Genocide results from the culmination of conflicts over identity. A group of people that feels threatened by extinction resorts to genocide as a pathologically defensive reaction. This poses a security dilemma that can only be broken by quelling the feelings of threat and fear that prompt mass violence. In order to prevent genocide, it is essential to understand the internal dynamics of identity conflict. It is also important to intervene at the early stages of identity conflict; the parties involved require external help to ease tensions. In this volume, noted thinkers and practitioners of conflict management, who hail from ten different countries, present ideas on how to prevent identity issues from causing fear and escalating into genocide. They focus on measures for handling the internal dynamics of parties facing identity conflicts, as well as considerations for arranging external assistance. Contributors address the problem of outbidders, actors whose non-conciliatory attitudes put them in positions of leadership in their identity groups. Since political extremism and violence can signal resolve and commitment to a group cause, moderates give way to hardliners. Spoilers, who believe that peace undermines their interests and power, also play a key role in the dynamics of conflicts. Careful attention is necessary to select appropriate third parties who can pull conflicting parties off the course of conflict. The authors discuss the concepts and practices involved in changing structures and attitudes to ease tensions, as well as the measures interveners must take to work in the midst of conflicting groups.
- Publication Date:
- 20 / 12 / 2011