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Encyclopedia > Conflict

Conflict is a state of discord caused by the actual or perceived opposition of needs, values and interests. A conflict can be internal (within oneself) or external (between two or more individuals). Conflict as a concept can help explain many aspects of social life such as social disagreement, conflicts of interests, and fights between individuals, groups, or organizations. In political terms, "conflict" can refer to wars, revolutions or other struggles, which may involve the use of force as in the term armed conflict. Without proper social arrangement or resolution, conflicts in social settings can result in stress or tensions among stakeholders. Look up conflict in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A need is the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a goal and the reason for the action, giving purpose and direction to behavior. ... Value redirects here. ... Consensus has two common meanings. ... A fight is an act to establish dominance over an opposition by causing harm by physical or mental damage. ... Politics is the process by which decisions are made within groups. ... -1... A use of force doctrine is employed by police forces, as well as soldiers on guard duty, to regulate the actions of police and guards. ... For other uses of War, see War (disambiguation). ... In medical terms, stress is the disruption of homeostasis through physical or psychological stimuli. ...

Conflict as taught for graduate and professional work in conflict resolution (which can be win-win, where both parties get what they want, win-lose where one party gets what they want, or lose-lose where both parties don't get what they want) commonly has the definition: "when two or more parties, with perceived incompatible goals, seek to undermine each other's goal-seeking capability". For the episode of the television series The Office, see Conflict Resolution (The Office episode) As you know, wikipedia. ...

One should not confuse the distinction between the presence and absence of conflict with the difference between competition and co-operation. In competitive situations, the two or more individuals or parties each have mutually inconsistent goals, either party tries to reach their goal it will undermine the attempts of the other to reach theirs. Therefore, competitive situations will, by their nature, cause conflict. However, conflict can also occur in cooperative situations, in which two or more individuals or parties have consistent goals, because the manner in which one party tries to reach their goal can still undermine the other individual or party. For other uses, see Competition (disambiguation). ... Co-operation refers to the practice of people or greater entities working in common with commonly agreed-upon goals and possibly methods, instead of working separately in competition. ...

A clash of interests, values, actions or directions often sparks a conflict. Conflicts refer to the existence of that clash. Psychologically, a conflict exists when the reduction of one motivating stimulus involves an increase in another, so that a new adjustment is demanded. The word is applicable from the instant that the clash occurs. Even when we say that there is a potential conflict we are implying that there is already a conflict of direction even though a clash may not yet have occurred.


Types and modes

A conceptual conflict can escalate into a verbal exchange and/or result in fighting. This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...

Conflict can exist at a variety of levels of analysis:

  • community conflict
  • diplomatic conflict
  • economic conflict
  • emotional conflict
  • environmental resources conflict
  • group conflict
  • ideological conflict
  • international conflict
  • interpersonal conflict
  • intersocietal conflict
  • intra-state conflict (for example: civil wars, election campaigns)
  • intrapersonal conflict (though this usually just gets delegated out to psychology)
  • organizational conflict
  • intra-societal conflict
  • military conflict
  • religious-based conflict (for example: Center For Reduction of Religious-Based Conflict).
  • workplace conflict

Conflicts in these levels may appear "nested" in conflicts residing at larger levels of analysis. For example, conflict within a work team may play out the dynamics of a broader conflict in the organization as a whole. (See Marie Dugan's article on Nested Conflict. John Paul Lederach has also written on this.) Theorists have claimed that parties can conceptualize responses to conflict according to a two-dimensional scheme; concern for one's own outcomes and concern for the outcomes of the other party. This scheme leads to the following hypotheses: Douglas LaBiers Book Cover. ... i am dumb Link titlelink title Insert non-formatted text here--68. ... This article is about the definition of the specific type of war. ... This article is about the political process. ... Psychological science redirects here. ... Workplace conflict is a specific type of conflict that occurs in workplaces. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ...

