When discussing the term “conflict” certain questions are taken into account such as
When discussing the term “conflict” certain questions are taken into account such as, why does it occur? How does it develop? And what can be done to prevent it? To begin with, our world as a whole is engaged with conflict as it is a social process in human relations, where individuals or groups challenge their opponents with violence or threats. There are numerous matters that could generate conflict between individuals, society, and nations, such as, individual differences, cultural differences, social change, and clash of interests. Conflict can be characterized as universal, a deliberate objective to oppose, and a personal movement. It is believed that it is difficult to fully prevent and solve conflict, however, it is possible to decrease the rate of conflict being faced by the world. This essay will associate conflict to the “realism” theory including theorists Niccol ò Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes. Additionally, this essay will outline the root causes of conflict and possible resolutions.
It is believed that pursuing power and self interests are two chief objectives set by human beings, particularly in political actions. People tend to seek possible opportunities that will allow them to maximize their powers and superiority in relationships with others. However, doing so may cause a rise in conflict as it generates poor communication, misunderstandings, frustration and stress. Observing the realist theory, it is stated that egoism is the defining characteristic of human nature considering that people are essentially selfish and competitive. With egoism comes great yet violent power. There are two core types of realism, including classical realism and neorealism. Classical realism explains power politics concerning egoism and neorealism explains structural realism with regard to anarchy. The key features within realism are state narcissism, conflict, national interest, balance of power, and international anarchy. Realism theorist, Machiavelli viewed politics as a “negative and dark changeless human nature”. In his view, humans are violent, deceitful, manipulative and arrogant. He also argues that political life is illustrated as an unavoidable conflict, as a result it encourages political leaders to rule through the use of manipulation, brutality and cunning. As for Thomas Hobbes, he debates that humans are driven by illogical desires such as, fear, establishing dominance, hatred, and the longing for power. Hobbes refers to the stated situations as a “state of nature”, ‘which is a continuous civil war developed between all members of society’. States are led by citizens who are power-seeking and selfish allowing the state itself to inherit the same features, therefore, human egoism determines state egoism.
Conflict is worldwide, for that reason the term international conflict is referred to struggles between nation-states and organizations in different nation states. Nevertheless, it also involves internal group conflicts within a country, this occurs when a group is struggling for liberation or for political, economic, and social power, for example, Syria. The foremost root cause of conflict is war. Wars in developing countries involve a high rate of human, economic, and social costs leading to poverty and underdevelopment. Commonly, wars –apart from economic causes- have cultural measurements related to religion or ethnicity. Further reasons for conflict include, political, social, and economic inequalities. No two individuals are alike, each person has their own ideas, interests, principles and attitudes. If these differences fail to adjust with one another conflict will arise. Moreover, culture is an approach to life and each culture group differs from one another. Each human has different beliefs, many individuals may not tolerate ideologies understood by others and will contradict their views causing tension between one another, such as religious differences. Since people have their own perspectives towards issues, their interests also differ. Hence, one may think of what might be most suitable for themselves rather than what might be best for a group as a whole, interests then clash. Moreover, when citizens refuse to adapt to social change in terms of alteration in behaviour patterns, cultural values and norms a cultural lag will then be created leading to disagreement. In March 2011, Syrians began to complain about unemployment, corruption, and absence of political freedom under their president. Pro-democracy protests occurred, the government then used deadly forces to put the disagreements to an end, although the nation’s protests increased to demand their president’s resignation. Violence quickly escalated and the country declined into civil war. Another example representing conflict in the Democratic Republic (DR) of Congo. DR Congo is very wealthy and rich in diamonds, gold, copper, cobalt and zinc. However, their resources were not used for their advantage. They also lacked health and education systems. Their natural wealth was used by corrupt governments and other nations; the population was then divided between opposing ethnic groups. Their independence struggles then began.
Conflict is a prevailing situation, however, in order to prevent conflict catastrophe from striking, several steps must be taken into account. Firstly, the problem must be addressed and the sources must be tackled to let the country be less exposed to conflict. Members of the society must make an effort to cooperate by strengthening their constitutions, including holding regular and participatory elections to enhance the government. Nevertheless, it is suggested that nations should explore the national dialogue process which is a ‘tool for conflict resolution and political revolution, it can develop debates regarding a country’s path beyond the usual elite decision makers’. This is in exchange of the reduction of tension and to promote friendly relations. The United Nations (UN) offer these considerable assistances as they specifically aim for preventing violence. In addition to promoting democracy and allowing citizens to freely speak without being terrorized by others. Sharing opinions and thoughts with one another will enhance communication levels between individuals and will avoid poor communication and misunderstandings. People will be more involved with decision making, political stability will enhance. Moreover, since poverty and unemployment is a continuous concern, education has a key role in aiding conflict resolution. Therefore, education should be highly provided by the government to the public, essentially to citizens who can not afford private teaching. Gaining knowledge supports and provides confidence to individuals. It will aid people to know right from wrong, thus allowing them to construct healthier decisions that would be appropriate for the majority of people within a nation. The feeling of superiority amongst others may possibly reduce since most individuals shall be considered as equal. The skills needed for life must be taught to the world in order to adjust to life’s difficult paths that we face on a daily basis. Survival of the fittest is a phrase that is still believed and applied. With education comes great power.
The term power is a recurring concept in international relations. If power is abused it is undertaking unlawful acts which affects overall duties. Abusing power also expresses how a person uses power and control for their own personal gains. For that reason, the balance of power must take place. It is a state of constancy between opposing forces. It also refers to the ‘equilibrium among countries or alliances to prevent any one entity from becoming too strong’. This is a common feature of political realism, where self preservation is a prime guiding norm. This allows nations to form alliances due to suitability. Unbalancing engagements would prompt major disagreements, for example, triggering war.
To conclude, it is seen by many that there is no peace in sight. Whether due to ‘religious extremism, valuable raw materials or the desire for power, the reasons for conflict have been the same for many years.’ The main features of humans are selfishness and narcissism. Their lust for power and control is uncontrollable, and they try to peruse self-interest. As a result, their actions lead to injustice and conflict will prevail. However, if the suggested solutions are considered and performed the conflict rate will decrease and stability with begin to arise. Human characteristics perhaps may never change, particularly with the issue of power and control. Conflict is an ongoing process and it is the leading reason behind the many unfortunate lives that individuals are facing. If people come together and work respectfully as a team, then that is the greatest power of all. Commitment to group effort allows companies, societies, and civilizations to function properly.