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Understanding Conflict Resolution

When dealing with conflict resolution, there are many aspects of conflict that can arise with two opposing parties. We can describe certain types of conflict between intensifying conflict and escalating conflict. Intensifying conflict is making a hidden conflict more visible and open for the purpose to end a conflict through nonviolence. Escalating conflict is a situation in which levels of tensions and violence are increasing which must be stopped to relieve the ongoing situation. For example, most court cases are argued in the heat of a dispute between two participants that show up abrasive and reluctant to communicate with one another. The repetitive nature of reliving a situation that happened between the two parties can cultivate violent behavior.

There are three types of violence that can occur within most dispute situations visible violence, less visible violence and structural or institutional violence. Visible violence can include direct physical violence through behaviors like beating, spitting, yelling, intimidation, killing and torture. Less visible violence is under the surface relying on instances directed through attitudes, feelings, and values. Examples of less visible violence can be hatred, fear, mistrust, racism, sexism, and intolerance. Structural or institutional violence are construed in the context, systems, structures including discrimination or inequity in education, employment, healthcare, globalization of economics, denial of rights, and segregation.

However, clearly identifying the different levels of violence that can occur in a case can be difficult if the participants are reluctant to voice their opinions on what is happening around them. If the parties are left in a hostile situation for a long period of time, they can become subject to a “cold peace verse warm peace” scenario. Warm peace is all aspects of a good society in which governments cooperate with citizens to attain their universal rights, economic wellbeing, ecological balance, and other core values. However, cold peace is a “means to reach an end” or working through conflict to finish a project regardless of the declining emotional or intellectual state the community might be subject. Warm peace is a goal that must be achieved at every level of government to ensure that true conflict resolution is gained.

A modern-day example of conflict resolution is the difference between the United Nations peacekeeping, peacemaking and peacebuilding. Peacekeeping is the ability for the United Nations to monitor and enforce an agreement, using force as necessary. Peacemaking is designed to end hostilities and bring about an agreement using diplomatic, political, and military means as necessary. The use of force is a cold peace tactic that is required to keep governments, institutions, and citizens groups in accordance with international order. Peacebuilding is an undertaking programmes designed to address the causes of conflict and mitigate grievances of the past. Building programmes that give back to the international communities who are less fortunate than others will stabilize the relationship of the international countries’ citizens and their government entities. To promote the long-term stability and justice for the international community’s conflict resolution programs must also be addressed to establish the foundations of international order.

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