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Resolving Structural Conflicts : How Violent Systems Can Be Transformed (Hardcover) (Richard E.
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This book analyses structural or system-generated conflicts and poses the fundamental question: 'If there are systems generating this conflict, how can they be changed?'
It begins by showing how systems established to maintain a peaceful social order sometimes end by generating serious violence. After analyzing conflicts between socioeconomic classes, religious communities, domestic political groupings, and imperial forces and insurgents, the book discusses how to envision and implement new methods of transforming violence-prone systems. This discussion invites readers to think beyond the conventional categories often used to analyze social conflicts and challenges those interested in peace to recognize the need for a new, dynamic field of study and practice devoted to eliminating or mitigating system-generated violence. One of the most challenging and controversial questions today is how to resolve structural conflicts – serious clashes generated by the normal operations of certain social, cultural, and political systems.
Mediators and other peacemakers have had considerable success in helping people deal with disputes caused by ignorance, prejudice, groundless fears, and communications breakdowns. When the causes of inter-group conflict are systemic, however, something more than mediation or improved communication may be called for. Systems that generate violence need to be restructured, and efforts to transform violent systems call for new styles and methods of conflict resolution. Thus far, most discussions of system transformation have taken place under the rubric of 'peacebuilding', a term describing efforts to help alienated parties create the conditions for sustainable peace, particularly in post-conflict environments.This study carries forward Johan Galtung’s earlier, path-breaking work on structural and cultural violence and shows exactly how deeply rooted social and cultural structures generate our most violent and intractable conflicts, and what processes seem most promising in the quest to alter them in order to create systems of peace.
Written by a leading scholar, this book will be of much interest to students of conflict resolution, peace studies, war and conflict studies and IR in general.