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Conflict happens
Why conflict happens

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Alternatives for resolving conflict

Facing conflict: what are the alternatives?
Whatever the reasons for conflict, individuals usually look for ways to resolve their differences. There are three alternatives (choices) that can be used to resolve conflict:

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:
  1. Negotiation – the two parties talk through their differences and negotiate until a solution is found.
  2. 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 way

     Conflict scavenger hunt
You need newspapers, magazines, glue, scissors, and poster paper to complete this activity.

Create a collage of words, images and articles from newspapers and/or magazines on the theme of conflict. Divide the page into two or three sections that show the contrast of different alternatives for resolving conflict.

Make a display of the collages on the classroom wall.