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Juergen Dedring


Ten years ago, the world underwent what at that time and afterwards has been seen as 'paradigm change': the Cold War and with it the bipolar system with the US and the Soviet Union as leaders of the respective alliance systems came abruptly to an end and gave way to a new global situation in which only the United States survived as a world power. The end of the political and military confrontation between the so called 'superpowers' removed instantly the threat of nuclear annihilation and freed all of mankind of a major physical and psychic menace. General relief after decades of paralyzing fear under the grave risk of the balance of terror took hold and encouraged peoples all over this world and especially students of peace and conflict to renew their hopes for a more peaceful future. Not only did the President of the United States speak of a new world order, but many other voices were heard praising this revolution of 1989 and envisioning a more harmonious and stable global community. The newly found unanimity among most polities and their governments about the principles of interstate relations and the deepened commitment to justice, cooperation and security as the lasting foundation of the emerging universal community included,  in particular, a joint decision to reactivate and strengthen the international organizations at the global as well as regional levels to respond to the likely challenges of global governance and to approach in a multilateral mode also important new issues of security and peace in the various regions of the world.

Everybody is fully aware of the quick and sobering realization within less than a year that the golden age of peace and unity had not yet arrived and that the collapse of the rigid bipolar system was followed by numerous bitter conflicts especially in the former Communist empire and in various former satellite states leading to extreme violence, fragmentation and dismemberment. The removal of the Cold War regimen liberated all of Eastern Europe and eased the bondage of smaller and weaker dependent States for which adhesion to one or the other superpower was not a matter of free choice, but of bitter necessity. The principal effect of the 1989 revolution was the welcome opportunity for local leaders in government or insurgents to seek their own solution(s) to their long-standing disputes and rivalries.

These tectonic movements in the global system dampened any premature enthusiasm about the new world order and became even more harmful as a result of the unexpected blatant aggression by Iraq against neighboring Kuwait in summer 1990. Suddenly the joy of peace and harmony turned into dismay and anger about the breach of the global order and the unmistakable warning by the sole world Power that the annexation of Kuwait would not stand and be reversed, if necessary, by force. While the global campaign against the Iraqi aggression illustrated the thrust and strength of the world community in unity, it also offered a first intimation that the seemingly solid front of the world's leading Powers and intergovernmental organizations might fracture as a result of the unwelcome dominance of the United States in the various organs of global and regional governance. Thus, the inspiration and early optimism in regard of world peace especially dear to the peace research community and to the peace movement dimmed quickly to be replaced by a new skepticism and a restoration of traditional research and advocacy agendas.

The following essay is an endeavor to review and assess the published writings of bona fide 'peace researchers' and academic cohorts sharing their viewpoint and dealing with the same kind of relevant issues. More specifically, its purpose is to distill what one might call findings and substantive contributions by students of peace and conflict in the post-Cold War era to the understanding of the evolving global system and to the promotion of the lofty aim of world peace.

The scholarly community and the general public are fully aware of the undeniable fact that despite all the rhetoric voiced by leaders of government and despite the universal longing for a world in safety and at peace, the next century will not magically bring us Kant's 'eternal peace', not even what Kenneth Boulding labelled 'stable peace' (Kenneth Boulding, 1989; also 1978) nor 'positive peace', i.e. peace with justice. At best, the 'peace workers' (Galtung, 1996a, 1996b) will patiently pursue their goals either in research and education or in campaigns and field work of the peace movements seeking to approximate, incrementally, step by step, and with occasional reversals,  the final destination of a global peace order.

Despite the daunting acknowledgment that world peace is still a distant hope or possibly even an illusion, the broad survey over the intellectual production of the last ten years provides a useful picture of the pragmatism and empiricism as well as idealism with which students of peace and conflict have examined a wide variety of issues in order to obtain a deeper understanding of the causes of violence and the opportunities for peace. While the focus is placed on peace research qua research, a principal practice-relevant topic has been selected for the review of concrete findings. This main issue area is the cluster of recent theoretical, conceptual and empirical work dealing with conflict resolution or, put differently, with the search for methods and techniques to resolve conflicts in a nonviolent or violence-free manner. Although various other topics of the unbounded overflowing agenda of contemporary peace and conflict research deserve closer inspection, the decision to restrict this paper to this one issue area reflects my belief that the study of conflict resolution constitutes a central part of the research agenda and output of peace scholars and exemplifies what peace research is all about. Other topics and questions in the field of contemporary peace research are the subject of a larger study currently pursued by this author.

Conflict resolution and peace-making

In choosing this heading for the assessment of suggestions and findings about the peaceful settlement of inter-personal, inter-group and inter-state conflicts, a clear allusion is already made to the continuing uncertainty or disagreement as to the labeling of the search for peaceful outcomes. The heart of what peace research ought to be, and is, about is undoubtedly the possibility to overcome friction and find a jointly acceptable solution to the underlying argument or fight. The focus on 'conflict resolution' has been predominant in the theoretical and practical approaches to discord and hostility. The multidisciplinary effort to analyze conflict processes and to identify or suggest ways and means of bridging the gap and settling the difference between the direct parties has occupied political scientists, sociologists, psychologists, economists, lawyers and other specialists. Developments in the international arena and domestically have given rise to a wave of studies, exchanges, conferences and publications in the last ten years that are impossible to know and digest, but they document the recent impressive advances in the 'conflict resolution' field.

Conceptual and terminological considerations

Before entering a more detailed review, one should raise a potentially painful question, namely whether the result of all these many serious efforts has really been sufficiently clear and conclusive in formal and substantive terms: do we know how peace can be achieved, and can we be sure that these 'solutions' will work and endure. Since most of the authors in the subfield of conflict resolution have strong academic credentials, they will refrain from any far-reaching claim as regards the results of their respective research projects. Taking this restriction into account, it still deserves mentioning that at best the students of peace and conflict and the practitioners are providing preliminary and partial findings which might lend themselves to either practical replication or further research projects. Nevertheless, as the following survey will prove, the current conclusions and insights often bring us tantalizingly close to an envisaged level of certain knowledge.

Terminologically speaking, confusion still reigns supreme. At this point in time, we find reference to conflict reduction, termination, transformation, prevention, settlement, analysis and 'provention' in addition to the customary term of conflict management. Of course, the related notions of dispute settlement and resolution, adjudication as well as arbitration, negotiations, mediation including 'good offices', and peace-making and peace-building should also be taken into consideration to illustrate the range and divergence in terms and meanings. This accumulation of overlapping, sometimes exchangeable, sometimes incompatible, words and terms is reflective of the diverse academic disciplines and professional foci engaged in conflict-related studies and renders general judgments extremely precarious and imprudent.

