The conflict could be. Lastly, we need to look at the resolution phase. In this step the conflict is resolved. There are two possible outcomes:. We all react to conflict in our own way, depending on aspects of our personality, our culture, and our previous experiences. Some reactions to conflict can make the issues worse. It is important to check your own behaviour as well as the behaviour of others when you are experiencing conflict. Here are some ways that people react to conflict:. In order to better understand the elements of the five styles of conflict management, we will apply each to the following scenario:.
Rachel and Simon have been running a restaurant business together for 15 years. Rachel manages front-of-house operations and staffing, while Simon is a trained chef who looks after the kitchen. Rachel is growing frustrated because Simon has decided to spend a large portion of the profits on redecorating the restaurant, while Rachel wants to save most of the profits but spend a little on advertising. Conflicts regarding money are very common. Competing The competing style indicates a high concern for self and a low concern for other. One way we may gauge our win is by being granted or taking concessions from the other person.
The competing style also involves the use of power, which can be non-coercive or coercive Sillars, Non-coercive strategies include requesting and persuading. When we request, we suggest that our conflict partner change a behaviour. When we persuade, however, we give our conflict partner reasons to support our request or suggestion, meaning there is more information exchange, which may make persuading more effective than requesting.
Rachel could try to persuade Simon to spend on advertising by showing him the positive return on investment ROI that the restaurant received on their last advertising campaign, or by showing him that customer numbers are steadily falling, and arguing that they need to advertise for continued viability of the business. Interpersonal conflict is rarely isolated, meaning there can be ripple effects that connect the current conflict to previous and future conflicts.
Competing has been linked to aggression, although the two are not always paired. If assertiveness does not work, there is a chance it could escalate to hostility. There is a pattern of verbal escalation: requests, demands, complaints, angry statements, threats, harassment, and verbal abuse Johnson and Roloff, The competing style of conflict management is not the same thing as having a competitive personality.
But in the workplace, competition can be a challenge. For example, if an opportunity for a promotion presents itself, you may find that you and your colleagues are all competing for the position. This may result in improved efficiency for the department, but it could also result in negative feelings towards one another, if only one person is selected for the promotion. Avoiding The avoiding style of conflict management often indicates a low concern for self and a low concern for others.
In some cultures that emphasize group harmony over individual interests, avoiding a conflict can indicate a high level of concern for others. Remember, it is impossible not to communicate. Even when we try to avoid conflict, we may be giving our feelings away through our verbal and non-verbal communication. You may decide to avoid conflict for many different reasons, some of which are better than others. If you view the conflict as having little importance to you, it may be better to ignore it. If you are not emotionally invested in the topic, you may be able to reframe your perspective and see the situation in a different way, thus resolving the issue.
For example, avoidance could first manifest as changing the subject, then progress from avoiding the issue to avoiding the person altogether, to even ending the partnership. Indirect strategies of hinting and joking also fall under the avoiding style.
While these indirect avoidance strategies may lead to a buildup of frustration or even anger, they allow us to vent a little of our built-up steam and may make a conflict situation more bearable. When we hint, we drop clues for our partner will identify, hoping that they will change their behaviour, thereby solving the problem without any direct communication. It is more likely that the receiver of the jokes will feel provoked or insulted than find humour in your joke, if tension between you two already exists. So more frustration may develop when the hints and jokes are not decoded, which often leads to passive-aggressive behaviour.
Passive-aggressive behaviour is a way of dealing with conflict in which one person indirectly communicates their negative thoughts or feelings through non-verbal behaviours, such as not completing a task. Although passive-aggressive behaviour can feel rewarding in the moment, it is one of the most unproductive ways to deal with conflict. These behaviours may create additional conflicts and may lead to a cycle of passive-aggressiveness in which the other partner begins to exhibit these behaviours as well, while never actually addressing the conflict that started it all.
In most avoidance situations, both parties lose. However, avoidance can be the most appropriate strategy in some situations—for example, when the conflict is temporary, when the stakes are low, when there is little personal investment, or when there is the potential for violence or retaliation.
Conflict Resolution – Professional Communications
Accommodating The accommodating conflict management style indicates a low concern for self and a high concern for others and is often viewed as passive or submissive, in that one person obliges another without providing personal input. The motivation behind accommodating plays an important role in whether or not it is an appropriate strategy. Generally, we accommodate because we are being generous, we are obeying, or we are yielding Bobot, The occasional accommodation can be useful in maintaining a relationship. As with avoiding, there are certain cultural influences we will discuss later that make accommodating a more effective strategy.
In essence, when we compromise, we give up some or most of what we want. Compromising may be a good strategy when there are time limitations or when prolonging a conflict may lead to relationship deterioration. Compromise may also be good when both parties have equal power or when other resolution strategies have not worked Macintosh and Stevens, Compromising is that it may be used as an easy way out of a conflict.
The compromising style is most effective when both parties find the solution agreeable. Rachel and Simon could decide to paint the restaurant but work with the furnishings they have, take out an advertisement in the local newspaper and keep the remainder of the funds in the bank.
