Conflict Resolution And Peacemaking

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Conflict Resolution and Peacemaking

Conflict Resolution and Peacemaking

The contemporary study of international relations begins in the 20th century with the experience of global conflict and the desire to shun consequent wars. This normative impulsion still activates, however very short literature is associated to the study of peace rather than the study of war, and even less is dedicated to the study of peacemaking. In this paper we will emphasize on peacemaking and conflict resolution with the reference of theoretical discussion by examining this literature, initially within the context of the study of peace and then by reviewing it using the increasingly significant structure of the rationalist bargaining approach to the study of conflict. Whereas the analysis of bargaining is currently the citadel of the rationalist school, mediation and peacemaking are still strongholds of practitioners who rely mainly on psychological and sociological approaches.

In this paper we prefer not to view these approaches as incompatible alternatives, but rather to focus on overlapping and complementing dimensions of the rational choice school and the psychological-sociological approaches. We are aware that deep differences in the philosophy of science stand at the heart of these approaches, yet believe that some complementarities call for a closer dialogue between them. Social-psychological theories sketch the limits and boundaries of rationality. They provide tools to help us define cases in which rationality assumption may not apply, and to help us reach generalizations even under such circumstances. In this sense they are pivotal companions to any rational choice endeavor. By emphasizing the value of linking these approaches, we try to establish productive dialogues between different issue-areas, between theory and practice, and between different theoretical schools within international relations theory. Third-party dispute resolution is one of the most common behaviors in international politics. Most violent or potentially ...
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