At this juncture, arguments for shifting the emphasis away from the notion of 'conflict resolution' should be mentioned as these reflections are valid throughout the following detailed review. As many critics have pointed out, the 'resolution' of conflicts, both intrastate and interstate, should be recognized for its extraordinary difficulty. Seeing conflicts as severe, possibly intractable in nature, it would be sensible to abandon the goal of a 'complete resolution' and instead opt for a constellation in which the conflict can be mitigated and is - inevitably - transformed, allowing its termination. Thereby, the lofty objective of totally overcoming a conflictual situation gives way to a feasible realistic outcome ending the killing and violence and enabling the parties to consider their relationship more at ease and coolly  rationally. Conceivably the term and concept of 'termination' should be designated as the best short-term or immediate pragmatic objective of coming to the end of an ongoing violent conflict. More about this aspect of the teleology of dealing with conflict will be said at the end of the subsequent conflict resolution survey.

As the term 'conflict' is at the center of the concept of 'conflict resolution', a special look at its conceptualization by students of peace and conflict is appropriate. Starting with Galtung's general theory of Peace by Peaceful Means (Galtung, 1996a, VIII), the notion of 'conflict' is centrally embedded in his fundamental peace paradigm.

"... Conflict is much more than what meets the naked eye as 'trouble', direct violence. There is also the violence frozen into structures, and the culture that legitimizes violence. To transform a conflict between some parties, more than a new architecture for their relationship is needed. The parties have to be transformed so that the conflict is not reproduced forever. There are intra-party aspects to most inter-party conflicts..."

In the careful and deliberate elaboration of his peace thinking, Galtung (1996a, 2) links the creation of peace with the reduction of violence (cure) and its avoidance (prevention). Taking into account the understanding of violence as direct, structural, and cultural violence, the linked definition of 'conflict' assumes universal ontological proportions.

A major part of Galtung's theoretical framework deals with conflict theory (Galtung, 1996a) in which he starts with the observation that every conflict contains an inner contradiction, either in that the same scarce goal is pursued by another actor or in that the actor pursues two incompatible goals. The first elementary conflict formation in Galtung's theory is labelled a 'dispute', whereas the second formation is called a 'dilemma'. The ensuing conflict releasing creative energy can either lead to violent destruction ('other'-destruction or 'self'-destruction) or to constructive behavior leading to peaceful outcomes. The innate contradiction is more specifically defined as 'incompatible goal-states in a goal-seeking system', and the underlying conflict is viewed as a composite of 'attitudes/assumptions + behavior + contradiction/content'. The resulting triadic construct of the conflict is emphasized by Galtung who also stresses that all three must be actively dealt with in order to succeed in efforts to promote a constructive outcome. (Galtung, 1996a, 70ff.)  Without exploring further this rich theoretical framework, Galtung (1996a, 78-79) is stressing the obvious, namely that "conflict presupposes goal-seeking systems, and goal-seeking systems presuppose life" which can be found in many places  and that goal-seeking systems or 'formations' have both harmonious and disharmonious aspects, showing cooperation and conflict side by side. This renders it crystal-clear that his analytical scheme and the traditional political science focus on sovereign states and their struggle for power have nothing in common. For Galtung, conflicts are inextricably tied to the individual human being and its psychological and physical features. Thus, to understand conflict, we must connect it to the real-life human formation from which it comes in conscious as well as subconscious shape. What results is the identification of highly complex conflicts encompassing structural conflict, frustration, and elementary and complex actor conflicts of the dilemma or dispute types. Herewith, the observer/analyst is enabled to describe the conflict formation and identify the actors and parties, the goals and the incompatibilities or contradictions (Galtung, 1996a, 89).

A related but quite different approach to the phenomenon of 'conflict' has recently been presented in the form of a general, mainly sociological theory by Louis Kriesberg who has also been a leading member of the peace research community for many years (Kriesberg, 1992; 1998). His most recent work contains a full-fledged magnum opus embracing everything from the smallest societal nucleus to the most global human community and showing in a systematic and reality-relevant fashion the given potential for constructive results of many of man's highly varying conflictual situations. From these and other writings one can distill a distinct conception of social conflict that adds to the multidisciplinary rich diversity of concepts and ideas among members of the peace research community.

Starting from the notion that conflict is pervasive in all social situations, Kriesberg  (1998, 2-3) offers the following definition of 'social conflicts': "... a social conflict exists when two or more persons or groups manifest the belief that they have incompatible objectives." It follows that conflicts are conscious, different from competitions, and perceived as such by the parties (persons or groups) themselves. But Kriesberg allows for objective, latent, underlying or potential conflicts in case the parties are not aware of the conflicting situation. He specifically adds that the basic definition does not refer to the means by which the parties might pursue their goals since he wishes to focus on noncoercive means and constructive ways of fighting instead of on violent struggles and coercion.

Setting out the framework and scope of his inquiry, Kriesberg (1998, 26) points to the fact that "social conflicts vary in the issues in contention, characteristics of the adversaries, the relations between the adversaries, the social context of the conflict, and the modes used in the struggle."  He further lists intentionality, perceptions, and other subjective phenomena in order to illustrate how the people engaged in conflicts view their struggles. Beyond that, he emphasizes that the adversaries carry out their struggle in the 'real social and physical world', a condition that has a direct impact on the way the conflict will evolve. Thus, Kriesberg shows a complex interplay between conditions that shape perceptions and perceptions that become conditions.

In his earlier work on international conflict resolution, he advanced other elements and tools for the comprehension of social conflicts and their de-escalation. For one, Kriesberg (1992, 1) stresses the multiplicity of important values other than peace motivating people and communities (e.g. freedom, justice, equality, or a wish for recognition of their special distinction or even superiority) and stipulates that those independent norms must not be jeopardized in the pursuit of peace. He furthermore points out that international conflicts are characterized by numerous actors, the diversity of the issues at stake, and the availability of  noncoercive inducements as well as of coercive methods. Since the parties are represented by groups of people, all persons have multiple loyalties and identities, including religion, language, ethnicity, ideologies, occupations, and their respective country  (Kriesberg, 1992, 10-11). At the end of this innovative inquiry into international conflict resolution from the vantage point of a sociologist cum peace researcher, Kriesberg leaves his readers with the empirically founded advice not to consider high public officials as the sole or even fundamental actors, but to realize that large-scale social movements, opposition parties, transnational organizations, nonofficial intermediaries, and the electorate play significant roles (Kriesberg, 1992, 222). While this enlargement of relevant players is of rather recent origin, the general remark amounts to an undoubtedly long overdue correction of traditional narrow-minded legal and political analyses of governmental decision-making in war and peace issues.

