Conflict resolution, broadly, is the set of methods and processes developed to bring a peaceful conclusion to any form of conflict. It is typically undertaken by groups choosing to communicate in a cooperative manner with the goal of discussing conflicting motives or ideologies and negotiating an effective end to hostilities, violence, or coercion. Many methods exist to address conflict including, but not limited to, negotiation, mediation, diplomacy, and other means for facilitating peaceful resolutions.
The emerging field of conflict resolution was one of the major intellectual influences leading to the establishment of the United States Institute of Peace in 1984. By an act of Congress, such an institution "would be the most efficient and immediate means for the Nation to enlarge its capacity to promote the peaceful resolution of international conflict." Conflict Resolution is directed at understanding conflict processes and alternative non-violent methods to help disputing parties reach mutually acceptable solutions that resolve their differences.
The approach emphasizes processes of behavior used to assist in this transition to help commit disputing parties to mutually acceptable positions and to build and enlarge relationships of trust between them. Conflict resolution examines environmental and contextual aspects of social relations in confronting problem solving as well as the tactics used to transform intractable disputes between parties, and on developing new directions of social cooperation. Resolution is at the heart of the mission of peacefully coming to terms with conflict issues.
Discover possible careers paths and professional opportunities in the field of Conflict Resolution.
Learn more about the field of Conflict Resolution from the Association for Conflict Resolution.