During the past two decades there has been a sharp increase in interest in cooperation, peace, and conflict resolution in disparate disciplines, such as anthropology, social and developmental psychology, ethology, political sciences, and legal studies. We have closely followed this development in animal behavior and directly participated in it with our work on nonhuman primates. In the past few years, we have had an increasing number of exchanges with colleagues from different disciplines and realized the common bases underlying these heterogeneous research efforts. This volume aims to bring together the various approaches to the study of conflict management and to emphasize the similarities among them.
Many symposia, roundtables, and workshops on conflict resolution have been organized at societal discipline meetings and at interdisciplinary conferences in recent years. At the XXV International Ethological Conference in Vienna in 1997, in addition to a symposium and a roundtable there were an entire paper session and several posters devoted to animal conflict resolution. In view of the success of this conference we judged the time ripe for a volume that would summarize progress across different areas of investigation. In addition to researchers in animal behavior, we reached out for leading experts in other disciplines who have emphasized in their work the natural bases of the phenomenon. Not surprisingly, given how young and dynamic this field is, there was an overwhelmingly positive response to the project. As a result, we combine in one volume 36 original contributions based on the efforts of 52 authors and coauthors.