moments are seized, and some kinds of negotiations can take place in the absence of ripeness. In addition to a perceived stalemate, a perceived possibility of a way out through negotiation or mediation is also necessary for productive negotiations to begin. Zartman summarizes references to ripeness in accounts by scholars and diplomatic practitioners and reviews the literature on the ripeness concept, presenting and analyzing a series of propositions about timing and ripeness.
Zartman notes a number of problems with the emphasis on the need for ripeness. One is that increased pain may increase resistance rather than reduce it. Zartman concludes that negotiations with true believers take longer to come to fruition because ripe moments are harder to find. He emphasizes that, when ripeness exists, practitioners need all their skills to turn it into a successful peacemaking process.
Most Work Conflicts Aren’t Due to Personality
Ripeness, when created, only provides an opportunity for substantive knowledge and techniques of negotiation to come into play. Chapters 7 through 10 discuss conflict resolution techniques that rely heavily on the strategy of conflict transformation. Chapters 7 and 8 focus on unofficial efforts by citizens outside government who use organized processes of dialogue, analysis, and the like to change conflictual relationships. Interactive conflict resolution is a well-defined and systematic approach used in small unofficial meetings of members of groups in tension or violent conflict to stimulate their talk together about the problems that divide them and the relationships that underlie these problems.
The objective, as Harold Saunders argues in Chapter 7 , is different from official processes of conflict resolution. It is primarily to redefine problems and develop new frameworks of interaction. Interactive conflict resolution is especially useful for subjects that are taboo on official agendas and when formal contacts between official representatives are politically impossible.
It can help to pave the way for negotiation, address the obstacles to progress, and work in the larger society where peace will be made. The two chapters approach the same topic from quite different standpoints. Chapter 7 examines it from the standpoint of its practitioners, explaining what interactive conflict resolution activities try to do and providing the experience-based judgments of practitioners about how and why it succeeds or fails.
It approaches the issue of evaluation theoretically and methodologically with a conceptual analysis of the ways that workshops might transform conflict and a set of hypotheses that can be tested in evaluations of the technique by future analysts. In Chapter 7 , Harold Saunders points to the difficulty of using standard instruments to evaluate public peace processes and sets as the crite-. He sees processes as successful if they help to define and diagnose the problem, establish a strategic and operational framework, and design a tactical framework or possible course s of action.
Saunders and his collaborators present six case examples: early experiences with Israelis and Palestinians in the s, meetings of a group of political leaders from opposing parties in Northern Ireland that came together to create a bill of rights, an expanded process in the Middle East, a six-year process in Tajikistan, a series of dialogues in newly independent Estonia, and a program of training workshops in Cyprus.
The experience of 30 years has produced a significant track record for interactive conflict resolution. According to Saunders, the work of citizens outside government in a multilevel peace process is increasingly fruitful as one moves across a spectrum from quasi-official situations— those in which the primary task is to develop analysis of conflict not available to government, provide a channel of communication where none exists, or find a particular solution to a problem in negotiation—to those situations where the main task is to analyze the dynamics of relationships and design ways to work in the body politic to change them.
Saunders finds that the contribution of interactive conflict resolution increases as the capacities of government diminish. Governments, Saunders concludes, desperately need this added tool for peace making and peace building. As their skills increase, their sense of possibility increases. Saunders also concludes that policy makers working to resolve conflict in divided countries can extend the reach of peace making and peace building by consciously seeking ways of bringing both governmental and unofficial work under the same conceptual umbrella.
In Chapter 8 , Nadim Rouhana examines the major theoretical and methodological issues in analyzing and evaluating processes of interactive conflict resolution. He develops a conceptual framework that links the activities of problem-solving workshops to their microobjectives for the workshop participants and their macrogoals in terms of the larger conflict. Rouhana argues that it is important to develop taxonomies of practice in order to identify which methods work in what types of conflict, at what stage of conflict, and under what conditions.
In his view it is necessary to develop programs that provide training in intervention tech-. Problem-solving workshops, if they are to achieve their microobjectives, must generate new learning among the participants, who must retain part of that learning when they return to the conflict arena and demonstrate that learning in their political discourse and behavior. Problem-solving workshops that are successful at the macro level tend to be those that create visions of peace before official processes begin, help to overcome obstacles during negotiations, and help to create supportive dynamics in the society that can sustain peaceful relations once formal negotiations have concluded.