They are both giving up something, but getting part of what they each wanted. Collaborating The collaborating style involves a high degree of concern for self and others, and usually indicates investment in the conflict situation and the relationship. Although the collaborating style takes the most work in terms of communication competence, it ultimately leads to a win—win situation in which neither party has to make concessions because a mutually beneficial solution is discovered or created.
The obvious advantage is that both parties are satisfied, which could lead to positive problem solving in the future and strengthen the overall relationship. For example, Rachel and Simon may agree to do the redecorating themselves rather than paying a decorator, and to advertise using social media because they can manage this themselves for minimal cost. This way, they can bank the profits minus the small expenditures incurred.
The disadvantage is that this style is often time consuming, and potentially only one person may be willing to use this approach while the other person is eager to compete to meet their goals or willing to accommodate. Since we know that conflict will happen and that it can strengthen relationships when handled correctly, we would do well to set up ground rules for handling it when it does, inevitably, arise.
When people believe strongly about the outcomes they are trying to reach, conflict is more likely to arise, so, conflict can sometimes be an indicator of an engaged and passionate group that will ultimately be successful. We all have to work with challenging people from time to time.
Conflict: Readings in Management and Resolution
However you choose to handle this, it is imperative that you remain professional at all times. Here are some tips for dealing with difficult people at work:. Often, when a person directs anger towards you, it is not about you at all, but about some other problem in their day or an unmet need. When people lash out, they do so, frequently, because they feel threatened or perceive that they are not being heard.
Can you change your approach to remove these barriers? You may be able to improve communication by doing so. Sometimes we give off negative feelings without really meaning to. Think about how your tone and language might have provoked a response.
If you do realize that you were responsible for a negative interaction, apologize and ask if you can start over. This can reduce bad feelings and get communication back on track. It will be uncomfortable for you and the person you are struggling to communicate with to have a difficult conversation when the whole office can hear you.
Ask the person politely if you can have a chat in private to see if you can resolve the issue. Importantly, when you sit down together, be cautious about the language you use. Also, when you speak, make sure not to blame, accuse, or dredge up past experiences. Anthony McGowan. John Burton. Home Contact us Help Free delivery worldwide. Free delivery worldwide. Bestselling Series. Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. Conflict: Practices in Management, Settlement and Resolution. 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.
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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.
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.
MMSL 6661 Required Course Readings
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. 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.
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.
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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. With respect to negotiating cease-fires, the OSCE mission in Chechnya can be viewed as having played a positive role in bringing an end to the intense fighting between Russian and Chechen forces in the mids, but it fell short of its goal of restoring a secure environment within which Chechens could reestablish anything approximating a normal livelihood.
With respect to prevention of the renewal of violence and conflict resolution, Hopmann concludes that it is necessary to establish an identity formula that guarantees the protection of the identity of the vulnerable group. In Transdniestria the OSCE was unable to achieve a long-term resolution of the conflict even though it did help prevent an escalation to violence. He finds that the OSCE has contributed significantly to strengthening democratic processes and institutions in countries undergoing transformation. The OSCE has also proven to be remarkably flexible in reacting to potential crises, which has enabled it to react rapidly.
Although the studies in this volume cover widely diverse topics in international conflict resolution, a few themes arise repeatedly. It is worth noting. The themes may suggest important issues for practitioners to consider when they apply conflict resolution techniques, even those not reviewed in this book; they may also suggest promising hypotheses for researchers to explore. Perhaps the most frequently recurring theme is the need for international coordination and support for conflict resolution processes.
This theme appears in studies focused on traditional techniques of diplomacy see Chapters 4 and 5 on economic sanctions and response to spoilers , conflict transformation see Chapters 9 and 10 on truth commissions and humanitarian relief activities , structural prevention Chapter 12 on autonomy arrangements , and normative change Chapter 14 on the OSCE.
Studies in this volume repeatedly and independently find that, across a broad range of conflict techniques, success is more likely if international support can be organized behind the efforts. The pervasiveness of this theme may reflect a general truth about the end of global bipolarity: coordination is difficult when there are no opposing alliances to facilitate it.
The studies suggest that states and other actors in the international system that want to promote conflict resolution need to do more work to build the bases for international coordination in support of conflict resolution efforts. Another frequently recurring theme is the need for strong internal institutions for nonviolent dispute settlement in divided societies. This theme appears explicitly in studies of conflict transformation see Chapters 7 through 9 on interactive conflict resolution and truth commissions and structural prevention Chapter 12 , autonomy arrangements. It is also implicit in the study of electoral systems Chapter 11 , which presumes that elections are an institution for nonviolent dispute settlement.
The frequent focus on internal institutions for conflict resolution may reflect an increased international recognition of the threat of internal conflict. It is worth noting that the themes of internal institutions and international coordination are related: the studies of autonomy and of truth commissions both note that appropriate international assistance may help compensate for weaknesses in internal conflict management institutions.
Some recurring themes are associated with particular strategies of conflict resolution. For example, the studies of traditional diplomatic techniques Chapters 3 through 6 confirm that basic principles of power politics, such as set forth in past work on deterrence and coercive diplomacy, operate as well in the present era as in the past. What may have changed, as the studies of economic sanctions and the threat and use of force both report Chapters 4 and 3 , is the ability of states to exercise these tools.