From  a social-psychological perspective, the propositions advanced by Galtung and Kriesberg are largely confirmed and specified. Herbert C. Kelman (1997, 194) has formulated the following axioms relating to international conflict that reflect very well the current trend in peace and conflict research:

"(1) International conflict is a process driven by collective needs and fears, rather than entirely a product of rational calculation of objective national interests on the part of political decision makers. (2) International conflict is an intersocietal process, not only an interstate or intergovernmental phenomenon. (3) International conflict is a multifaceted process of mutual influence, not only a contest in the exercise of coercive power.  (4) International conflict is an interactive process with an escalatory, self-perpetuating dynamic, not merely a sequence of action and reaction by stable actors."(Kelman, 1997, 194)

In elaborating these basic theorems, Kelman points especially to the nonfulfillment, or threats to the fulfillment, of the basic needs as causes of conflict and mentions in particular psychological needs, such as identity, security, recognition, autonomy, self-esteem, and a sense of justice, as centrally important for the behavior of individuals and characteristic for the individuals' identity groups (e.g. ethnic group, national group, the state and so forth) which articulate these powerful driving forces of the psychological and also material needs. Closely related, so to speak the other side of the coin, are fears about the denial of the needs, perceived threats to security, identity and survival (Kelman, 1997, 195). Summing up, identity, security and other important collective needs, and the fears about survival connected with them, are viewed as critical causal factors of intergroup and intercommunal conflict. For instance, typical conflicts about territorial issues or resource questions frequently reflect and magnify underlying concerns about security and identity and in a large number of cases are  responsible for the escalation and perpetuation of international and intergroup conflicts.

Similarly, John Burton (1990), a prominent creative scholar specializing in international relations and conflict resolution, established a direct link between interstate and intergroup conflicts and the realm of basic human needs, principally identity, recognition and survival, and thus brought the study of conflict resolution safely into the vicinity of a socialpsychological approach to this key problem. What is relevant at this point in the review of the conception of conflict is Burton's very own distinction between disputes and conflicts, the latter being deeply rooted in human needs and therefore most difficult to resolve. In his view, disputes lend themselves to the conventional methods of peacemaking, but conflicts must be probed and opened up by means of a profound psychological examination of the unmet or inadequately fulfilled basic human needs of the parties and their individual members. His approach deals with conflict as a universal phenomenon affecting all cultures and at all societal levels (Burton, 1990). Similar views are held by scholars associated with Burton's theoretical and applied framework showing the wide acceptance of the socialpsychological approach to the description, analysis and resolution of intergroup and international conflicts by today's peace and conflict researchers. (e. g. Sandole, et al., 1993).

Compared to the situation of peace research in the sixties, there is not the slightest doubt that the level of theoretical depth and methodological sophistication has risen tremendously since that time. The state-as-rational-actor hypothesis of political realism has given way to a much broader-based social science framework subsuming the special assumptions and contributions of the traditional disciplines and incorporating the novel insights of the innovative scholars exemplified by the annotated survey above. Based on the growth in understanding among students of conflict resolution, it probably would represent their consensus that conflict resolution "refers to removing the causes as well as the manifestations of a conflict between parties and eliminating the sources of incompatibility in their positions" (Zartman, 1997). The axioms and categories of the specialized conceptions would expand and diversify this comprehensive definition of the scholarly and practical task involved. The following should reveal what some of the differences are and how they affect the salience and utility of applied peace research.

Negotiation analysis

The central importance of conflict resolution for peace research was put forth above. While that relationship may be doubted by some, there should be no dissenting voice against the further axiomatic assertion that negotiations, the main instruments in the search for peace, are at the heart of conflict resolution. Although one can identify still major lacunae in supportive research and salient findings in certain areas of the study of peace and conflict, we find that in negotiation research a plethora of monographs and articles exist rendering it practically impossible to cover these scholarly outputs anywhere close to the given totality. For this and other reasons it behooves the reviewer/observer to be modest and select some references reflective of the divergent specializations in negotiation research and pick them according to the criteria intrinsic to the subfield of peace research. An effort will be made to highlight recent studies and their key findings and evaluate them in terms of the principal objectives of this review.

This endeavor is most ably assisted by two fundamental analytical essays by Druckman and Hopman (1989) and Druckman (1997) surveying and assessing behavioral aspects of negotiations and especially negotiations in the international context. Both meta-reviews are overflowing with bibliographical references showing the daunting dimensions of the research done in these special areas. Thus, a very selective standard emphasizing the most recent publications will be applied in the difficult journey through this rich field of scientific endeavor.

As Druckman (1997) sees it, four perspectives about negotiation have become dominant in research and theory development, which differ according to the processes they focus on: moves and preferences, communication processes, intra- and interorganizational processes, and an international system of diplomatic politics. The first approach of game and decision theory seeking to prescribe solutions based on the parties' preferences is grounded in a very simple model of two rational, symmetrical, unitary individuals negotiating about a simple issue that can be treated on a single dimension (Druckman and Hopman, 1989). The key question for the game theorist is: How do the negotiators  make optimal choices when their choices are contingent on what the other side does? The search for the greatest possible benefit is made difficult by the fact that the opponent or adversary is bound to follow a similar strategy that would run counter to the first one. The classical game has players choose their strategies that determine their joint outcomes. As remarked frequently, the simple game is severely restricted in its validity since it is static and tells us hardly anything about the processes from the choices to the outcome.

The recently published Theory of Moves (Brams, 1994) has indeed been able to break the limitations of the classical game and allows the player and the researcher to think ahead to the consequences of  moves, countermoves, counter-counter-moves and so forth, thereby enabling the player to devise longer-term strategies in the pursuit of the maximum benefit. As Brams (1994, 207-214) has claimed, his theory of moves (TOM) extends strategic thinking much more than most other dynamic theories. While this essay cannot delve deeply into Brams' very complex argument, it can be affirmed without hesitation  that the refined theory and the large number of games and calculations enable the interested student of contemporary conflict situations to get a more intimate and realistic understanding of the calculations and motivations underlying such constellations. The progress over and above the classical game theoretical premises and applications, especially the well-known Prisoner's Dilemma game, is clearly apparent.