Rouhana suggests that workshops may contribute through their exploratory function, their innovative function, their capacity to legitimate discussion among adversaries, by accumulating public support over time, by clarifying what can and what cannot be agreed, and by preparing the terrain for political action. Rouhana examines how the effects of interactive conflict resolution may relate to the dynamics of conflict, proposes ways to conceptualize these effects, and examines how the impact of these processes on the dynamics of conflict can be assessed.
He offers three tentative conclusions about how to enhance the effect of interactive conflict resolution workshops on the larger conflict. First, third parties can take on a more active role in increasing the impact of the problem-solving workshop, provided that the role itself is carefully coordinated with participants and is part of the design of the problem-solving workshop.
Second, future workshops will have broader societal impact if conceived of as a joint learning opportunity for both participants and third party, on whom equal responsibility rests for transfer of insights into the broader societal context. And third, problem-solving workshops can be used as laboratories for conflict analysis. Understanding of the political needs of each party, their internal dynamics, their limitations and constraints, and the views of the other party of these constraints is important material to transmit to experts, publics, and decision makers.
In Chapter 9 , Priscilla Hayner considers official truth seeking—one of the available mechanisms for confronting past crimes of a prior regime or its armed opposition—as a mechanism for resolving and preventing violent conflict. Official truth-seeking efforts are sometimes advocated as a way to heal the wounds of past conflicts—to transform a conflictual atmosphere into one more conducive to peaceful intergroup relations. Hayner notes an irony in this expectation that official truth seeking has come to be seen as a peace-making tool, considering that the process of digging into.
This potential is sometimes seen in the fear felt by victims and witnesses when providing testimony to a truth commission. The chapter summarizes the experience of over 20 truth commissions and considers three ways they may help with conflict resolution. First, the proposal to establish a truth commission may represent one of the positive components of a peace accord that entices the parties to a conflict or perhaps one of the parties to agree to a peace.
Nevertheless, the negotiation of a mandate for a truth commission is often very difficult. Whether a truth commission is adopted, and what shape it takes, depends on the perceived interests of the parties, perceptions about whether truth seeking would spark new violence, and whether indigenous mechanisms are available to deal with past abuses. This positive effect of a truth commission happens, when it does, before the commission takes any action. However, the factors that determine whether a truth commission comes into being also affect its mandate, which in turn affects the chances of future violence.
Second, a truth commission may defuse conflicts over the past through reconciliation, that is, by conflict transformation. Hayner identifies several indicators that reconciliation may be occurring e. These include the extent to which the commission reaches out to all victims, provides for their security and psychological support, holds hearings in public, makes efforts to be fair in its process and its report, and invites the participation of all segments of society, including perpetrators. Two classes of reforms are judged relevant for conflict prevention: those that hold those responsible for abuses to account including legal and institutional reforms and those that strengthen institutions for democratic conflict management e.
One is the strength of the commission its resources, funding, breadth of investigation, etc. Another is the extent to which careful advance thought was given to the kinds of structural reforms that may be needed. A third is the strength of the forces internationally and. These conclusions imply that international support for strong truth commissions, civil society organizations, and domestic institutions for peaceful conflict management can all contribute to peace making in transitional countries. Humanitarian assets thus fuel rather than resolve the conflicts. Given the privatization of assistance and the retreat of the major powers as well as the United Nations from involvement in many world regions in recent years, Stein expects that NGOs will play an even larger role in the regulation of conflicts than they have in the past.
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They will continue to face situations in which a security vacuum exists and the perpetrators of violence will be tempted to use humanitarian aid as a weapon. Stein assesses the troubling evidence that humanitarian NGOs have at times contributed inadvertently to the escalation of violence rather than to conflict resolution.
The central challenge for NGOs is to find ways of minimizing the negative externalities of assistance as aid flows to the most vulnerable populations. These strate-. Stein examines three explicit strategies, some of them counterintuitive, which could contribute to the mitigation of violence, and offers three recommendations to NGOs and international organizations. First, she calls on humanitarian NGOs to think politically and coordinate with diplomatic and military institutions. NGOs must acknowledge that their actions in a complex emergency can have profound political consequences.
Even as they insist on the imperative of legitimate authorities assuming responsibility, they must explicitly analyze the political consequences of their strategies to mitigate violence—relief delivery, refugee protection, election monitoring, postwar reconstruction, peace building—and plan for these consequences.
