| Information Zone|
|Alternatives for resolving conflict|
Facing conflict: what are
Whatever the reasons for conflict, individuals usually look for ways to resolve
their differences. There are three alternatives (choices) that can be used to
This is when one or both parties decide to use force to settle their differences
until one party ‘wins’ and the other ‘loses’ or
gives in. When this happens within a nation it is called civil war. When
between nations, it is called war.
This is when a decision is made to withdraw, leave or run away. While
this does not always solve the conflict, it gives the party who left the
chance to stay out of the conflict and maybe start again elsewhere. People
who are caught in a war zone and withdraw are called refugees.
This is when two parties seek a way to resolve their differences that both
parties will accept. There are two ways to do this:
- Negotiation – the two parties talk through their differences
and negotiate until a solution is found.
- Arbitration - someone else decides on behalf of the two parties and
then the two parties agree to the solution.
This leads to what is called conflict resolution.
Each alternative has impacts or consequences for the people concerned and often
others who are not directly involved in the conflict.
In conflict situations that are personal, we can take responsibility for the
way we choose to resolve a conflict and the consequences that follow. However
often people get caught in conflicts where they are not responsible for the
decisions that are intended to resolve a conflict. Choices by others impact
on other peoples lives. However, they still may have to make an individual decision
about what they will do in response - join in, withdraw or try and present another