Ways to Prevent and Resolve Violent Conflict Essay example

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Ways to Prevent and Resolve Violent Conflict To prevent and resolve violent conflict we must understand the sources and logic of war. Two schools of thought currently dominate thinking on the causes of contemporary conflict. The first sees violence as a response to a range of grievances including systematic discrimination and human rights violations, inequalities in wealth and political power, or a scarcity of resources, particularly where these fall along existing social cleavages such as ethnicity or religion. The second characterizes war as irrational either originating in "ancient hatreds," causing a needless disruption along the normal path to development, or simply as "mindless violence." These schools recognize that…show more content…
Economic motivations play an important role in the persistence of violent conflict. For regardless of whether economic motivations have played an important role in motivating armed conflict in the past, if they do so now they deserve attention. While the international community stresses the need to halt the disintegration of states and stem the tide of communal violence, the effectiveness of outside powers in both regards is seriously constrained by their inability to examine the incentives and disincentives for violence from the perspective of the aggressors themselves@ (King 1997, p. 81). The motivation for fighting can easily change over the course of the conflict. While the origins or root causes of war may in fact lie in some genuine sense of grievance, over the course of the conflict greed can become a more prominent motivating factor. Obviously in practice these distinctions are seldom neat or clearly identifiable, and it is not difficult to envisage the process through which a transition from collective political objectives to elite private objectives occurs. The real fuel for economically driven warfare however comes from natural resources including tropical hardwood, gems, minerals, oil, and the illicit trade in narcotics. The challenge is to restructure economic incentives and disincentives to encourage conflict resolution and to ensure that future conflict is managed without recourse to violence. Securing peace after years
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