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NCJ Number: 97328 Find in a Library
Title: Social Conflict Theories and Conflict Resolution
Journal: Peace and Change  Volume:8  Issue:2/3  Dated:special issue (Summer 1982)  Pages:3-17
Author(s): L Kriesberg
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 15
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper discusses theories pertaining to the four major stages of conflicts: (1) the underlying objective bases of conflicts, (2) the emergence of the subjective awareness of conflict and the choice of conflict means, (3) the escalation and deescalation of conflict, (4) and conflict outcomes.
Abstract: Causes of conflicts are variously attributed to factors inside one or more of the adversaries, to the relations between different groups, and to features of the social system. These theories indicate many types of bases for social conflicts and suggest that those attempting to mitigate conflicts will favor different methods, depending on their theoretical orientations. Three theoretical orientations underly explanations of the emergence of conflict: collective behavior, relative deprivation, and resource mobilization. These help explain why some latent conflicts emerge into awareness and why others do not. Theories on escalation and deescalation of conflicts focus on cognitive and affective processes occurring within and between adversaries. These theories suggest that intermediaries can try to shift partisans' views about the focal point of the conflict and inform adversaries about the processes involved in a conflict. Outcome theories focus on the effects of the struggle itself and of external and general social forces which the adversaries do not control. These theories imply that no one partisan or any single intermediary can determine the outcome. Knowledge about the processes and what influences them is crucial to increasing the probability that efforts to resolve conflicts will be effective. Fifty-three references are listed.
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Conflict resolution; Conflict theory
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