In the 21st century conflict resolution is vital as in all part of the globe because in varying degrees conflict exist in some countries in Europe in Asia, Middle East and in Africa.
Some times the conflict is so complex and entrenched in the society and irreconcilable may take even decades to resolve as it is very difficult to change culture and entrenched rivalry and hatred between groups and no mechanisms exist to resolve it in a non-violent means or there exist no economic, social and political capital which is inadequate to move to a stable and an acceptable level of conflict which is natural in any society. In the 21st century ethnic and racial conflicts has been on the increase.
An extreme example is the Rwanda situation where one ethnic group massacred another and even the UN was unable to avoid such massacre. In this conflict the causes are complex and if not prevented and not implementing a comprehensive conflict resolution in time and resolution mechanism do not have a structural approach taking in to consideration of political, economic and social issues as well as attitudes, relationship and divided histories. This may be the cause of unsuccessful resolution of this inhumane conflict in Africa where many lives are lost.
In this essay it will highlight how democracy can contribute to non-violent alternative to resolve conflict and also how it can prevent violent conflict to erupt in the future. As well it also will highlight how democracy will enhance equity, freedom and security of all citizens and enable or empower all groups in the political, economic and social development and pluralism in political discourse.
In addition how democracy can devolve power taking in to consideration different democratic institutions reflecting the unique circumstances of the country in concern and how the institutional and constitutional framework can resolve many ethnic and racial conflicts and build consensus between rival groups and promote cooperation and enhance community development. In addition how the democratic institutions will provide law and order and there fore contribute to stability and there fore enable just and equitable social and economic development and
Democratic approach and its considerationsIn a conflict situation the opposing parties may differ in what they see or perceive as important and in what order they like to proceed. (Fitzduff, 2004). It is also not uncommon the powerful group favor psycho-cultural approaches to conflict resolution but the party or parties who see themselves as excluded may have a structural approach
that deals with the equalization power within a territory or with political secession, which will give them their own territory, and power. (Fitzduff, 2004). The meta-conflict
approach considers many facets of a conflict such as political or structural arrangement, legislation, economic and other factors or attitudes, relationships, and divided histories in comprehensive and complementary manner. (Fitzduff, 2004). For example Palestinians in the Middle East, Catholics in the Northern Island and Tamils in Sri Lanka priorities structural approaches that deals with the equalization of power within territory or with political secession that will politically supply group with its own territory and power.
(Fitzduff, 2004). This may be difficulty in the mediation process however the most important is that the spectrum of approaches includes their particular priorities in development of a meta-conflict approach. (Fitzduff, 2004).
By meta-approach facilitation one can ensure the psycho-cultural and structural approaches are complementary not competing and to make the structural advocates to recognize without a context of dialogue it is difficult to attain agreement among communities about issues of territory and justice and who pursue psycho-cultural approaches to realize that such hard issues cannot be avoided but must be included as part of their programs if such are to be eventually successful. (Fitzduff, 2004).
Contextual variables in a meta-conflict approach are democracy work, human rights, law&order, aid and economic development, equity work and community development and leadership. (Fitzduff, 2004).
However these variable may overlap as well they may be different depending on the conflict context and people and Institutions is such approaches must cooperate where possible to ensure successful comprehensive approach to their complementary work. (Fitzduff, 2004).
In the above discussion it can be seen the importance of democracy in enhancing the probability to successfully resolve such conflicts and the importance of Institutional or constitutional reform as an important factor contributing to the resolution of conflicts and maintain just peace in a country in tandem with economic and social development. Without an inclusive and devolution of power and participation in a country with different ethnic minorities it is impossible to resolve such conflicts and to recognize in some situation a form of self-determination to reduce ethnic and religious violence and tensions in many parts of the world.
As democracy also considers human rights issues, dignity, freedom and security to promote just peace also helps to curb unnecessary violence by balancing powers and to resolve conflicts by non-violent means as far as possible by having conflict resolution mechanisms by legislation and by political process and consensus building.
There fore democracy work is important with other facets of conflict to successfully resolve the existing or emerging conflicts in the world to maintain just peace and it can be argued by these meta-processes as discussed above will be an invaluable means to control terrorism by not only by force but also by other structural and political and psycho-cultural means. In addition the following detailed analysis of meta-approach and its application will prove the democracy work as an important part in the content and tactics of meta-approach to resolve complex conflicts, which is exist and emerging ones in the world.
The democratic conflict approach.
