Turkish NationalPolice AcademyInstitute of Security SciencesM.
A. in International Security ConflictManagement and Resolution: An Introductionby Ho-Won JeongTerm Paper Theories of SecuritySubmitted by Emine Y?ld?r?mSubmitted to Prof. Dr.
Bayram Ali Soner January 2018, AnkaraIntroductionThis book is basically trying to explain how to dealwith a conflict which has an international dimension. In general, the book isconsist of a framework based on theoretical approaches. However, it also referssome specific cases of international conflicts which effected the internationalsystem so far.
The book is constitutively consist of three main parts. Thesethree main parts have been divided into several subheadings.In the first main chapter of the book, which namedas “The Anatomy of Conflict Resolution and Management”, the writer primarilystarts with the objectives of the book. Afterwards, various dimensions ofconflict is being approached in this chapter. In addition to this, thedifferences between conflict settlement and resolution are examined in thischapter as well. There are structural approaches to conflict resolution andmethods for dealing with a conflict which are another subjects examining in thefirst chapter. In this chapter, the phases of a conflict and the approaches toconflict prevention are explained. Also, some topics as conflict managementstrategies and theories on decision making are clarified.
Last of all, conflicttransformation is examined with many aspects in a very detailed way in thefirst main chapter of the book.In the second main chapter of the book, which namedas “Dimensions of Conflict Management”, there are three subheadings named as”Identity”, “Power” and “Structure”. Under the title of Identity, there areseveral topics like identity and conflict mobilization, properties andattributes of identity, group processes of identity formation, socialcategorization, cognitive representation of identity, bridging in-group andout-group differences, de-categorization and re-categorization, renegotiationof identities, management of identity differences: institutional arrangements. Onthe other hand, there are several topics as the context of a power relationship,power relations in conflict process and outcome, contingencies in the exerciseof power, sources of power, quest for power and anarchy, power symmetry, ethnicrivalry, power transition, rank discrepancy, the impact of asymmetry onbehavior and rebalancing power asymmetry, discussed under the title of “Power”in this chapter of the book. Plus, “Structure” as the last subheading of thischapter have the topics of structural conditions for conflict resolution, functionalistperspectives, political instability and conflict, violence structure in a failedstate, extra- system environment, system and sub- systems, boundaries betweenstates and ethnic identity, network analysis, field theory and conflict. In the third and last main chapter of the book,which named as “Settlement and Resolution Procedures”, the writer mainlyfocuses on the methods of conflict resolution.
Basically, these methods arebeing dealt under four subheadings in this chapter. One of the subheadingsexamines the context of “Negotiation” in a very detailed way together with manyaspects within the chapter. The necessity of negotiation, the process ofnegotiation, effective negotiation and bargaining methods are some of thesubjects which had been dealt in this part of the book. Then, anothersubheading examines the context of “Mediation” with six of smaller subheadingswhich explains different aspects and dimensions of mediation like attributes ofmediation, roles and functions of intermediaries, diverse modes of mediation, phasesand steps in mediation, types of mediators, and assessing mediations.
The thirdsubheading of the last chapter examines the context of “Facilitation” which isanother method of conflict resolution. Under this title, there are subheadingsnamed as features of facilitation and dialogue, facilitation and empowerment, diverseapplication of facilitation, multi-party decision making, dialogue forums andprocess, public peace process: the role of dialogue, and deeper communication:a problem-solving workshop. As the last method in this chapter, the context of”Reconciliation” examines the subjects like properties of reconciliation, stepstoward overcoming past enmity, restorative practice, path to healing, empathywith the suffering of the other, and empowerment through cultural work. ConflictManagement and Resolution: An IntroductionThe Anatomy of Conflict Resolution and ManagementDespite its application to a variety of situations,the definition of conflict has traditionally been relegated to competition forresources or other interests, value differences or dissatisfaction with basicneeds. Incompatible economic and political interests develop an attempt tosuppress other groups often with threats and actual use of force. Powerstruggle is inevitably involved when each group attempts to impose its own language,religious or social values on other groups which have their own uniquetraditions and histories. As communal conflict in Sri Lanka and Kashmir for thelast several decades vividly demonstrates, minority groups have a strong desirefor autonomy and self- control of their destiny.