  • High concern for both one's own and the other party's outcomes leads to attempts to find mutually beneficial solutions.
  • High concern for one's own outcomes only leads to attempts to "win" the conflict.
  • High concern for the other party's outcomes only leads to allowing the other to "win" the conflict.
  • No concern for either side's outcomes leads to attempts to avoid the conflict.

In Western society, practitioners usually suggest that attempts to find mutually beneficial solutions lead to the most satisfactory outcomes, but this may not hold true for many Asian societies. Several theorists detect successive phases in the development of conflicts. For alternative meanings for The West in the United States, see the U.S. West and American West. ...

Often a group finds itself in conflict over facts, goals, methods or values. It is critical that it properly identify the type of conflict it is experiencing if it hopes to manage the conflict through to resolution. For example, a group will often treat an assumption as a fact. For the trade organisation, see Federation Against Copyright Theft. ... A goal is a state of affairs or a state of a concrete activity domain which a person or a system is going/tends to achieve or obtain. ... -1... Value redirects here. ...

The more difficult type of conflict is when values are the root cause. It is more likely that a conflict over facts, or assumptions, will be resolved than one over values. It is extremely difficult to "prove" that a value is "right" or "correct". In some instances, a group will benefit from the use of a facilitator or process consultant to help identify the specific type of conflict. Practitioners of nonviolence have developed many practices to solve social and political conflicts without resorting to violence or coercion. A root cause is a cause that is at a root of an effect. ... A facilitator is someone who skillfully helps a group of people understand their common objectives and plan to achieve them without personally taking any side of the argument. ... In organization development, a process consultant is a facilitator who helps a group deal with issues involving the process in a meeting, rather than the tasks. ... Nonviolence (or non-violence), whether held as a moral philosophy or only employed as an action strategy, rejects the use of physical violence in efforts to attain social, economic or political change. ...

Conflict can arise between several characters and there can be more than one in a story or plot line. The little plot lines usually enhance the main conflict.


Approach-avoidance conflict refers to the tension experienced by people when they are simultaneously attracted to and repulsed by the same goal. ... Class conflict is both the friction that accompanies social relationships between members or groups of different social classes and the underlying tensions or antagonisms which exist in society. ... Marxism is both the theory and the political practice (that is, the praxis) derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ... Guerrilla redirects here. ... Asymmetric warfare originally referred to war between two or more actors or groups whose relative power differs significantly. ... For other uses, see Kosovo (disambiguation). ... The Rwandan Genocide was an attempt to exterminate the Tutsi minority of Rwanda, and the moderates of its Hutu majority, in 1994. ... Belligerents Arab nations Israel Arab-Israeli conflict series History of the Arab-Israeli conflict Views of the Arab-Israeli conflict International law and the Arab-Israeli conflict Arab-Israeli conflict facts, figures, and statistics Participants Israeli-Palestinian conflict · Israel-Lebanon conflict · Arab League · Soviet Union / Russia · Israel, Palestine and the... For other uses, see Arab (disambiguation). ... Israel, with the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an ongoing dispute between the State of Israel and Arab Palestinians. ... This article is about the constituent country. ... For other uses, see Troubles (disambiguation) and Trouble. ... For other incidents referred to by this name, see Bloody Sunday. ... The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings on May 17, 1974 were a series of terrorist attacks on Dublin and Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland which left 33 people dead, and almost 300 injured, the largest number of casualties in any single day in The Troubles. ... The Omagh bombing was a paramilitary car bomb attack carried out by the Real IRA (RIRA), a splinter group of former Provisional Irish Republican Army members opposed to the Belfast Agreement, on August 15, 1998, in Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. ... The Vietnam War was a war fought between 1957 and 1975 on the ground in South Vietnam and bordering areas of Cambodia and Laos (See Secret War) and in bombing runs (Rolling Thunder) over North Vietnam. ... -1...