The major role of the meta-conflict approach conflict resolution is to ensure the prevention or of the resolution of existing and emerging conflict. (Fitzduff, 2004) It is vital the meta-approach brings to the conflict resolution his skills and knowledge relevant to the areas that enable to develop the meta-approach to conflict resolution.
(Fitzduff, 2004). It must ensure different aspects are not being developed in opposition to other strategic areas and develop then in tandem so that it decreases divisions rather than increase divisions between the parties. (Fitzduff, 2004) The following discussion will highlight in detail in every aspect how a meta-approach put in to practice to work in these areas constructively to ensure success of the conflict resolution strategies using the meta-approach to conflict resolution.
Equity Work & DemocracyStructural problems of inequity or exclusion of particular groups in participation of national or regional resources are major factors in the development of conflict. (Fitzduff,
2004). To address such issues it is necessary that policy-making, legislation, targeted economic programs and cultural programs such as education and media be devised in such a manner to reduce inequities and sustainable peace. (Fitzduff, 2004) In this respect the equity work by lobbying for such legislation and assist in the creation of a framework and institutions that ensure equity or reduce inequities. (Fitzduff, 2004) The meta approach also can use skills in the discussion about equality throughout all levels of society as this will be helpful because the equality is a contentious by nature and resisted normally by policy makers and others. (Fitzduff, 2004).
Law & Order and DemocracySecurity forces can play an important role in prevention of conflict or mitigating conflict. (Fitzduff, 2004). The security forces must be inclusive and all groups represented in the security force and they are adequately trained to deal with violence in a way that do not produce more violence and they have an adequate repertoire of non-violent approaches to deal with community tensions then the conflict resolution can assist effectively by enabling conversation to happen both within army and police institutions as well as within communities.
(Fitzduff, 2004). In addition the conflict resolution can assist in developing training programs that is necessary to secure representative and sensitive forces. (Fitzduff, 2004).
As well the meta-approach can by engaging with paramilitaries or illegal armies if such organization exist in a conflict situation then they can assist in clarifying their goals with their own and other parties and explore non-military approach to such goals. This can include lobbying nationally and internationally to change inequitable structural systems by non-violently mobilizing communities and assist in developing the skills to successfully engage politically at national and international level. . (Fitzduff, 2004).
Aid and Economic Development and DemocracyEconomic work and aid that specifically address issues of equity and inclusion is vital for conflicted societies where inequitable systems or political exclusion have been significant part of the conflict.
This work is fundamental because it increases the well being of a conflicted society. (Fitzduff, 2004). However it must be done sensitively and strategically. (Fitzduff, 2004). Otherwise it may increase hostility as communities assess who is losing and who is gaining by such economic work and aid. . (Fitzduff, 2004). In this context the conflict resolution can assist in the developments of programs by governments and international organizations in such a manner it is a bridge building program not to divide communities. (Fitzduff, 2004).
As well it can assist to build shared bodies and institutions, developing agreed upon criteria to determine the economic work and aid to be deployed so that all parties benefit by the economic work in an equitable manner and monitor success. (Fitzduff, 2004). There fore democratic processes are vital for even economic development and to use aid, which reduce conflict that increases conflict in divided societies.
Democracy work in building institutions and plurality in political discourse
The existence of democracy in a country does not itself guarantee no community conflict occurs. For example there are many commonwealth countries particularly in Asia has considerable community tension and sometimes-violent upheavals such as in India and in Sri Lanka. There fore democracy work to make the system more participatory and particularly the minorities to have legitimate voice in the political process is necessary to minimize such conflicts to occur. There fore it is important that the conflict resolution must consider not only majority rule democracy but also a variety of democratic processes applicable to a given country and the nature of conflict to be addressed.
(Fitzduff, 2004). This may involve a decentralized federalism and engage groups in participatory decision- making processes with central political organ depending on the need for greater autonomy as well power-sharing- possibilities, which give the minorities a voice in society as well as forming a cross-cutting electoral system which will encourage cross-cutting interest groups which also will help to breakdown ethnicity and religion in divided societies.
(Fitzduff, 2004). In addition the conflict resolution approach and mechanisms can have a more comprehensive amendment of constitutions, which will guarantee and legitimizes the tights and welfare of all citizens and that constitution is implemented in practice. (Fitzduff, 2004). There fore democratic work is vital in countries where conflict is intractable and the form of conflict is violent.
Political Development and democracyPolitical groups that favor ethnic, cultural, religious are usually a hindrance for conflict resolution and it is source of developing and continuing conflict, which prevents the politicians to developing agreements and sustainable peace. Fitzduff, 2004). By encouraging the development of inclusionary politics as well assisting the perspectives of the political parties and the creation of new parties may breakdown old monopolies and give greater power and voice for inclusionary politics. (Fitzduff, 2004).