In establishing or maintaininga superior status, dominant groups may discriminate against minority ethnicculture or language. Then the newly created hierarchy is used to furthercontrol subordinate religious, racial, or linguistic groups. Regardless of wide differences in the types ofrelationships, “incompatibility of goals” features general characteristics ofconflict. The pursuit of different objectives leads to interference in eachother’s activities to prevent an opponent from attaining what one groupdesires. These conditions of conflict can result in either a sustained conflictor compromise solutions unless a superior party overwhelms and subdues theother side rather quickly. A minority group may seek outright independence, butthe state controlled by a majority ethnic group may oppose the aspiration andeven suppress rights to ethnic language and religion.
In an unregulated competition, claims to scarcestatus, power, and resources may result in an attempt to injure or eliminaterivals. Incompatible preferences are a more acute source of tension andstruggle especially when each party seeks distributive outcomes which satisfyone group’s interests at the expense of others. A competitive struggle oftenarises from a situation where each party’s aspirations cannot be fulfilledsimultaneously.
In the absence of a past history of cooperation, aggressiveactions are more likely to be ignited in polarized communities where leadersdevelop antagonistic attitudes toward each other. A long period of conflictentrapment increases the likelihood of greater rigidity and polarization withthe reinforcement of mistrust, enemy perceptions and feelings of victimization.The stereotypes of an enemy and misunderstanding of their motives justify thedenial of the legitimacy of opposing claims. The institutionalization ofnegative interactions is inherent in conflicts fueled by many years ofaccumulated hostilities. This is vividly represented by recurrent provocationsand confrontations between the Sudanese government and southern provinces whichseek independence.
When an intense struggle permeates the social fabric withits effect on individuals and institutions, a vicious cycle of destructivestruggles touches multi- faceted layers of adversarial relationships. Dimensions of Conflict ManagementThe context of an ethnic conflict is provided bysocial and cultural rules and values embedded in the myths, memories,traditions, and symbols of heritages which exclusively define group characteristics.Language and other markers are invoked to establish group boundaries anddetermine status and social identity through inter- ethnic comparison. Thebasic function of shared communication is critical to the development of groupconsciousness. The transmission of ideas and symbols is involved in moldingattitudes and behaviors separating people into antagonistic groupings.Differentiated identities are not a lone source of violence, but can lead to adeadly conflict in combination with exclusionary acts of leaders andcompetition for status, position, or material wealth.In general, identities are regarded as thecollective phenomena of expressing group sameness.
The deep and foundationalforms of collective selfhood can be manifested in the great variety ofdistinctive cultural creativity, ranging from art to drama to literature tophilosophy. Culture is an inevitable element of group distinctiveness, associal existence is tied to a particular language or a religious communityassociated with given social practices. The distinct memories of differentcollectivities are represented by histories and genealogies defined by bloodand custom. The themes of homeland, founding origins, and common descent inethnic stories foster heroism and sacrifice.In a general context, power can be defined as “acapacity to realize goals by making particular things happen”. In conflictsituations, power provides an actor with the capabilities to control theothers’ preferences and opportunities in one’s own quest to achieve desiredconditions. One party has a greater control over an outcome than the otherparty by enforcing change in the other party’s behavior.
In producing theintended effects of power, one’s action gets the other to behave in the way onewants. In relational terms, power functions as a concept of measuring thepsychological and behavioral effects of one’s action in another. Power can beexercised by using threat or actual coercion as well as control of reward andpunishment.Various dimensions of power, psychological,physical, and organizational, are linked to an attempt to control conflictprocesses and their effects in human behavior. Rough power parity is likely toengender more severe competition, hampering settlement, in that more or lessequal power relations lead to continued deadlock or protracted struggle withoutexternal shocks or pressure.