In the quest for answers to the cardinal issue of how to promote cooperation, Axelrod (1984, 3) asked the key question: Under what conditions will cooperation emerge in a world of egoists without central authority? In his by now classical monograph he offered, based on iterated PD games, the conclusion that while no one strategy was optimal, the 'tit-for-tat' formula worked best over the long term, with the other players' strategies unknown and the value of the future payoffs important. In the elaboration of his basic thesis, Axelrod (1984, 21) arrives at the crucial proposition that at the end cooperation, once it has been established on the basis of reciprocity, can maintain itself against less cooperative strategies. He develops his set of theorems further by placing them into the context of established social norms and practices, thereby increasing the attraction of cooperative behavior (Axelrod, 1984, chapter 8).

Rather closely related to classical game theory, Howard Raiffa (1982) developed what he himself called 'decision analysis', i.e. decisions under uncertainty in noninteractive, noncompetitive situations. His reasoning in focusing on such real situations rather than on game theoretical problems with super-rational protagonists in a dispute, where the 'rules of the game' as well as their mutual calculations were well understood by both players, was based on his growing belief that the real human players in diplomatic and business negotiations were not following the highly artificial standards of game theory, were not acting in a coherent rational manner, were not satisfying the prescriptive norms of 'rational economic man'. This type of real-life decision analysis which is richly illustrated in Raiffa's seminal work has frequently been used to assist business and government negotiators in deciding when to offer a concession, and when to remain adamant.

The brief discussion of game theory and decision analysis and their potential contribution to successful conflict resolution endeavors should not be concluded without a comment on the 'rational actor' hypothesis and its well-known theoretical and practical weaknesses. Raiffa's own distancing from the rigidity of the rationality criterion points to the strikingly unrealistic insistence on this point by political scientists and economic theoreticians. Psychologists and especially social-psychologists have made clear to what extent individuals and groups are guided by non-rational forces, such as feelings and emotions. A small but important book entitled Passions Within Reason. The Strategic Role of Emotions (Frank, 1988) offers powerful evidence that people individually and in groups are much more shaped and directed by the non-rational element in the human personality and psyche than has been long assumed by social scientists, economists and legal scholars. Several key findings of his impressive study are worth recording: 1) People often do not behave as predicted by the self-interest model. 2) The reason for irrational behavior is not always that people miscalculate. 3) Emotion is often an important motive for irrational behavior. 4) Being motivated by emotion is often an advantage. On the basis of these propositions that run counter to what Frank calls the 'self-interest model', he suggests as a complement to the flawed 'self-interest' theory his 'commitment' model, a first step in the construction of a theory of unopportunistic behavior. Its point of departure is the observation that persons directly motivated to pursue self-interest are often for that reason doomed to fail (Frank, 1988, 254-259). Therefore, a more differentiating image of human nature in decision-making and negotiating situations is highly desirable and should attract especially the psychologists and sociologists in the peace research community.

Two other approaches to negotiation mentioned by Druckman (1997), namely negotiation as a bargaining game and as organizational management, do not require more than a passing reference. The bargaining literature has not found much positive response among peace researchers as its main emphasis has been on matters of national security and especially the bipolar military confrontation, utilizing basic assumptions and processes from the gaming and decision theory. The organizational theorists have argued that negotiation is exceedingly complex in that some consensus or common space must be obtained between the internal constituencies and their expectations and those of the other party in the negotiation as they impinge on the team charged with the pursuit of the negotiation. This organizational perspective overlaps considerably with the bureaucratic politics theme in political science. Theoretical and empirical studies on these aspects of the domestic political and decision-making process are numerous and reflect by now the wide-spread acceptance of this linkage. Of special importance in this academic branch is the identification of the 'boundary-role conflict', i.e. the clash between the external and internal forces impinging on the policymaker and the designated negotiator  (Druckman, 1997, 87-89; see also Hopman, 1996).

A fourth perspective puts negotiations into the wider context of international politics and depicts them as microcosms of international relations mostly involving national governments and their foreign policy goals as well as the external constraints under which they must operate. This focus has been used by early negotiation studies (e.g. Ikle, 1964), but also in recent years (e.g. Kremenyuk, 1991). The salience of this framework for the understanding of negotiations is quite self-evident and corresponds to a major aspect of mainstream foreign policy and international relations studies. The negotiation literature has brought out the importance of negotiating for side effects in order to strengthen the overall process, also the legacy of earlier agreements, the connectedness of various talks within an issue-area, the use of linkages to create or break impasses, and the effect of external events on international negotiators (Druckman, 1997).

Undoubtedly, this quick look at a rich and long history of research projects and research advances does not do justice to the matter under consideration. But for the purposes of the evaluation of contemporary peace research it suffices as basis on which to place the consideration and acknowledgement of truly inspiring new work on negotiations and conflict resolution in the evolving global system. Much of the new work, often conveying important fresh insights, is based on case studies revealing the complexities of the transition from the Cold-War system to the post-Cold War era. A large number of publications reflect the shift in focus of the inquiry directed toward incidents of so called 'internal conflict' in a wide variety of conflictual situations and draw lessons from that pool of concrete events and outcomes. Furthermore, one can also register a rise in attention to the rapidly growing phenomenon of multilateral negotiations in the global arena.

The flourishing of negotiation analysis encompassing all these developments seems in a certain way connected to the establishment of the International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA) in Austria and the appointment of Howard Raiffa as its first director who held this distinguished post from 1972 to 1975 and talks in an amusing fashion about his exposure to international collaborative experiences within the management of the institute, which led him to turn to decision and negotiation research after his return to Harvard University (Raiffa, 1982). It appears from Raiffa's and Zartman's account that the Project on Processes of International Negotiation (PIN) was approved by IIASA in 1981 and actually launched in 1986. The project was operated by a steering committee of negotiation specialists including Benjamin Spector, Zartman, Rubin, and Kremenyuk. Not only did the project result in several substantial publications (Kremenyuk, 1991; Zartman, 1994), but it should be seen as the driving force for related studies, projects and publications. The dramatic events since 1988 have helped to keep political and academic attention at a very high level throughout these years.

In the effort to bridge the gap between scholars and practitioners, the analysis of the negotiating processes and outcomes has involved various cooperative activities to elucidate the hidden elements of what is held to be the rules and techniques of successful negotiating. Throughout these joint engagements one can observe a steady search by the scholars to promote the theory-building program and by the practitioners to share what they know of the art of diplomatic interaction. Early samples of such intimate collaboration were the publications of the Center for the Study of Foreign Affairs of the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of the US Department of State (Bendahmane and McDonald, 1984, 1986). Both publications reproduced the gist of the exchanges and dialogues between foreign service professionals and academic specialists and offered several rich case studies and the appropriate interpretations to accompany them. Among the participants were William Zartman, Howard Raiffa, Roger Fisher, John Burton, Thomas Colosi, and Daniel Druckman from the scholarly side, and Harold Saunders, in transition from diplomacy to academic work. The 1986 volume in particular contains a Lessons Learned chapter by Druckman offering detailed and practical insights from the case studies for the diplomatic community (Bendahmane and McDonald, 1986, ch. VIII).

