PEACE & CONFLICT

Intro to Peace & Conflict

Did you know..?

  • Since 1495, there has never been a 25-year period of time without war erupting somewhere in the world.
  • By the age of 16, the average American child has witnessed 18,000 murders on television.
  • 90 percent of modern war casualties are civilians — primarily women and children. Women and children also make up the majority of the 31 million refugees and other displaced persons forced from their homes during conflict.

Over 80 percent of all humanitarian crises are concerned with conflict. Conflict is an intrinsic and inevitable aspect of social change, but it is how we deal with this conflict that determines the impacts and outcomes of change. Understanding how conflict can be managed, utilized and transformed can help promote more peaceful resolutions and responses. But what is peace and how is it accomplished? As peace is a hypothetical construct, it is often easiest to define what peace is not: conflict. Conflict is, from the Latin ‘to clash or engage in a fight’, and occurs when two or more individuals or groups pursue mutually incompatible goals. In fact, peace and conflict can take different forms, occurring on a number of levels with a wide variety of causes and outcomes. Peace and conflict occur in various contexts, including personal, family, school, and community levels, to nations and the global forum and from the perspective of various disciplines. Peace and conflict studies often involve an exploration of the interconnections between such issues as poverty, violence and nonviolence, human security, hunger, discrimination, human rights, war and justice, security, freedom and the human community.

Related Issues and Topics Include:
  • Nonviolent forms of resistance (e.g. protest art, sit-ins, boycotting, etc.);
  • Galtung’s Models of Conflict, Violence and Peace;
  • Stages of conflict (e.g. difference to reconciliation);
  • Problem solving;
  • Preventative peace keeping;
  • Approaches to conflict (e.g. withdrawal, compromise, yielding, etc.);
  • Third-party intervention (coercive verses non-coercive forms);
  • Indigenous systems for resolving conflict and peace-building;
  • Any historical conflict or war

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