The fear of imbalanced military capabilities oftenleads to a competitive arms race, creating a prisoner’s dilemma in whichaspiring for a superior destructive capability hurts each other’s welfarewithout guaranteeing more security. The efforts to change the status quo mayinvolve an even further escalation of conflict.While there has been sufficient emphasis on researchand practice on cultural and psychological issues, adequate attention has notbeen paid to questions of social justice and economic inequality as sources ofconflict and problems to be resolved. In most analysis, structure has beenconsidered as given rather than conditions to be rectified. The role ofconflict management has been oriented toward how to maintain or restore order.In the Hobbes’ tradition, human beings are assumed to be inherently aggressive,and thus behavioral control becomes a main concern of conflict management mechanisms.However, diverse structural concerns need to be understood in the examinationof overall conditions of group behavior and social processes relevant tomanaging tensions and animosities. In fact, violent protests in Kenya, frequentsocial unrest in Nigeria, and Hindu–Muslim violence in India are in one way oranother connected to ethnic rivalry and resistance against the hegemonyestablished by state institutions.
Social structures create mechanisms that helpcontrol or channel conflicts through normative regulation, but the degree oftheir institutionalization differs. In kinship and tribal societies, informaltraditional social practice is used to handle group conflicts withoutdependence on modern legal systems. A sense of justice emerges from the intrinsicvalues of society. Often religious functions are combined with communalcultural practice which has a wider acceptance in societies. There exists awide range of conflict management procedures and styles, reflecting socio-cultural variations. Settlement and Resolution ProceduresNegotiation can be defined as a process to resolvedifferences in goals that arise from dissimilar interests and perspectives. Inprobing to unearth underlying concerns, negotiators share their views in orderto establish the areas of common ground and agreement.
Fair, efficient outcomescan emerge from the exchange of concessions in a search for creative solutions.Cooperation and conflict are built right into negotiating relationships. TheStrategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) and Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties(START) between the US and the Soviet Union during the Cold War represent anattempt to control the joint vulnerability of the spiraling arms race (creatinghigh expenditures on weapons and heightened tensions) by negotiating limits tothe build up of weapons or reductions in their stockpile. Negotiation isfeasible because parties have not only divergent but also shared interests. Ina bargaining relationship, one party has something desired by the other.
Identifyingcompeting interests is involved in discussion about the issues.The purpose for negotiating is to achieve somethingby changing the status quo. “If both parties are satisfied with the way thingsare, there is nothing for them to negotiate about”. In bargaining, each partyhas an ability to satisfy at least part of the desires of their negotiatingpartner by controlling a new opportunity or creating a new relationship. Ifthere is no immediate gain, parties should believe in potential future gains. Incoming to an agreement, parties want to improve their own situation whileavoiding the worst outcome. A bargaining structure depends on whether each sidehas viable choices.
The other party is “tempted to give as little as possible”.The merit of alternatives strengthens one’s bargaining position; multiplealternatives expand one’s choice to pursue a desirable deal. Therefore theerosion of one’s negotiating positions comes from having very limited options.In asymmetric bargaining situations, one party has no alternative but “to takewhat is offered.” There is not much room to bargain when other choices areworse than keeping the present arrangement intact. In such situations as takingless or paying more than originally expected, no deal could often be betterthan a bad deal that creates the worst- case scenarios. The fallback positioncan be to leave things as they are if negotiated settlement does not leave youany better off than the current situation and you do not lose anything.Negotiation from opening to closure is comprised ofmany steps and moves at each phase.
Initial planning and fact-finding can beaccompanied by the development of negotiating positions and exchange ofinformation. Successful informal pre- negotiation discussion leads to direct bargainingdesigned to settle differences along with the exploration of each party’sneeds.Although there are many forms of mediation, ingeneral, it is widely known for “neutral” third-party assistance in reachingsettlement.
Theoretically, an intermediary intervention in the negotiationprocess is not supposed to be authoritative in the sense that mediators do notmake rulings or impose an agreement. Since they are making decisions, partisansmay feel it is fairer with mediation than with arbitration which they cannotcontrol. Thus, mediation can be characterized as “a form of assistednegotiation” or at least is seen as “a catalyst for negotiation”. Beingmotivated for settlement is essential to any successful mediation not onlybecause consent to a mediation process is voluntary but also because thedisputants make final decisions on the issue.