From these and other auspicious beginnings one can develop a sense of the distance negotiation analysis has traversed in the last ten to fifteen years. A major center for the study and practice of negotiation has existed at Harvard University, with Roger Fisher as a principal figure in its Program on Negotiations (PON) (Fisher and Ury, 1981; Ury, 1991). The central impact and scope of the program's academic and practical work is best demonstrated in a massive reader covering the wide range of facets and topics in the field of negotiation research and application (Breslin and Rubin, 1991). Much of the material comes from issues of the Negotiation Journal which has been closely attached to the members and thinking of PON, and serves also as a reader for a negotiation curriculum prepared by the Harvard program for instructional purposes in higher education and professional training.

While many people justly admire the outstanding work of Fisher and his colleagues in the theory and practice of negotiation, the set of fixed ideas and pat rules on how to do it leave much to be desired. The idiosyncratic properties and contextual features of actual cases (e.g. in international and internal political and military conflict situations) cannot be dismissed as less pertinent or irrelevant in attempts to bring the Fisher-Ury scheme to the parties to such disputes. Commonsense oftentimes should be applied, but the rigidity with which the PON prescriptions are handed out and the disregard the 'negotiators' display to the actual adversaries and their spokesmen bodes ill for any chance to arrive at a positive outcome of the given crisis. It is not callous or naive on the part of  knowledgeable professionals in conflict resolution to insist that many conflictual situations are protracted, deeply-rooted and do not lend themselves to quick and facile solutions by one and the same well-meant prescription. This rather negative judgment does not keep this observer from joining others in affirming the break-through achievements of the PON Team and their many helpful hints and pointers for anybody involved in some negotiating dilemma.

Another major center of scholarly and practitioner activity in negotiation matters is the Washington area. This was recent made strikingly visible when a new journal International Negotiation. A Journal of Theory and Practice began publication in 1996. Its origins have been identified as coming from the PIN project at the IIASA mentioned earlier, and it is produced with the support of the Conflict Management Program at Johns Hopkins University and the active participation of the Washington Interest in Negotiations (WIN) Group from which the Editorial Board is formed. The first issue of 1996 contained articles on negotiation as friendship formation, coalition building, diplomatic rule-making, as a search for justice, as interactive problem solving, as drama, and as adaptive learning, depicting an enormous topical and theoretical spread.

Any review of relevant books and articles in negotiation analysis must assign a very prominent position in this field to I. William Zartman who has served this cause for about thirty years. He may be most intimately identified with the notion of the ripening of a conflict and the importance of the 'mutually hurting stalemate' as condition to help create a subsequent ripe moment for an agreement or solution (Touval and Zartman, 1985; Bendahmane and MacDonald, 1986). In addition to that specific contribution he has addressed more complicated and more pressing issues, including international multilateral negotiation and the elusive nature of peaceful solutions to internal conflicts. These advances constitute the deliberate attempt to view these new and widely diverging phenomena of the post-Cold War world from the rigorous standpoint of a negotiation theoretician and analyst, i.e. from the basic formula of negotiations as principally dyadic in nature and involving unitary 'rational' actors. The reality of our time internationally is frequently multiparty or nonrational or asymmetrical, and therefore placed in contrast to the assumptions of decades of scientific negotiation studies.

The publication of the PIN project of the IIASA on international multilateral negotiations (Zartman, 1994) is, as far as this author knows, probably the only scholarly volume on a rather uncharted topic. It has cut an opening into the maze of today's multilateralism. Zartman (1994, 1-10) lists and describes six minimal basic characteristics that define multilateral negotiation and distinguish it from bilateral negotiation: 1) Multiparty negotiations; 2) Multi-issue nature of multilateral negotiations (Zartman acknowledges that this attribute is not inherent, but he bases it on reality.); 3) Multirole nature of the negotiations (e.g. drivers, conductors, defenders, brakers, cruisers, and maybe some other similar roles); 4) Variable values, parties, and roles characterize multilateral negotiations; 5) The outcomes are mainly matters of rule making, rather than the redistribution of tangible goods; 6) Multilateral negotiations are characterized by coalitions which help handle the complexity of the process. Zartman ends with two analytical questions to achieve a better comprehension of the full process: How to explain outcomes? How did/do the parties manage the characteristic complexity of their encounter in order to produce outcomes? The two main parts of the volume contain case studies and six contending analyses using decision theory, game theory, organization theory, small group theory, coalition theory, and leadership theory as recommended tools to handle the complexity of multilateral negotiating. There is enough room for argument about the meaning and suitability of some of the six characteristics proposed by Zartman, but on first sight they appear quite clear and substantive, although one or the other, especially the roles and coalitions factors, could be the best explanatory suggestion for the phenomena in multilateral processes.

Another crucial contribution is Zartman's (1995) publication. In his systematic conceptual introduction, Zartman himself makes it clear from the beginning that the search for negotiated solutions to the new type of internal conflict, which has become quite frequent in several regions of the world, is severely handicapped, if not nearly impossible. The principal explanation for this disturbing predicament is the asymmetrical quality of all these conflicts. His assessment of the dynamics of the internal conflicts results in focusing on the structural characteristic of asymmetry, the contextual characteristic that internal conflicts and their parties are subject to evolutions and life cycles which tend to affect the competittion and complicate and prolong the conflict, and the tactical characteristic that these unfavorable conditions render the start of negotiations difficult and that the controversial help of an intrusive mediator might be needed to promote some tentative dialogue between the parties in conflict (Zartman, 1995, 3-4). Zartman proposes some crucial questions. The key issue is how asymmetry can be overcome to catch the elusive peace (see also Mitchell, 1995). He further asks whether there are propitious conditions for internal negotiations, and under what conditions. He wonders especially whether and how ripe moments can be developed and seized and how normal politics can be restored. Furthermore, he asks what would be needed to overcome the stalemate to meaningful negotiation and what would have to be done to prevent derailment of the negotiation (Zartman, 1995, 25). These and a few other guiding questions reflect, on the one hand, deep skepticism regarding the probability of successful outcomes in these kinds of intractable conflicts; on the other, they help unify the research framework of the authors of the included case studies.

A major goal post on the road of negotiation analysis has been reached. Time will tell whether the class of internal conflicts really amount to the greatest or ultimate challenge to analysts and practitioners. The distance travelled from game theory to the search for an elusive peace is indicative for the advances in negotiation analysis and despite the discouraging tone of Zartman's projections for lasting peace accords in these situations, one should record with satisfaction the validity of such challenging work in the service of world peace and interpersonal reconciliation.

