Detail of Theories of Conflict Resolution, Methods ofConflict Resolution, Gandhian teachniques of Conflict Resolution.

Theories of Conflict Resolution, Methods ofConflict Resolution, Gandhian teachniques of Conflict Resolution.

Theories of Conflict Resolution, Methods ofConflict Resolution, Gandhian teachniques of Conflict Resolution.



Conflict refers to some form of friction, disagreement, or discord arising within a group when the beliefs or actions of one or more members of the group are either resisted by or unacceptable to one or more members of another group.

From the Latin for ‘to clash or engage in a fight’, a confrontation between one or more parties aspiring towards incompatible or competitive means or ends.

Conflict may be either manifest, recognizable through actions or behaviours. Within the field of international relations, Peter Wallensteen (2002) identifies three general forms of conflict:

 interstate, internal, and state-formation conflicts.

 Interstate conflicts are disputes between nation-states or violations of the state system of alliances. The international community, however, has become increasingly concerned with the rise in frequency and intensity of internal conflicts, which are contributing to the expanding nature, sophistication, and, at times, legitimisation of interventionist policies.

Examples of internal and state-formation conflicts include civil and ethnic wars, anti-colonial struggles, secessionist and autonomous movements, territorial conflicts, and battles over control of government. Today, attention has also focused on ‘global conflicts’, where non-state groups combat international and regional organisations.


War is a prolonged state of continuous physical violence between two or more organized and armed groups, whether national or transnational organizations. War is characterized by the mobilization of large groups of armed men fighting for  gain, such as land or resources. 

Conflict is a prolonged state of hostility between two or more organized groups that encompasses a wider variety of factors, whether these are political or economic.

 Israel has fought 5 wars (War of Independence, Six-Day War, Yom Kippur War, two invasions of Lebanon) but remains in a perpetual state of conflict with Palestinians, using border control and economic leverage against them.


Forms of conflict and their causes

Conflict exists whenever incompatible activities occur. An activity that is incompatible with another is one that prevents, blocks, or interferes with the occurrence or effectiveness of the second activity. A conflict can be as small as a disagreement or as large as a war. It can originate in one person, between two or more people, or between two or more groups.

 Conflicts can be classified as :

 1. Controversy: A controversy occurs when one person's ideas, information, conclusions, theories, and opinions are incompatible with those of another and the two seek to reach an agreement. When managed constructively, academic controversy facilitates learning in the classroom and decision controversy facilitates high-quality decision making in the school.

2. Conceptual Conflict: A person experiences conceptual conflict when incompatible ideas exist simultaneously in his or her mind or when information being received does not seem to fit with what one already knows. An individual experiences conceptual conflict when engaged in controversy as ideas and arguments are presented that are incongruent with one's original position.

 3. Conflict of Interests: Interpersonal conflict occurs when the actions of one person attempting to maximize his or her goals prevent, block, or interfere with another person attempting to maximize personal goals.






The world we live in always seems to contain war and conflict .just by looking back over 100 years ,history is full of major war ,like two world wars , the constant threat of war during cold war ,the Afghan and Iraq war ,now Arab spring or WANA (west Asia north Africa )crisis .





Conflict resolution, otherwise known as reconciliation, is conceptualized as the methods and processes involved in facilitating the peaceful ending of conflict and retribution.


Conflict is a natural fact of life. Whether we focus on interactions between individuals, groups, organizations, or nations—conflicts are omnipresent. Of the range of emotions that may arise in conflict,

Satyagraha, as practised by Gandhi, was a technique of action designed to set in motion a process to achieve lasting peace.

 It emerged from the realisation that violence breeded violence; war fought to end wars and bring peace brought greater and more devastating wars.

Satyagraha replaced brute force by soul force, also known as love force through self suffering with the sole objective of drowsing hatred in the opponent and arousing in him the inherent capacity, even if muted, to love the ‘enemy’ anger is perhaps the most prominent and pervasive .

Gandhi’s struggle called Satyagraha was a moral equivalent of war and a deeply spiritual action.

Satyagraha was an important constituent of Gandhi’s programme of national self-purification.

When he started campaigning against the racially discriminatory measures in South Africa Gandhi discovered that his countrymen there lacked personal and communal self-respect, courage and the willingness to organize themselves. In a memorable phrase, he urged them to rebel against themselves. The concept of ‘rebel’ was something totally new for the people, who up till now were used to take orders and not do any critical thinking on their own. In fact the people did not take any major decision for themselves. It was like a fresh wind, which had blown into their lives, daring them to come out in the open and breath fresh air. The same holds true when Gandhi used the weapon of Satyagraha in India. The millions in India were coiled in superstition, poverty, ignorance, and religious beliefs and had no weapon with which to resist the mighty empire. Gandhi provided them the weapon of non-violence, urged them to resist with non-cooperation and shook the foundation of the empire on which the sun was never to set. Gandhi struck a chord with people, talked about their concerns in the language they understood. He also believed that in our land of millions of destitute and crippled people, if we take to the practice of seeking justice through murder, there would be a terrifying situation. Our poor people will become victims of our atrocities.

 By making a dharma of violence, we shall be reaping the fruit of our own actions. The only weapon available to the people was a spiritual weapon and that was Satyagraha.


The word Satygaraha is Sanskrit in origin. It is compound word formed of satya and Agraha. Satya means truth and Agraha means holding fast, adherence, insistence.

