As Burton notes, conflict refers to the differences among individuals or groups of people that are not negotiable; i.e., the differences that cannot be solved by a recourse to the law/courts (Burton, 55). Resolution on the other hand refers to the means and ways of overcoming the differences that are not negotiable. The importance of conflict resolution can be traced to the reasons that led to the emergence of Conflict Resolution as an academic discipline. The emergence of Conflict Resolution as an academic discipline was, actually, a culmination of multi-disciplinary studies in social sciences in an effort to find ways and means of averting the occurrence of another world war, after the Second World War (Ramsbotham, Wooodhouse, & Miall, 2011). As it can be seen, therefore, from the understanding of the concept, Conflict Resolution, and the reason that led to the emergence of this discipline as a fully-fledged academic discipline, the main importance of Conflict Resolution is to keep and to maintain peace among warring parties with differences that cannot effectively be solved through the court systems. Conflict resolution seeks to ensure that people co-exist peacefully with one another.
Culture is deeply rooted in our past experiences, and as such, it can be viewed as a derivative of our experiences (Avruch, 20). Culture, therefore, having been fashioned by our past experiences has great experience in our world view. Our world view is determined to a big extent by our cultures, and therefore, culture is quite important in conflict resolution. Culture can sometimes be used as an ideology to accelerate or to cause conflicts (Avruch, 16). In such a situation where a conflict arise due to misuse of culture for egocentric gains, the most effective way to resolve such a conflict is to analyze the cultural ideology that is used to cause the conflict, and after the analysis, you lay bare the inadequacies and the fallacies in the ideology. This will help a great deal in resolving the conflict. Culture can also be used to cause what Galtung calls, cultural violence ( Galtung, 39 ). This happens when one uses their culture to justify their violent acts against other people. This will definitely lead to conflicts. Resolving such a conflict requires an analysis of the culture that is used to justify violence against other people, and after the analysis, the false ideas inherent in the culture should be exposed and logically critiqued. Cultural knowledge, therefore, is quite important in the field of Conflict resolution for it helps us in solving conflicts and maintaining peace. It is therefore related with the idea of peace building.
Nested theory of conflict was propounded by Maire Dugan ( Dugan, 14). Dugan propounded the theory after realising that some of the commonly used methods in conflict resolutions did not offer effective solutions, but rather, simplistic solutions that did not take into consideration the root causes of the problems. Dugan, therefore, came up with a nested model of conflict that is based on the structural nature of the conflicts. In the nested model, Dugan identified three levels of conflict. These levels are, issue specific level, relational level, structural subsystem level, and structural system level. The levels are interrelated and are arranged in such a way that the narrow types or levels of conflict are nested within the broader level. For instance, the level of issue specific is nested in all the other three levels, while structural sub-system level is nested only in the structural system level only.
The issue-specific category of conflict is the simple issue based conflicts. Relational conflicts are conflicts that have their roots in our relation patterns on our attitudes towards each other. The structural system category of conflicts refers to the conflicts originating from the structural rules of the organizations or the institutions where we work or live, while the structural system category of conflict refers to the conflicts that have their roots in the overall structure of our societies or our country. According to this theory, in resolving conflicts, we should first critically analyse the conflict and locate it within the category of conflicts where it fits. Having done that, we should then proceed to find the best way to resolve the root causes of the conflict.
Religion has both positive and negative impacts on the field of conflict resolution. On the negative side, Religion can, actually, cause a lot of conflicts. In the modern world, most o the major conflicts that we are experiencing at international level are of religious nature. These conflicts are mostly caused by the religious fundamentalists (Appleby, 822- 825). The main aim of these religious fundamentalists is to protect their religions or to win converts. Religion, therefore, mostly in form of religious fundamentalism is a big cause of conflicts in the world. But on the positive side, Religion is a big promoter of peace. All the major world religions advocates for peaceful co-existence among their believers. And apart from advocating for peaceful co-existence and respect for one another, many religions, also, have movements dedicated, exclusively, to peace building (Appleby, 827). Religion, therefore, plays a pivotal role in resolving conflicts in the world and in maintaining peace. In conclusion, we can say that while Religion does not support any form of conflict, due to religious fundamentalists, however, religion has been a big source of conflict in the world. But despite these challenges posed by the extremists, many religions speared conflict resolutions in many conflict hit religions of the world. Religion, therefore, is quite important in the field of Conflict Resolution, and it affects conflict, in quite a big way.
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