Article

International Conflict Management

Fen Hampson, Chester Crocker, Pamela Aall and Simon Palamar

in Political Science

ISBN: 9780199756223
Published online November 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756223-0012
International Conflict Management

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International conflict management (ICM) studies are focused on applying the insights of theory and research to the understanding and management of actual conflict situations. Theory and research are drawn not only from political science, but also from social psychology, sociology, economics, and law. Because the field is filtered through many differing analytic lenses, ICM theory may appear untidy. Some international relations scholars of a realist persuasion perceive a bias among ICM scholars and practitioners toward peaceful methods of dispute settlement and resolution, one that deliberately and self-consciously eschews the use of force and violence. This translates unfairly to ICM studies being seen as “soft” theoretically, focusing more on application and “statecraft” rather than on contributing to theoretical innovation and advancement of our general understanding of the “root” conflict processes. In fact, ICM research is quite sophisticated and nuanced, honing in both on state-level and group-level motivations and strategies that either exacerbate or mitigate political violence through the use of a wide range of tools, including hard power. This bibliography focuses on two dimensions of the ICM field: sources of conflict and responses to conflict. Of these two dimensions, the academic field of international relations has directed most of its energies to identifying and analyzing the sources of conflict. In recent years, however, attention to responses to conflict has increased, driven by a growing desire among students and faculty, on the one hand, and foreign policymakers and practitioners, on the other, to come up with workable solutions to these seemingly intractable conflagrations. The unceasing breakout of internal conflicts in the 1990s may have presented very difficult challenges to practitioners, but they also touched the lives of individuals around the world as the news networks reported on mass civilian killings in Rwanda, Bosnia, Liberia, and Sierra Leone (among others). In the face of these contemporary wars, student and faculty concern expanded beyond understanding the causes of these conflicts to identifying and applying solutions. All sorts of diverse institutions play a role in responding to conflict, and, as such, this bibliography explores many different kinds of institutional capacities, ranging from the use of coercion to diplomatic methods of making or encouraging peace.

Article.  8917 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Political Institutions ; Political Methodology ; Political Theory

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