Third party involvement: Mediation and 'good offices'

The search for a peaceful outcome of either international or internal conflict situations with the help of a third party or parties has been a frequent phenomenon in world history. The underlying assumption is that peace can be advanced through the direct involvement of an experienced individual mediator or through the participation of State representatives or envoys of regional and global intergovernmental organizations and infrequently of NGO executives or delegates. Mediation as the core function of third party involvement has in recent years begun to benefit from intensifying analytical and scholarly attention, with a view to deepening the understanding of professionals and lay people, and, rarely, offering practical advice to the practitioners and those who want to learn the required skills. The peace and conflict research community has paid close attention to the numerous third party situations in the post-Cold War world as they see the success of these facilitations as important evidence about the promotion of world peace by peaceful means.

The publication of three edited review volumes dealing with the theory and practice of mediation in international relations between 1985 and 1996 reflects the growth of this subfield of conflict management and of peace research (Touval and Zartman, 1985; Bercovitch and Rubin, 1992; and Bercovitch, 1996). These collections bring together a good number of academic specialists and several practitioners and offer a basis on which to probe the conceptions, frameworks, and findings proposed by the authors. We notice a clear bifurcation between mediation in international conflict and third party involvement in internal conflict situations. The emphasis on the asymmetry of the internal conflict and the enormous impediment this condition creates for any amicable solution, least of all a mediated solution, should be recalled here (Zartman, 1995). For this reason, the two spheres of mediation will be looked at separately.

Drawing from the well of thinking about mediation in general and mediation in the resolution of international conflicts, Bercovitch makes an effort to systematize the accumulated knowledge and begin formulating a general theory of mediation. While various scholars and diplomats come up with their own specific and detailed definition, Bercovitch tries to gather them all together and names and arranges like building-blocks various general characteristics on which a general analysis of mediation can be based as follows: 1) Mediation is an extension of the parties' efforts at conflict management; 2) Mediation involves the intervention of an individual, group or organization into a dispute between two or more actors; 3) Mediation is non-coercive, non-violent, and non-binding; 4) Mediation turns a bilateral dispute into triadic interaction; 5) The mediator enters a dispute in order to affect, change, resolve or influence it in some way; 6) International mediators are both interested and concerned parties; 7) Mediation is a voluntary form of intervention; and 8) Mediation operates on an ad hoc basis only (Bercovitch and Rubin, 1992, 3-5). Comparing several detailed definitions of international mediation, Bercovitch arrives at a very comprehensive formulation himself which accommodates several fundamental qualities and provides a suitable platform for further academic research: He defines "mediation as a process of conflict management, related to but distinct from the parties' own efforts, where the disputing parties or their representatives seek the assistance, or accept an offer of help, from an individual, group, state or organization to change, affect or influence their perceptions or behavior, without resorting to physical force or invoking the authority of the law." (Bercovitch and Rubin, 1992, 7).

These conceptual and definitional endeavors are undoubtedly of great value. But for the mind of the peace researcher, the key issue is the difficult question whether and how mediation can be successful. It makes sense to establish conditions of effectiveness in order to establish the parameters of successful third party intervention. Rubin suggests the following three qualities as favoring such successful engagement: disputant motivation to settle or resolve the conflict in question; mediator opportunity to get involved, and mediator skill. (Bercovitch and Rubin, 1992, 251).

In Bercovitch's 1996 edited volume, an interesting statistical presentation on mediation outcomes is provided. The critical prior question is, of course, what the definitions of success and failure are in that data set. Bercovitch responds to that legitimate concern and gives the following definitions: A mediation is successful when it has made a considerable and positive difference to the management of a conflict and the subsequent interaction between the parties. Mediation is considered partially successful when it has initiated negotiations and a dialogue between the parties. Mediation is seen as being of limited success when it has achieved a cease-fire or a break in hostilities. A mediation is defined as a failure when mediation has had no discernible or reported impact on the dispute or the parties' behavior. With these clarifications, the figures from Bercovitch's database are indeed quite startling: Fully 55 percent (325 cases) of the mediation attempts ended in failure. Of the cases indicating some level of success, only 7.8 percent brought about a full settlement, 20.4 percent of the cases ended in a partially successful outcome, and 16.8 percent of the total case load resulted merely in cease-fires, a very limited 'success' (Bercovitch, 1996, 19-20).

In agreement with Bercovitch, one must conclude that the popularity of mediation as a peace tool is not justified. Mediation shows a very mixed, and largely negative, record in cases of international conflict. This result should make us pause and wonder about the current trend to view mediation as the most promising instrument in international relations. From this finding one can also easily conclude that the track record of mediation in internal conflicts is bound to be much worse. Since the earlier brief consideration of the elusive peace in internal conflicts (Zartman, 1995) relates very closely to the issue of mediating internal conflicts, only one major scholarly piece will be considered here in some detail. Christopher Mitchell who has written extensively on conflict resolution and mediation, has been very circumspect in developing a theoretical and conceptual model of the intricacies and complications of mediation in internal conflicts. He proposes in particular that the academic community should shift its attention from the mediator as a single actor or actors to mediation as a time-consuming and complicated, as well as delicate, process involving different third parties and different kinds of third parties. Mitchell (1993) focuses on intermediary roles and functions and offers thirteen basic roles played by such mediators - explorer, convener, decoupler, unifier, enskiller (or empowerer), envisioner (fact finder), guarantor, facilitator, legitimizer (endorser), enhancer (developer), monitor (verifier), enforcer (implementer), and reconciler (146-148).

One realizes that the time factor is of the essense in these protracted situations and that in many cases the persistence and patience of the intermediary actors will be sorely tested as the crisis seems to extend indefinitely. Nevertheless, mediatory involvement is absolutely required and should be applied to most, if not all, internal crises, as long as the parties to the dispute accept in principle the engagement of such outside intermediary actor(s). Mediation specialists, however, leave the student of peace with the unwelcome message that international peace and similarly internal accommodation and reconciliation are not given much concrete backing from actual mediatory missions and advances. Are there other models or analytical schemes that would offer a better success rate in the promotion of international and intrasocietal peace and harmony?