Structural Factors (How the conflict is set up)

  • Authority Relationships (The boss and employees beneath him/her)
  • Common Resources (Sharing the same secretary)
  • Goal Differences (One person wants production to rise and others want communication to rise)
  • Interdependence (A company as a whole can't operate w/o other departments)
  • Jurisdictional Ambiguities (Who can discipline whom)
  • Specialization (The experts in fields)
  • Status Inconsistencies

Personal Factors Not to be confused with interconnectivity. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

The assertion that "conflict is emotionally defined and driven," and "does not exist in the absence of emotion" is challenged by Economics, for example, "the science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses."[citation needed] In this context, scarcity means that available resources are insufficient to satisfy all wants and needs. The subject of conflict as a purely rational, strategic decision is specifically addressed by Game Theory, a branch of Economics. A conflict management style is the pattern of behaviour an individual develops in response to conflict with others such as differences of opinion. ... Its over and done But the heartache lives on inside And who is the one your clinging to instead of me tonight And where are you now Now that I need you Tears on my pillow Wherever you go Cry me a river that leads to your oceans Youll never... In psychology and the cognitive sciences, perception is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing sensory information. ... In psychology, personality describes the character of emotion, thought, and behavior patterns unique to a person. ... Value is a term that expresses the concept of worth in general, and it is thought to be connected to reasons for certain practices, policies or actions. ... For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation). ... Face-to-face trading interactions on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor. ... For other uses, see Game theory (disambiguation) and Game (disambiguation). ...

Where applicable, there are many components to the emotions that are intertwined with conflict. There is a behavioral, physiological, cognitive component.

  • Behavioral- The way emotional experience gets expressed which can be verbal or non-verbal and intentional or un-intentional.
  • Physiological- The bodily experience of emotion. The way emotions make us feel in comparison to our identity.
  • Cognitive- The idea that we “assess or appraise” an event to reveal its relevancy to ourselves.

These three components collectively advise that “the meanings of emotional experience and expression are determined by cultural values, beliefs, and practices.” Behavior (U.S.) or behaviour (U.K.) refers to the actions or reactions of an object or organism, usually in relation to the environment. ... Physiology (in Greek physis = nature and logos = word) is the study of the mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of living organisms. ... Cognitive The scientific study of how people obtain, retrieve, store and manipulate information. ...

  • Cultural values- culture tells people who are a part of it, “Which emotions ought to be expressed in particular situations” and “what emotions are to be felt.”
  • Physical- This escalation results from “anger or frustration.”
  • Verbal- This escalation results from “negative perceptions of the annoyer’s character.”

There are several principles of conflict and emotion.

  1. Conflict is emotionally defined-conflict involves emotion because something “triggers” it. The conflict is with the parties involved and how they decide to resolve it — “events that trigger conflict are events that elicit emotion.”
  2. Conflict is emotionally valence — emotion levels during conflict can be intense or less intense. The “intensity” levels “may be indicative of the importance and meaning of the conflict issues for each” party.
  3. Conflict Invokes a moral stance — when an event occurs it can be interpreted as moral or immoral. The judging of this morality “influences one’s orientation to the conflict, relationship to the parties involved, and the conflict issues”.
  4. Conflict is identity based — Emotions and Identity are a part of conflict. When a person knows their values, beliefs, and morals they are able to determine whether the conflict is personal, relevant, and moral. “Identity related conflicts are potentially more destructive.”
  5. Conflict is relational — “conflict is relational in the sense that emotional communication conveys relational definitions that impact conflict.” “Key relational elements are power and social status.”

Emotions are acceptable in the workplace as long as they can be controlled and utilized for productive organizational outcomes.

Ways of addressing conflict

  • Accommodation – surrender one's own needs and wishes to accommodate the other party.

Five basic ways of addressing conflict were identified by Thomas and Kilman in 1976:[1][2] Accommodation is a theological principle linked to divine revelation within the Christian church. ...

