Conflict Resolution and Ethnicity

Conflict Resolution and Ethnicity

Conflict Resolution and Ethnicity

Conflict Resolution and Ethnicity


This book follows an approach that combines the viewpoints of both the realists and the idealists in dealing with the issues of conflict and peace. The ideas, models, and peace processes it proposes take into consideration the imperatives of real life without abandoning the dreams of a more peaceful and just world. The shared homeland model, as developed here, provides hope that ethnic conflict can be resolved in a manner that satisfies a group's need for recognition and cultural particularism, as well as its need for economic development, security, and regional activity. The book also defines and integrates steps of political conflict resolution into one theory that produces one of the first textbooks on the subject.


Conflict is one thing that no human being or functioning organization can escape. We all experience conflict and deal with it routinely as we interact to build families, make friends, earn a living, define ourselves, enhance our social status, and carry out our duties toward others. Conflict may destroy existing relationships and may create opportunities for the establishment of new ones, making it both painful and promising.

To explain how and why conflict arises, what role it plays in shaping our lives and international relations, and how to manage it in a manner that minimizes the pain and maximizes the promise is a complex and most difficult task. But without trying, our suffering will increase and certain opportunities created by conflict will be lost. This book is about conflict and its management. My treatment of the subject is both descriptive and prescriptive.

My interest in this subject was born only recently, despite the fact that my entire life was colored and very much influenced by conflict. In 1985, I became involved with an endeavor to negotiate a joint Israeli- Palestinian declaration of principles, a task that took four years to complete. And in 1988, I conceived the idea and helped construct the process that led to the U.S.-PLO dialogue. My participation in and contribution to several other Arab-Israeli dialogue groups and forums were also instrumental in sharpening my ideas and helping me focus on conflicts rooted in ethnic rivalry and clashing national identities.

This book may reflect a perspective not shared by some experts and professionals of conflict resolution. I believe that I have a unique perspective shaped by a unique experience. I am a product of two different, largely antagonistic cultures, a practitioner of conflict resolution moti-

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