The Problem-Solving Approach: Human Needs and Peace

It is feasible and useful to consider the scholars who have conceived and embraced the 'problem-solving approach' to conflict resolution, as members of a certain school. Various voices from this group of scholars, all social scientists, but with a considerable contingent of social-psychologists, unanimously name John Burton as the originator of this viewpoint (Groom, 1986; Ronald Fisher, 1997a, 1997b; Mitchell, 1993). Burton and his associates and disciples have variously described this alternative to traditional political science state-centered realism. For Burton, the nature of most social and political conflicts requires firstly  a careful analysis of parties and issues; secondly, it is necessary to bring those two parties whose relationships are most affected into a 'facilitated interactive situation' in which relationships are analyzed in depth. Once there is an agreed definition of the problem, and a full assessment of the costs of existing policies based on a knowledge of responses to the denial of human needs, positive options can be explored (Burton, 1993, 1986, 1987, 1990).

It immediately becomes clear that Burton and his associates are not focused on interstate negotiation and bargaining, but instead center their analytical skills on the causes of deep-rooted social and political conflicts, namely the unsatisfied human needs of  individuals and groups involved. Burton and his colleagues (Burton, 1986, 1987, 1990a, 1993; Groom, 1986; Fisher, 1997) have given special attention to the term and meaning of these human needs which he has identified as identity, recognition, participation, security and other basic needs that are part of the human development process. The conception of basic human needs and the belief in their immense importance for any efforts at conflict resolution is shared by Kelman (1997), Ronald Fisher (1997a, 1997b), and to a lesser degree by Galtung (1996a). Burton's (1990a) volume related to  how human needs impinge on the conduct and potential resolution of deep-rooted conflicts. The frequency of today's internal conflicts, under conditions of pervasive economic deprivation and social inequality, underscores the belief of the representatives of the analytical problem-solving approach that their perspective on how to open up these intractable situations is normatively and empirically sound.

Ronald Fisher (1997a, 1997b) who has put forward a more integrated generic model of third-party consultation that specifies the essential components of "interactive conflict resolution (ICR)" practice, has also assumed the role of historian of the problem-solving professionals. He provides a thoughtful and impartial portrait of the first break-throughs involving Burton, Kelman, Doob, Mitchell and Groom, which started in London at University College and dealt with an escalating conflict among Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore in the mid-sixties, and thereafter with the deadlocked intercommunal conflict on Cyprus in 1966. From the beginning, the arrangement, with the two (or more) parties present, has involved the third-party panel of social scientists who act as skilled and impartial facilitators controlling communication among the participants to foster a supportive atmosphere for the representatives as they examine their perceptions, analyze the climate and develop new ideas for resolving their differences. Other principal conveners of such problem-solving workshops have been Herbert Kelman, Edward Azar, and Ronald Fisher (Fisher, 1997b).

The 'problem-solving approach' has been amply publicized and carefully explained (Sandole and van der Merwe, 1993; Azar and Burton, 1986; Burton, 1987, 1990b; Ronald Fisher, 1997a, 1997b). The traditional emphasis on states as rational actors has increasingly lost in salience in the turbulence of the post-Cold War era. The notion that social psychological dimensions are essential in the study of conflicts and in endeavors at affecting them positively needs no further support (Kelman, 1997). Still, there have been reservations with regard to the self-declared superiority of Burton's own thinking in these matters and his occasionally acerbic or harsh way of dealing with perceived adversaries in the academic world or in politics. Even best friends have warned against an overly didactic and dogmatic element in Burton's authoritative theorizing and advised against seeing things too much in black and white. (Fisher, 1997b, 256; Hopmann, 1996, 330, fn. 22).

But these cautious remarks do not address the main heuristic and methodological problems that have been raised by wider circles in the academic community. One of these issues relates to the fact that these problem-solving workshops have been conducted in some cases for twenty or more years without demonstrating persuasively the positive results of the third-party social science intervention. Early on, the problem-solving school maintained that its methodology's potential was clearly relevant for the policy considerations in deep-rooted conflicts, and rejected claims that it was impractical, ineffective, and untestable, but also concluded that it would take strenuous efforts to make its case to decision makers and policy specialists (Mitchell, 1981).

Still, Ronald Fisher (l997a, 1997b) acknowledges in his own account of the theory of 'interactive conflict resolution' that there is no certainty yet that the changes in the perceptions and interactions of the conflict parties can be transferred to the policy-making levels of the respective sides. Scholars always grapple with the problem of access to the political decision-makers, but the ICR scholar-facilitator is doubly burdened by the fact that the workshops are conducted in total confidentiality and secluded from the real social and political events. The workshop conveners have been clearly opposed to opening these encounters to interested outsiders. That isolation makes the transmittal of important progress in understanding and acknowledging the mutual assertions of unmet needs most unwieldy, if not impossible.

As the number of problem-solving interventions continues to climb, the lack of scholarly assessment and the urgent need for a meta-analysis weakens the full realization of the theory's potential in the world of intractable violent conflicts. Nevertheless, it is safe to claim that the direction of the problem-solving school has at least an equivalent probability of ultimate success in mitigating and transforming such conflictual encounters. One would hope that these scholarly workshops and their parallel engagements in the track-two diplomacy arena continue to flourish and become increasingly available in a format that government officials and politicians could become familiar with and absorb for their own negotiating and mediatory assignments.

How good problem-solving and ICR are as scientific theories should not become a preoccupation of the scholars or the peace workers as long as this approach makes a significant difference in its concrete application to a real case. The people in Kosovo or in Angola certainly are not interested in the theoretical purity and methodological solidity of the enterprise to help them find a modicum of stable peace for their communities. They are only watching out for the effectiveness of the outsider's attempt at assistance, or more directly, whether and how that well-meant initiative will benefit them immediately and directly. Compared to the other methods and techniques of peacemaking and conflict resolution, the problem-solving approach should be rated rather favorably. The scientific record for all of them leave something to be desired. All approaches are somewhere needed in the search for peace and stability. The social-psychological method is probably most needed in the pursuit of a 'just' peace order. Unless that strong longing is not properly responded to, the relevance of peace and conflict research will remain low and disregarded. Here, Galtung and Burton join hands and state firmly that much more attention should be paid to the pervasiveness of violence in the world community. Only when a beginning is made to tackle this global predicament can mankind start hoping for a point in time when a violence-free peace with justice will emerge.