  • Avoidance – avoid or postpone conflict by ignoring it, changing the subject, etc. Avoidance can be useful as a temporary measure to buy time or as an expedient means of dealing with very minor, non-recurring conflicts. In more severe cases, conflict avoidance can involve severing a relationship or leaving a group.[3]
  • Collaboration – work together to find a mutually beneficial solution. While the Thomas Kilman grid views collaboration as the only win-win solution to conflict, collaboration can also be time-intensive and inappropriate when there is not enough trust, respect or communication among participants for collaboration to occur.
  • Compromise – find a middle ground in which each party is partially satisfied.
  • Competition – assert one's viewpoint at the potential expense of another. It can be useful when achieving one's objectives outweighs one's concern for the relationship.[4]

The Thomas Kilman Instrument can be used to assess one's dominant style for addressing conflict.[5] For wartime collaboration, see Collaborationism. ... Look up Compromise in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Competition (disambiguation). ...

Ongoing conflicts

Main article: Ongoing conflicts

Many NGOs and independent groups attempt to monitor the situation of ongoing conflicts. Unfortunately, the definitions of war, conflict, armed struggle, revolution and all these words which describe violent opposition between States or armed organised groups, are not precise enough to distinguish one from another. For example, the word terrorism is used indifferently by many governments to delegitimate every kind of armed revolt and, at the same time, by many rebel groups to delegitimate the armed repression of sovereign governments. Current wars redirects here. ... A non-governmental organization (NGO) is an organization that is not part of a government and was not founded by states. ... -1... Guerrilla War redirects here. ... -1... Terrorist redirects here. ...

See also

For other uses, see Competition (disambiguation). ... Conflict management refers to the long-term management of intractable conflicts. ... Conflict: Middle East Political Simulator, often known as Conflict: MEPS or simply ConfMEPS is a political computer simulation game. ... A conflict in the air traffic control is a specific situation, in which 2 or more planes are too closest in distance. ... A Conflict Style Inventory is a tool developed to measure an individuals response to conflict situations. ... Copenhagen Consensus is a project which seeks to establish priorities for advancing global welfare using methodologies based on the theory of welfare economics. ... A controversy is a contentious dispute, a disagreement over which parties are actively arguing. ... In organizational development (OD) and consensus decision-making, facilitation refers to the process of designing and running a successful meeting. ... For other uses, see Game theory (disambiguation) and Game (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Negotiation (disambiguation). ...

External links

  • Amsterdam Center for Conflict Studies (ACS) - Institute for the interdisciplinary study of conflict and conflict resolution
  • Complex Emergencies Database (CE-DAT) - A database on the human impact of conflicts and other complex emergencies.
  • Conflict! Radio for Resolution - Examples of actual examples of nonadversarial approaches to addressing conflict
  • Debate Conflicts - Open Democracy Conflicts Debate. "Even when guns are silent, the ideas behind them threaten. Warfare and conflict resolution urgently need to be explained, their causes clarified, and creative solutions explored".
  • Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research (HIIK): Conflict Barometer from 1992 on – PDF downloads
  • How to be a Good Enemy (article) How to manage conflicts in a positive way.
  • Insight on Conflict- Database of local peacebuilding projects
  • Party-Directed Mediation (mediation of interpersonal conflict) - Download 'Helping Others Resolve Differences: Empowering Stakeholders.'
  • What is Distinctive about Church Conflict? - an article looking at conflict within Christian churches.
  • Amsterdam Center for Conflict Studies (ACS)

The Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research (HIIK) at the Department of Political Science at the University of Heidelberg is a private organization. ... For other uses, see Christian (disambiguation). ...


  Results from FactBites:
Conflict diamonds (1271 words)
On 1 December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly adopted, unanimously, a resolution on the role of diamonds in fuelling conflict, breaking the link between the illicit transaction of rough diamonds and armed conflict, as a contribution to prevention and settlement of conflicts (A/RES/55/56).
In Angola and Sierra Leone, conflict diamonds continue to fund the rebel groups, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), both of which are acting in contravention of the international community's objectives of restoring peace in the two countries.
Conflict diamonds are diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments, and are used to fund military action in opposition to those governments, or in contravention of the decisions of the Security Council.
  More results at FactBites »



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