Because of increased difficulty in applying these techniques,. The studies of conflict transformation Chapters 7 through 10 reveal another recurring theme: that there are new and important roles for NGOs in international conflict resolution. NGOs can be important both for building support for peace within societies, as indicated in the studies of interactive conflict resolution, and in responding to complex humanitarian emergencies.
The studies of electoral systems and truth commissions reveal yet another potential role for NGOs—as a carrier of lessons about peace making from one country to another. These studies together suggest that international conflict resolution may benefit from improved skills of various kinds within NGOs, including skills in conflict analysis and in coordination with governments and other NGOs.
The studies of structural prevention recurrently emphasize the importance of involvement of a spectrum of local actors in institutional design.
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This theme appears in the studies of electoral design, autonomy, and truth commissions Chapters 11 , 12 , and 9 and is implicit in the study of language conflict Chapter These studies suggest that, in an era in which internal conflicts have gained greater importance, it is important for the parties to be actively involved in conflict resolution: participatory approaches are preferable to imposed solutions from above, and although outside technical assistance can be helpful, lasting success may depend on giving local actors the final say.
Chapter 5 on spoilers addresses options for external actors when some of the parties will not participate. The structural prevention studies raise two other recurring, and related, themes. One is that the institutions that can be agreed on in a peace settlement may not be best for long-term conflict management in the society. This finding appears in the studies of truth commissions, electoral systems, and autonomy arrangements. The other theme is that the success of structural prevention often depends on flexibility and willingness to keep bargaining.
This theme appears in the studies of language conflict and autonomy. Both themes suggest that it may be very important to design flexibility into institutional arrangements that are intended to prevent future conflict. We do not know enough yet to say that these recurring themes reflect enduring features of the emerging world system or that the lessons they may suggest are the right ones to draw from recent history. However, these studies, completed a decade into a new era of world politics, do suggest what some of the main issues may be in international conflict resolution in this era.
Many of these, such as international coordination for conflict resolution, support of internal institutions for dispute settlement, strengthening the NGO role, devolving decision making power to. To the extent that such issues emerge as critical, they will require new work from analysts and new understanding and skills from practitioners. We hope the studies in this book will help analysts and practitioners better understand and address the problems of conflict resolution in this new era.
Among the many scholarly works that address these changes and assess their potential implications are those of Ruggie , Joseph , Held et al. Researchers in the peace studies tradition often note the apparent contradiction between these opposed uses of the same tools of power politics.
They typically stand these techniques in opposition to those they see as embodying the true spirit of international conflict resolution, which they define in terms of the use of nonviolent means in a spirit of dialogue and cooperation. For example, see Burton and Laue See, for example, Homans , de Callieres , and Pruitt In practice, integrative negotiation often involves adding inducements to bring one or both parties to recalculate interests enough to support an agreement.
Thus, although integrative negotiation allows for nonzero-sum outcomes, in many applications it follows the logic of stable interests. The distinction between structural and operational prevention was made in the report of the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict That report used the term structural prevention broadly to include all strategies that can obviate the need for operational prevention. We use the term more narrowly to include only efforts to modify structural conditions within states so as to improve opportunities for nonviolent conflict resolution.
For example, although truth commissions do not engage in operational prevention, not everything they do is structural prevention in our usage. When they recommend modifications in the national judiciary or policing systems to prevent future human rights abuses, they are recommending structural prevention in this narrower sense. However, when their efforts are directed toward emotional reconciliation or establishing a common understanding of the past, they are using the strategy of conflict transformation. These changes, even if they are long lasting, are psychological rather than structural.
The norm of territorial integrity is also undergoing an interesting transformation. The cases of the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia are making clear an emerging international consensus that, when division of a state becomes unavoidable, the division should be made along the lines of extant provincial subdivisions. They effectively dismantled themselves. Arms control agreements during the Cold War often involved structural prevention of conflict, but it was conflict between states, and its relevance to the current spate of substate conflicts has not been clearly defined.
On normative change, the spread of adherence to human rights norms during the last decades of the Cold War probably holds lessons for the current period. See, for example, Mastny and Lauren The term generic knowledge and much of the discussion in this section are adapted from George However, unlike George, who restricts the term to knowledge about which strategies work under which conditions, we consider that other kinds of knowledge, for example, about the parties to a conflict, also may be generic in the sense of being applicable across situations.
George uses the term actor-specific behavioral models to refer to this kind of knowledge. The method of structured, focused case comparison has been described in detail elsewhere see George, ; Bennett and George, forthcoming. Although the contributors were not asked to follow this method in a formal way, most of them worked in that spirit. Bennett, A. Cambridge, Mass. Burton, J. New York: St. Washington, D. Notre Dame, Ind. Fisher, R. Syracuse, N.
George, A. Lauren, ed. New York: The Free Press. New York: Columbia University Press. Gurr, T. Held, D. McGrew, D. Goldblatt, and J. Stanford, Calif. Homans, G. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World. Jervis, R. In International Regimes , S. Krasner, ed. Ithaca, N. Joseph, R. Boulder, Colo. Keck, M, and K.