Gartner_Melin_Durability_Final

Gartner_Melin_Durability_Final - Assessing Outcomes:...

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“Assessing Outcomes: Conflict Management and the Durability of Peace” Sage Handbook on Conflict Resolution Sage Press Scott Sigmund Gartner The University of California, Davis Molly M. Melin The University of California, Davis Version: 2/27/07
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Conflict management is as old as conflict itself. Yet, for years, scientific studies of conflict management lagged behind other areas of study in the field of international relations, such as conflict initiation, remaining mostly antidotal. The conflict resolution process was shrouded in mystique since most actions were conducted behind closed doors and were highly confidential (Young 1967). Scholars were skeptical about the possibility for creating generalizations about conflict management and its outcomes (Meyer 1960; Simkin 1971). As a result, the activities involved in managing conflict and the outcomes of these efforts have only recently become a focus of systematic scholarship (Young 1967; Bercovitch and Gartner 2006a). As the scientific study of conflict resolution gained acceptance, scholars began to collect information about the occurrence of management and its characteristics. Driven by an increase in the availability of management information and data, along with an increase in the practice of third party conflict resolution efforts, especially mediation, have increasingly become a focus of systematic analysis (see Bercovitch and Gartner 2006a; Beardsley et al. 2006; Greig 2005; Regan and Stam 2000; Bercovitch 1997). These recent studies have dramatically improved our understanding of the management process and its impact on conflict resolution. Conflict management typically results in one of two outcomes: an agreement or continued fighting. This essay focuses on the management efforts that result in an agreement and examines the nature and duration of these settlements. We: 1) describe the conflict management process generally; 2) examine the theoretical approaches used to analyze conflict resolution and settlement duration, 3) compare descriptive statistics on agreement type and duration using a variety of different datasets and examine why they 1
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differ, 4) present brief vignettes of conflict management that highlight the issues and patterns presented, 5) address future research by discussing the importance of understanding two crucial theoretical factors, selection and substitutability, which both currently limit our ability to move this promising research forward. The Conflict Management Process By conflict management we mean any steps taken to help resolve peacefully a conflict, from bilateral negotiation to third party mediation. Third party managers include a variety of different types, including nation-states, state coalitions, regional or international organizations, and individuals (Dixon 1996). Conflict management efforts involve the interaction of various decisions by disputants and possibly intermediaries. These potential interactions are depicted in Figure 1.
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Gartner_Melin_Durability_Final - Assessing Outcomes:...

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