 Thus, Satyagraha means clinging to truth, holding fast to truth, insistence on truth, or firm adherence to truth comes what may.

Satyagarha, according to Gandhi, is not a method limited merely to conflict situation that subsisted between an alien rule and a subject community.

 The scope of Satyagraha is wider than that. For Gandhi, “the law of satyagraha, the law of love, is an eternal principle.”

A productive resolution of conflict is more likely to be achieved if it is based on nonviolence .In conflict situations success through nonviolent action can be achieved in three separate ways:

 (1) accommodation, where the opponent does not believe in the changes made but nevertheless believes that it is best to give in on some or all points to gain peace or to cut losses.

(2) Nonviolent coercion, where the opponent want to continue the struggle but cannot because they have lost the sources of power and means of control; and

(3) Conversion, where the opponent has changed inwardly to the degree that they want to make the desired by the nonviolent activist (or indeed, the nonviolent activist them self has so changed).


 Satyagraha is far more than a set of actions.

It is also an attitude, for example, a boycott may be part of a Satyagraha campaign but if the underlying principles of Satyagraha are not present then a boycott alone cannot accurately be described as Satyagraha.

 It becomes "duragraha".

Concepts fundamental to Satyagraha


(a) Faith in human goodness:

The entire rationale of a method of nonviolent conflict resolution which sees conversion of the opponent as its aim must rest upon the assumption that the opponent is open to reason, that they have a conscience, that human nature is such that it is bound or at least likely, "to respond to any noble and friendly action"

(b) Truth:

Gandhi believed in the need for absolutes by which to orient one's life,Truth for him, however, was more than a beacon to keep one on the correct path - Truth Satya) ,

Truth is that which you believe to be true at this moment, and that is your God." In fact Gandhi came "to the conclusion that, for myself, God is truth. Later he went a step further and said that Truth is God.


(c) Nonviolence:

Violence arise from ignorance or untruth, truth conversely arises out of nonviolence. Violence and injustice are only committed against others to extent that they are not regarded as fully human. The refusal to use violence indicates a respect for both the personality and moral integrity of the opponent.

(d) Self-suffering:

 The role of self-suffering is to break a deadlock, to "cut through the rationalised defenses of the opponent. "Reason has to be strengthened by suffering and suffering opens the eyes of understanding", because an "appeal of reason is more to the head but penetration of the heart comes from suffering.





Other Ways of dealing with conflict

 Disputes are solved in a variety of ways, including coercion, lumping it, avoidance, mediation, adjudication, arbitration and negotiation.

 Some of these methods are more applicable than others to certain types of conflict or to certain .

Lets discuss all methods conflict resolutions one by one

1.Dialouge : it is the simplest and easiest method of conflict resolutions in international system , this was also adopted by UNO ,actually dialogue is to  take part in a conversation or discussion to resolve a problem

Example : Round table conference during Indian independence movement

                   India – Pakistan dialogue on various issues


2. Mediation: International mediation is an attempt to resolve disputes between nations. It operates on the same dispute resolution principles as those that apply to disputes between individuals. It is a way to give parties control over settling their differences with objective guidance in a neutral setting.

 International mediation can involve things like trade and commerce issues or be an attempt to prevent or halt armed conflict. Many countries use international mediation to settle disputes on a variety of issues.

 In the area of trade and commerce conflicts, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has developed its own dispute resolution system.

WTO is actively involved in settling many trade disputes.

The United Nations (UN) has created the Model Law on International Commercial Conciliation.

The European Union (EU) has designated methods of alternative dispute resolution like mediation a top political priority for EU countries in all conflict situations.
Mediators of international disputes are often highly respected individuals with a strong commitment to resolving issues peacefully.

 A sovereign nation with a strong interest in international or regional stability will often serve as a mediator in international disputes.

3.Adjuction  In international relations, adjudication involves the referral of a dispute to an impartial third-party tribunal—normally either an international court or an arbitration tribunal—for a binding decision.

However, the state or states concerned must give their consent to participate either through special agreement or existing treaty.

Referral to an international court for judicial settlement involves a permanent judicial body, which means that the method for selecting judges and procedures of the court are already established. Probably the best known such court is the International Court of Justice.

Some binding methods of conflict resolution








1.Retorsion : A retorsion essentially refers to an unfriendly but lawful act undertaken in response to the unfriendly and unlawful acts of another state.

 Among other things, a retorsion includes the withholding of economic assistance, discontinuance or reduction of trade and investment, denial of economic and financial benefits, or closure of trade.

It is a legitimate method of showing displeasure in a way that hurts the other state while remaining within the bounds of legality.

 Essentially, they consist of a response to an initial hostile action. If a nation fails in courtesy, or in political policy or good offices, the injured state has the right to take a similar course to bring the other state back to a sense of propriety and justice.

        2. Reprisal

A reprisal is considered retaliatory conduct in response to a prior unlawful act in international law

A reprisal involving armed force is lawful in international law if it is undertaken in conformity with the right of self-defense. A reprisal is held valid as it was based on a previous unlawful act.

3. Blockade

blockade is an effort to cut off supplies, war material or communications from a particular area by force, either in part or totally.

A blockade should not be confused with an embargo or sanctions, which are legal barriers to trade.

4. intervention 

Intervention, in terms of international law, is the term for the use of force by one country or sovereign state in the internal or external affairs of another. E.g : R2P (responsibility to protect resolution )

5. barrier or interruption :

Completely block all ports and routes of enemy nations ,so nations cant do any action.