Stein calls on NGOs to 1 improve their analytical capacity so that they can participate more effectively at global policy tables; 2 improve their capacity to monitor the consequences of their actions so that they can properly assess the consequences of their strategic choices e. Second, Stein recommends that the UN secretary-general consider providing security from private markets when and only when public security for humanitarian operations is unavailable from global or regional institutions.
Paid, volunteer, or professionally trained security personnel, employed without regard to national origin and beholden to their employer rather than to any single government, could reduce the likelihood of systematic diversion of humanitarian assets to fuel violence. Third, Stein advocates that NGOs be prepared to consider seriously the option of temporary withdrawal when assistance intended for humanitarian purposes is being diverted into renewed cycles of conflict. Such a strategy requires coordination among the principal NGOs that are providing assistance and a clearly stated set of conditions for return.
Chapters 11 through 13 discuss conflict resolution techniques that rely primarily on the strategy of structural prevention: creating organizations or institutions that are intended to direct social conflict into nonviolent channels. The chapter classifies the great variety of electoral systems in use in the modern world and discusses them in the context of four broad strategies of constitutional design for divided societies, each of which features a particular electoral system. In addition, the electoral system that is most appropriate for initially ending internal conflict may not be the best one for long-term conflict management.
Moreover, not all imaginable options are politically viable. As another example, systems that allocate seats by ethnic category tend to ensure ethnic representation but also entrench ethnic divisions; as a result, they seem advisable only in countries where these divisions are already very deep.
Reilly and Reynolds note that new and established democracies have different requirements in electoral system design. For instance, the need for inclusiveness may decline, and the need for geographic accountability may increase, as democracy becomes more firmly established. As a result, a system that works well for an initial election or two in a transitional democracy may not seem so good when the democracy becomes established.
The fact that each electoral system has strengths and weaknesses implies that electoral design involves tradeoffs. It is necessary for the designers to choose among desiderata for the electoral system.
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Consequently, for a system to work well over time, the involvement of local actors in making the design decisions is key. Electoral system designers must also choose. The evidence suggests the value of making moderate changes that take advantage of what familiar systems do well and changing only what they do not. In Chapter 12 , Yash Ghai considers autonomy as a strategy for conflict management. The variety, Ghai notes, also creates a danger that negotiation will lead to agreement on arrangements that are too complex to make operational, creating a conflict between immediate and long-term conflict management objectives.
Ghai enumerates the various arguments for and against autonomy and the variety of criteria for success. To make autonomy work, it is necessary to recognize both the particular needs of the group granted autonomy and the common needs of the whole. It can also be judged by the extent to which interests are accommodated, by the durability of the arrangements, and by the ways it transforms preexisting relations e.
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Different parties have different expectations and apply different criteria of success. Ghai finds that autonomy arrangements are most likely to be made at times of regime change, when the international community is involved, in countries with strong democratic traditions, when the area claiming autonomy is small and relatively unimportant to the central state, when sovereignty is not an issue i.
He finds that success, in terms of many of the above criteria, is most likely to be achieved under the following conditions: when autonomy is negotiated in a participatory manner,. Although history provides exceptions to most of the above generalizations, flexibility and independent dispute settlement mechanisms appear to be critical design criteria for lasting autonomy arrangements.
The best way to meet the criteria seems to be situation dependent. For instance, what can work in a federation created by aggregation of independent units may not work in a federation created by the breakup of an empire. Also, success is more likely in countries with established traditions of peaceful political bargaining and judicial independence.
The evidence implies that international involvement may increase the chances of success in countries lacking these traditions. In terms of the social and political consequences of autonomy arrangements, Ghai finds that such arrangements typically begin as asymmetric, establishing special arrangements with the state for only certain regions or communities. Typically, national governments that grant meaningful autonomy feel pressure to offer similar opportunities to other regions, with the result that successful autonomy arrangements tend toward symmetry.
There are exceptions for communities that are clearly and historically distinct, such as Greenland or Corsica, whose autonomy does not have this effect. A major conclusion is that true autonomy prevents secession, mainly by reducing the stridency of minority groups: cases in which autonomy preceded secession overwhelmingly involved refusals of the central government to respect autonomy provisions or the dissolution of the central state for reasons unrelated to autonomy.