Conclusion: Peace Work - Unending

The attempt to obtain a complete overview of the published works of peace researchers in the last ten to fifteen years dealing with conflict resolution and peacemaking and the underlying hope to get a clearer sense of what peace research in this critical field has become and where it might be heading at the threshold of the twenty-first century leaves the reviewer uncertain and rather skeptical. The uncertainty is based on the realization that a single person has no chance to grasp the totality of scholarly writings in a vaguely defined area of study such as peace research. Therefore, whatever may be conceivable as a general view or judgment has to be restricted by so many exclusions that the judgment as stated is already of little significance. It should further be mentioned that many of the prominent academic authors who evidently have contributed to the enlightenment on a core peace issue see their work mostly as being firmly grounded in their own scholarly discipline and do not count themselves as members of the highly diverse and pluralistic gathering of peace researchers. Moreover, the salience of many of the so called findings in the cursory review above is subject to serious challenges qua scientific research. Charges against John Burton and his school about the 'untestable' quality of his workshop conception and methodology can easily be multiplied in much of the 'soft' science of peace research. More rigorous tests like the statistical examination of the success rates of mediatory efforts demonstrate strikingly the fundamental disagreement among interested scholars and activists as to whether the scholarly work for peace should effect real change or must be exclusively guided by standards of scientific theorizing. If a proper scientific benchmark were set, significant contributions to peace research as a normative science would have to be omitted. But it appears axiomatic that the applied study of peace is at the heart of academic involvement in these basic questions of peace and conflict and shares with other interested groups its visions of preferred futures and how they can be achieved (Alger, 1996). The norms of empirical science cannot and should not be held against such important visionary work.

Together with uncertainty the reviewer is also afflicted with skepticism regarding the results of peace research. While little has been identified as of direct benefit and effect, the circumspect scholars have usually warned against illusionary thinking or excessive optimism. As shown, the treatment of the question of how to resolve peacefully internal conflicts left the reader with the deep worry that even under the best circumstances, the chances for reliable formulae and effective resolution were at best slim. At the same time, the global situation renders the frequent occurrence of such protracted and deep-rooted ethnic and other communal conflicts a near-certainty. How much relevance does the democratic peace principle possess in a world where economic inequality and underdevelopment hamper the prospects of the poorest countries to ever come into the privileged condition of a saturated stable democracy? Peace and conflict researchers assure us that human beings are not born with an aggressive instinct. But how can one explain the pervasiveness of interpersonal and intergroup violence in most contemporary societies causing friction in human interaction and giving rise to a growing pattern of mental illness among humans of all walks of life? A sober sense of the undeniable 'realities' of today's volatile world is bound to dampen the judgment about the prospects for peace at the personal, family, group, national and global levels.

Peace research more than other academic disciplines is hampered by incrementalism. At best, very small progress can be achieved, and, as history teaches us, the setbacks and reversals on the peace front have been numerous. Finally, one is left with the probing question of what the efforts in peace research have resulted in and how the community could expect to benefit from its activities?

Traditionally it has been assumed that peace research should, on the one hand, hew close to the existing conditions and be practice-relevant, and, on the other, invoke and describe the visionary universal peace in an uncertain future. This tension between practicality and utopianism has proven to be doubly damaging to the standing of peace researchers in today's skeptical society. Writings by Galtung, Burton and many others prove highly critical of the governments, authorities, and policies of the day and advise often far-reaching changes in the sociopolitical order. At the same time, numerous peace researchers and peace activists lift their eyes to a transcendental image of an otherworldly purity and perfection in which people live harmoniously together and affirm their idealism against the assaults of this imperfect world. Fair and objective critics are certain to endorse this dichotomy in the orientation of peace research and to appreciate the world order ideas coming from this critical utopian viewpoint. Paradoxical as it may seem, peace research thus turns out to be empirical and normative as well as critical and utopian.

The unusual position of peace research between scholarship and peace action is well illustrated by two long-standing causes in the peace community, the commitment to the philosophy of nonviolence and to a fully developed program of peace education. Since both of these themes have been pursued for a long time and at the same time have not brought out major new advances, they are mentioned only in this concluding reflection. There is universal agreement that peace education is possibly the most important part of the peace research agenda, and the community of peace educators have displayed tremendous staying power, didactic determination and unbroken enthusiasm for the educational challenge (Brock-Utne, 1996; Elise Boulding, 1987; Wahlstrom, 1992). The impact in a more rather than less peaceless world must be doubted unless today's perceptions about the world society are totally wrong.

With regard to the philosophy of nonviolence, there is a split between the purist school and a growing number of peace researchers who take their cues from the nonviolence tradition and translate those ideas and values into models of violence reduction in modern societies (Herman, 1988; Kumar, 1988; Rawlinson, 1988). A powerful application of nonviolence norms and questions with respect to the search for justice in many fragmented societies has recently been published and reveals more than many other arguments the undiminished social relevance of this conception (Wehr, Burgess, and Burgess, 1994). This study of justice conflicts and approaches to resolving them represents extremely well the recent trend in international peace research towards focusing on the seemingly procedural or operational issue of the creative transformation of conflicts in a nonviolent - or better - violence-free manner.

The reviewer strongly supports this growing determination to deal directly with the most dangerous factor in human society, the evil force of physical and psychic violence. In line with the interpretation of peace as positive peace, the biggest enemy of peace is uncontrolled violence of people against people. Some European peace researchers have sketched out a detailed program designed to eventually transcend collective violence through the civilizing process (Senghaas, 1987, 1995; Vogt, 1994/95). While this undertaking appears to be very complex and time-consuming, it reflects the consensus in academic and political circles that the problem of interpersonal violence must be tackled first of all. If violent behavior can be controlled and reduced, the chance to handle conflicts of interest as well as needs conflicts in a non-confrontational, cordial and fair fashion is bound to increase markedly. This 'realistic utopia' of a sustainable outer and inner peace (Smoker and Groff, 1996) should become the guideline and inspiration for peace researchers, peace activists, and peace movements. In a fundamental way, the idea of a 'culture of peace' (Elise Boulding, 1996) would well serve as the framework and foundation of such a violence-free world. Kriesberg (1998) provides renewed hope and encouragement that the future global community will learn to overcome the powerful urge of violent abuse towards fellow man and adjust to the limitations of a shrinking world, with many more people sharing the space and products of a finite earth. Tolerance, compassion, consideration for others and freedom from violence will be the necessary characteristics of the partners of such a world peace order.

The diverse and spirited members of the modern peace community will realize that their peace work will never end, but that only steady recommitment and renewal of faith will keep the flame of a world at peace with justice alive. Peace research, always looked at with a certain disdain, must continue to engage in the theoretical, ideological, religious and political debates about the ills of the world and offer advice on how to overcome them. There will be enough to criticize in the global community and plenty to suggest for the betterment of mankind. The members of the peace research community should not worry too much about their scientific reputation and instead persist in provoking, irritating and stirring dissatisfaction with the way things are. Peace involves change; it is dynamic and aspires to fulfill its teleology. Having overcome the cold war, the world now must learn to achieve 'positive' peace.


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