The conflict resolution in political development also can assist in developing meetings with political parties in other countries who adopted a more conciliatory or inclusionary practice. (Fitzduff, 2004). As well they can provide opportunities to hear about the effective approaches to conflict resolution throughout the world. (Fitzduff, 2004). The Political Development is crucial to make the democracy work better and keep the conflicts, which are detrimental for further progress in social economic and in technical field.
Human Rights Work and democracy The development of human rights work is vital for ensuring the creation of sustainable peace in divided societies. (Fitzduff, 2004). This is because it safeguards the rights of all citizens enshrining it at national and institutional levels. (Fitzduff, 2004).
Conflict resolution can assist to develop agreed human rights norms. (Fitzduff, 2004). This can be facilitated with communities and between communities. They also can facilitate discussion about human rights norms both at policy level and through out society about agreed upon human rights norms for instance a new Bill of Rights, or with government or institution. (Fitzduff, 2004).
In addition democratic work and human rights work also can assist by facilitating conversation about the implementation of human rights agreements, which are contentious in a divided society. (Fitzduff, 2004). Human Rights work there fore ensures understanding by all parties about how such norms can assist the development of all citizens as well the development of sustainable peace. (Fitzduff, 2004).
Community Development & Leadership and democracyCommunity development is crucial because it generates cooperation with communities and the other facets of conflict resolution strategies only will work if adequate community development is undertaken. (Fitzduff, 2004). As well this encourages intra and inter community dialogue and discussions. (Fitzduff, 2004). This also can be a catalyst for cooperation between communities. (Fitzduff, 2004).
In addition it will be a contributing force to either development of new political parties or new members entering existing parties who may have a greater capacity for inclusion rather than exclusion, which is the source most ethnic and religious violence. (Fitzduff, 2004). It can be seen from the above discussions all the above facets of conflict resolutions are liked and it is necessary develop strategies which complements the others in a manner which will reduce destructive conflicts particularly of violent ethnic and religious episodes.
Other Strategic Areas and democracy In a meta-conflict approach as conflicted societies differ in their need for focus and that is different context there will be other issues which needs major attention and assistance by the conflict resolution practitioner. These issues may include environmental issues, urban planning, natural resource ownership and management, media work and weapons disposal etc. (Fitzduff, 2004).
ConclusionAs discussed above Democracy in divided societies can help to build democratic institutions, which will enhance the conflict to be resolved equitably and power shared
In consensus manner. As well it will provide legal framework and enhance the human rights issues, which will protect all citizens irrespective of minority or majority, and irrespective of ethnic and racial identity, which is the bedrock of most conflicts in most part of the world. In addition it will develop law and order institutions and structures so
that economic and social development can be democratically developed which benefits all groups equitably and reduce inequities in the development path in economic and in
social areas. This makes society to be stable and politically stable and there fore gives opportunity to attract investment in these countries and enhance the possibility of future economic and social development in divided societies and there fore gives economic security of all citizens and reduce ethnic and racial tensions. In addition democracy also
enhances community development and devolution of power, which may reduce social and economic inequities and there fore reduce conflict. In addition democratic development also enables the aid funds to be used to increase cooperation than division and there fore reduce conflict within different community groups. In addition it also reduces corruption because the democratic institutions have checks and balances to ensure fair processes and punishes corrupt practices and there fore inequitable outcomes which can be major source of conflict in some divided societies.
Democracy also guarantees security, freedom and dignity of all citizens irrespective of ethnicity, race, colour or socio-economic background and provide opportunities for all citizens to develop economically and socially and to attain just peace and there fore contribute to effective conflict resolution. In addition it also can minimize the threat of terrorism as it addresses the root causes of terrorism in all its forms because democracy is developed taking in to consideration of the unique circumstances of each country will reduce anti social behavior and violent conflicts and promote peace on a just and equitable basis around the world and there fore contribute to resolve current crisis of world terrorism or minimize the threat of terrorism in the future.
It also curb the possibility of despotic rule in divided societies by increasing pluralism in political discourse and there fore no one group can exert and use power to dominate other groups in a divided society. In addition democracy also can be an asset for sustainable urban development and also be a process for environmental protection and use of natural resources in a sustainable manner. There fore the democratic processes and practices certainly valuable as discussed able to resolve the current conflicts n the world and also minimize the possibility of violent conflicts erupting in the future and minimize the threat of terrorism in the world.
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