Serious problems arise with autonomy when the autonomous community wants superior power to other groups or when it wants unique powers not given to other communities in order to mark its special status. Such problems with the theory of autonomy adopted in a country may overshadow the practical problems of managing the arrangements.
In Chapter 13 , David Laitin considers the roles of language conflict and language policy in intergroup violence in multiethnic countries. The chapter considers two questions: What is the effect of language differences within a country on the potential for violent conflict between language groups there? What are the effects of policies for addressing language differences on the likelihood of such violence? On the first question, Laitin finds that, unlike some other bases of intergroup conflict that are rooted in group identity, language differences do not increase the likelihood of violence; under some conditions, in fact, he concludes that language conflict can help contain violence.
Laitin analyzed data from the Minorities at Risk database Gurr, on politically. Controlling for levels of economic development and democracy in a country, for whether or not a minority group has an established rural base, and for levels of religious grievance, language difference has no overall effect on levels of violence but mitigates violence when religious grievances are strong.
The analysis of language policies, again relying on multicountry statistical comparisons, identifies five classes of language policies and reaches two main conclusions. One is that political bargaining over language grievances reduces the threat of violence regardless of the language policy a state has in effect and even if it is perceived as unfair. It is the refusal to bargain that predisposes to violence.
The other conclusion is that there is no clear benefit of one language policy over another for defusing violence. For instance, in countries where several languages are recognized, there is no greater violence by minorities whose languages are not recognized than by those whose languages are. For international actors Laitin suggests that language policies that are unfair do not justify international intervention on the grounds of incipient violent conflict.
Several studies in this book conclude that the success of international conflict resolution techniques as varied as economic sanctions, truth commissions, and autonomy depends on international support. They suggest that creating international norms that can provide such support may in itself be an important strategy for international conflict resolution. In Chapter 14 , P.
Terrence Hopmann sheds some light on this hypothesis through his analysis of the efforts of the OSCE to prevent and resolve conflicts. It has created many of the conditions necessary for regional cooperation to maintain European security since the end of the Cold War. It has articulated shared values and constructed an institutional framework within which all members may attend to the security needs of one another, exchange information, and facilitate the peaceful.
The chapter assesses the contribution of the OSCE to limiting the escalation of conflict and to promoting the abatement and resolution of conflict in the aftermath of violence. It pays particular attention to 1 monitoring, early warning, and conflict prevention to head off incipient violence; 2 negotiating cease-fires in ongoing conflicts; and 3 preventing the reignition of violence and assisting the resolution of underlying issues in conflict situations.
By intervening rapidly the OSCE mission was able to strengthen moderate forces on both sides and helped avert violence. Let us analyze the given conflict from the point of view of the last two. As it is stated in the case description, the group of employees working for the financial institution was informed that they would have to work hard in order to get promotion and recognition.
As a result, our group of workers had to train new employees finding themselves in equal conditions with them in the long run. In other words, the long-term workers of the company seem to have no privileges in comparison to the new ones. Diagnosing this conflict from the boundary model point of view, one might need more context of the situation. It is unclear if there were certain behavior boundaries established for them by the management. But probably not. For example, the management might have failed to specify to what extent they should improve their work performance to get recognition and salary increase.
Except that, it should be made clear if the old-timers had any additional payments for undertaking training of the newcomers. In case they did, the approach of the management seems to be at least legitimate if not fair enough. At the same time, the demands of the old workers are reasonable from the point of view of general social norms as it is commonly accepted that one gets a reward for consistent and conscientious work.
Here are four ways to resolve conflict — and improve colleague relationships — through better communication. It's important to address the issue immediately and transparently. Similarly, in their book, The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook Career Press, , authors Cornelia Gamlem and Barbara Mitchell said getting to the source of a problem involves honest conversations and a little detective work.
Managing expectations — both in terms of what you expect from others and what they expect of you — is one of the most important things a team can do to facilitate better communication. Anything you or your colleagues need from each other should be clearly defined and expressed.
Miki Feldman-Simon , founder of IAmBackatWork , made it a point to have set expectations at her company from the start. Consistently applying this principle changed the communication habits within my company, making it possible for everyone to voice their opinion. Knowing what is expected of them can help employees feel more comfortable, thus alleviating conflict-causing tension.
You may be hearing what your colleagues have to say, but are you actually listening to them?