The previous two sections have mainly focused on conflict management mechanisms involving only the individuals in conflict. Most of these conflicts, however, do not occur in a social vacuum, but they are likely to be influenced by other group members. Interventions by third parties during conflict and post-conflict interactions with bystanders may mitigate and mediate conflict outcome. This section aims to present the current knowledge and highlight new avenues of research on the role of third parties in conflict management.
In Chapter 13, Das focuses on the post-conflict friendly contacts of third parties with the former aggressor. Most of the systematic research on this topic has been carried out on macaques. The chapter necessarily has limitations in the selection of species treated; however, special effort is made to extrapolate general principles and expectations from the available knowledge. Macaque aggressors tend to increase contacts with various classes of individuals following a conflict. Post-conflict affiliation with own kin and allies may lower the aggressor's tension and reinforce the existing dominance hierarchy by strengthening the social bond between the aggressor and the third party. Postconflict affiliation with kin of the target of aggression, on the other hand, could help to mitigate antagonism and avoid the spread of hostility to other family members of the former opponents. Das emphasizes that the identity of third parties and the functions of post-conflict friendly contacts of the former aggressor are likely to depend on the degree of tolerance within the group, and she concludes her chapter with predictions on the distributions of these interactions across species.