Peacemaking in International Conflict: Methods and Techniques

By Else, Daniel H. | Naval War College Review, Winter 1999 | Go to article overview

Peacemaking in International Conflict: Methods and Techniques


Else, Daniel H., Naval War College Review


Zartman, I. William, and J. Lewis Rasmussen, eds. Peacemaking in Intemational Conflict: Methods and Techniques. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press, 1997. 412pp. $19.95

William Zartman and Lewis Rasmussen have assembled a stable of contributors whose experience encompasses scholarship and field work in international relations theory, international law, conflict resolution, diplomacy, and nongovernmental organization (NGO) operations. Zartman, a senior academic at the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, brings thirty years of conflict resolution scholarship to the project. Rasmussen, a program officer at the United States Institute of Peace, has coauthored a study of Middle East conflict resolution. The qualifications of each of the other contributors are strong, reflecting extensive experience in each of their specialties. The articles are supplemented with lists of additional readings.

The book consists of four parts: "Mapping the Field" and "Approaches to Peacemaking" deal in theory, while "Practitioners" and "Training" discuss practical matters.

In Zartman's introduction, he notes the state's preeminence in world politics but observes that conflict transcends the state, pulling it into struggles with subgroups and embroiling it in regional contests.

In Part One, "Mapping the Field," Rasmussen's "Peacemaking in the 21st Century" summarizes the development of international relations theory since World War II. Louis Kriesberg, a professor of sociology, complements Rasmussen with his comprehensive essay, "The Development of the ConflictResolution Field."

Part Two, "Approaches to Peacemaking," explores various peacemaking possibilities, such as negotiation, mediation, adjudication, social-psychological techniques, "interactive conflict resolution," and religion. Daniel Druckman, a professor of conflict management, in his essay "Negotiating in the International Context" explains state-to-state negotiations as puzzle solving, bargaining, organization management, or diplomatic politics. Law professor Richard Bilder introduces "Adjudication: International Arbitral Tribunals and Courts." He explains them, discusses the differences between arbitration and judicial settlement, and points to the benefits of a strengthened international judicial system. In "The Social-Psychological Dimensions of International Conflict," Herbert Kelman, professor of social ethics, looks at human processes promoting hostility. Psychology professor Ronald Fisher describes "Interactive Conflict Resolution," which draws representatives of groups into problem-solving workshops, supplementing conventional diplomatic and governmental activities. "Religion and Peacebuilding" by Cynthia Sampson discusses the roles of lay and ecclesiastical figures who have become advocates, intermediaries, observers, and educators in the most intractable conflicts. …

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