A facilitative process can also be utilized forcommunal problem solving as well as creating an opportunity for informalcontact between members of antagonistic communities that might lead to officialnegotiations. A series of meetings among people representing communities ofvarious warring parties in Tajikistan were engaged in the analysis of thecauses of the conflict and joint exploration of solutions. The dialogue showedthe possibility of negotiated settlement, prompting official negotiations toend the civil war in 1996.
In post- apartheid South Africa, several series offacilitative meetings were organized to improve the policing service, andcommunal groups were invited to generate practical solutions.Once conflict is resolved, relationship changes arenecessary to remove negative emotional residues that can ignite futurehostilities. In overcoming violence and building peaceful relations, fracturedsocial bonds need to be reconstructed, resetting people’s expectations ofthemselves and others. However, the remnant of deep divisions among communitiesbased on fear and anger creates serious challenges to putting a broken socialfabric back together. A post- conflict process in such places as Cambodia,Sierra Leone, and Bosnia- Herzegovina is fraught with emotional injury and painbrought about by the death of family members, the shock of exposure toatrocious acts, as well as the loss of property. Difficulties in thesuppression of grief and fear often result in a strong desire for justice andrevenge. Conclusion Accordingto Jeong, there are various causes behind a conflict which has an internationaldimension.
Poverty and discrimination are some factors that cause a conflictbetween the states or within a state. He basically claims that a conflictarises from the failure to manage antagonistic relationships. According to thebook, in order to establish functional relationships, the solution should befound through negotiated agreements rather than resorting to violent tactics.At that point, it gains importance to understand the characteristics anddimensions of a conflict, in order to find the most applicable solution to theproblem. However, he asserts that a conflict mainly havethree main dimensions which are identity, power and structure.
Identity can beused as a means to create a conflict in the international system. But it canalso be invoked to call for unity and solidarity. When it comes to power, it iscertainly one of the most significant characteristics of a conflict. It is anessential ingredient in understanding conflict relationships and behavior alongwith identity. Power is characterized by an ability to hurt each othereconomically, physically, and psychologically when actions and counter- actionsare mutually opposed in direct confrontation.
In asymmetric relationships,power can be used to impose and justify discrimination against another group. Powerhas not only physical effects but also effects in an individual actor’sperceptions. On the other hand, structure is another dimension of a conflictwhich should be emphasized adequately in order to understand a conflict as awhole. In most analysis, structure has been considered as given rather thanconditions to be rectified. Basically, Jeong claims that the structure of aconflict should be precisely examined and understood to create the mostapplicable solution. As a conclusion, the writer clarifies that there arefour different ways of resolution procedures which are basically entitled asnegotiation, mediation, facilitation and reconciliation. Jeong says that negotiation,as a game of influence, entails varied aspects of human interactions, thedynamics of which are affected by emotions, culture, and social environment.
Healso adds that mistrust and fear are an inevitable part of negotiationrelationships between adversaries. On the other hand, negotiation is also partof managing international relations through treaty making between two countriesor on a multilateral basis. When it comes to mediation, Jeong says that althoughthere are many forms of mediation, in general, it is widely known for “neutral”third-party assistance in reaching settlement. Theoretically, an intermediaryintervention in the negotiation process is not supposed to be authoritative inthe sense that mediators do not make rulings or impose an agreement. Since theyare making decisions, partisans may feel it is fairer with mediation than witharbitration which they cannot control.
Thus, mediation can be characterized as”a form of assisted negotiation” or at least is seen as “a catalyst fornegotiation”. Another method of dealing with a conflict is facilitation.According to the book, reaching consensus or some kind of agreement byfacilitative methods is often essential to finding acceptable options fordifferent parties. A facilitative process can also be utilized for communalproblem solving as well as creating an opportunity for informal contact betweenmembers of antagonistic communities that might lead to official negotiations.Last of all, Jeong refers about reconciliation which entails steps towardpsychic, attitudinal, and behavioral changes beyond the settlement of issueswhich have immediate consequences such as cessation of war.
The emotional andpsychological residues of conflict – trauma, fear, and hurt – poison futurerelations, since they continue to fuel revenge motives. Jeong basically claimsthat fractured social bonds need to be reconstructed, resetting people’sexpectations of themselves and others, in overcoming violence and buildingpeaceful relations.