Which Strategies for Conflict Resolution Would You Employ in Cases of Violent Ethnic Conflict? Explain Why Giving Examples of Success and or Failure.

Topics: Rwandan Genocide, Ethnic nationalism, Hutu Pages: 10 (3786 words) Published: March 22, 2013
Cathal McCabe PO4107 Id# 085475 Word count: 3290
Which strategies for conflict resolution would you employ in cases of violent ethnic conflict? Explain why giving examples of success and or failure. 3,534 in Northern Ireland. Approximately 140,000 in Former Yugoslavia. Approximately 800,000 in Rwanda. The list goes on. Violent ethnic conflict is simply a harsh reality of life that has cost millions of innocent civilians their lives. We have witnessed its atrocities first hand in our lifetimes, and have sometimes felt powerless as individuals to curtail it. We can employ successful strategies for conflict resolution but the question really is how do we implement them successfully? There are strategies working, but the key now is to identify the successful strategies and be quicker to implement them in the future. In July 2010 Stefan Wolff declared that casualties from ethnic conflict have decreased by two-thirds in just over a decade - 12,000 killed in ethnic wars of 1997/1998, today this figure stands at just over 4,000 (Wolff, 2010). Ethnic conflict is unlikely to ever go away, but the death toll has reduced somewhat. Is reducing the death toll the best success we can hope for in resolving conflict? Will ethnic conflict ever go way or can we only moderate the violence? Have we eventually learned that war is not the answer or have we simply become more efficient at peacekeeping? Are these deaths simply down to ethnic pride or is there another reason which spurs man on to kill his own people? This essay will attempt to determine the true meaning and motives for ethnic conflict. It will then examine what the “strategies” for resolving ethnic conflict are, and examine the application of these strategies as the causes and resolutions to various conflicts throughout the globe. It will draw a helpful analysis of the cases of Rwanda as a failure and Northern Ireland as a success and what we can learn from it. Ultimately it will try and discover what the best strategies for conflict resolution are in order to minimise the trail of destruction left behind by violent ethnic conflict…

US President John Adams once asked “Do I have to study politics and war so that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy”? We must first look into the reasoning of ethnic conflict before we can achieve peace and freedom. The theories behind the motives for violent ethnic conflict are rooted in the origins of nationalism. Connor Walker describes the nation state as “a state that self-identifies as deriving its political legitimacy from serving as a sovereign entity for a nation as a sovereign territorial unit” (Walker, 2004, P.12). Theorists argue that this is an evolution from the simple meaning of the word “nation” (a community that share a common ancestry) per se. Ethnic conflict may simply be a process of evolution as nations look to establish themselves and represent a community of belonged people -the citizens. Perhaps there must be a common bond for a nation to remain at peace. Anthony Smith notes that ‘not only must nations be founded upon ethnic cores if they are to endure’ (Smith, 1986, p. 207). Therefore if a nation is colonised or artificially planted with a different tribe, a friction is likely to occur. This of course is the starting point of ethnic war. Ethnic violence ensues. By studying the origins of their motives we can understand their ailment better and it’s then easier to cure. The very first rule in employing successful strategies is having a deep understanding of the motives of the conflict. Engaging in conflict resolution without knowing the full purposes of the conflict is political recklessness. We must sympathise before we can strategize (Hutchinson, Breuilly, and Smith, 1994, P.104).

Nationalism and ethnic identity are the core tenets of ethnic conflict hence the phrase...

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