Note: The glossary contains concepts that are pertinent to the focal areas of the War Prevention Initiative. Some were taken over directly from the wonderful work done by the Conflict Research Consortium at the University of Colorado; those are the most commonly used conceptualizations in the field of conflict resolution; others were compiled through a variety of classical and contemporary print sources in the realm conflict resolution (e.g. Contemporary Conflict Resolution by Ramsbotham, Woodhouse and Miall, 2011)
Activism - Activism need not be a profession in itself, as it is in many cases here. It can be the writing of a letter to the editor or to your congressperson; it can be in taking part in one local action or a national one or, for that matter, a worldwide one; it can be in attending a rally or marching in a parade; it can be in any form, freely expressing your grievance or your hope (Studs Terkel, 2003).
BATNA stands for "best alternative to a negotiated agreement." Any negotiator should determine his or her BATNA before agreeing to any negotiated settlement. If the settlement is as good as or better than one's BATNA, the agreement should be accepted. If the alternative is better, it should be pursued instead of the negotiated settlement. When one party's BATNA is good (or even if they just think it is good), they are unlikely to be willing to enter into negotiations, preferring instead to pursue their alternative option.
Co-existence means living together peacefully in the same geographical area.
Conflict Management refers to the long-term management of intractable conflicts and the people involved in them so that they do not escalate out of control and become violent.
Conflict Resolution usually refers to the process of resolving a dispute or a conflict permanently, by providing each sides' needs, and adequately addressing their interests so that they are satisfied with the outcome.
Conflict Transformation is being used to refer to a change (usually an improvement) in the nature of a conflict. The concept of conflict transformation reflects the notion that conflicts go on for long periods of time, changing the nature of the relationships between the people involved, and themselves changing as people's response to the situation develops over time.
De-escalation is the ratcheting down of the intensity of a conflict which occurs as parties tire out, or begin to realize that the conflict is doing them more harm than good. They then may begin to make concessions, or reduce the intensity of their attacks, moving slowly toward an eventual negotiated resolution.
Dehumanization is a psychological process whereby opponents view each other as less than human and thus not deserving of moral consideration. We typically think that all people have some basic human rights that should not be violated. However, for individuals viewed as outside the scope of morality and justice, "the concepts of deserving basic needs and fair treatment do not apply and can seem irrelevant." We typically dehumanize those whom we perceive as a threat to our well-being or values. Psychologically, it is necessary to categorize one's enemy as sub-human in order to legitimize increased violence or justify the violation of basic human rights.
Dialog is a process for sharing and learning about another group's beliefs, feelings, interests, and/or needs in a non-adversarial, open way, usually with the help of a third party facilitator. Unlike mediation, in which the goal is usually reaching a resolution or settlement of a dispute, the goal of dialogue is usually simply improving interpersonal understanding and trust.
Escalation is an increase in intensity of a conflict. According to Pruitt and Rubin (1986), as a conflict escalates, the disputants change from relatively gentle opposition to heavier, more confrontational tactics. The number of parties tends to increase, as do the number of issues, and the breadth of the issues (that is, issues change from ones which are very specific to more global concerns). Lastly disputants change from not only wanting to win themselves, but also wanting to hurt the opponent. While conflicts escalate quickly and easily, de-escalation, a diminishing of intensity, is often much harder to achieve.
Face Saving – Face is the communicator’s claim to be seen as a certain kind of person. When face is threatened, saving face may supplant substantive issues for one or both parties (Folger, Poole, Stutman, 2009). By allowing all disputants to save face, a negotiated settlement is much more likely to be reached.
Human needs are necessary universal aspects for humans beyond the physical needs. Conflict theorists identify security, participation, autonomy, recognition, and identity as human needs (Burton, 1990). If those are not met, it is argued, then people engage in conflict. Another proposition suggests that sustainable peace is only possible when the human needs for security, identity, well-being and self-determination are met (Christie, 1997).
Identity conflicts are conflicts that develop when a person or group feels that their sense of self--who one is--is threatened or denied legitimacy or respect. Religious, ethnic, and racial conflicts are examples of identity conflicts.
Military-industrial-complex is a concept describing the conjunction of the military establishment and the arms industry. In modern times the military industrial linkages have emerged as major concentrations of power (Pilisuk, 2008).
Multi-track diplomacy reflects the idea that international exchanges can take many forms beyond official negotiations between diplomats. Examples of multi-track diplomacy include official and unofficial conflict resolution efforts, citizen and scientific exchanges, international business negotiations, international cultural and athletic activities and other international contacts and cooperative efforts.
Negative peace is characterized by the absence of personal violence. In positive peace structural violence is also eliminated.
Non-governmental Organizations are international organizations that are not associated with any government. Examples include many religions that cross borders, international humanitarian aid organizations such as CARE or the International Red Cross, sporting organizations such as the International Olympic Committee, and many scientific, business, educational, and other professional organizations.
Nonviolence is tradition of social struggle and a way of life which embodies a culture, in the words of Gandhi "as old as the hills", which is in search of social justice, not through the use of violence to destroy an adversary, but through seeking to positively transform him by exerting social, moral and material pressures, expressed through bodies that search "truth". (Ameglio, 2006)
Nonviolent peace activists are those individuals who by self-definition are engaged in more or less regular nonviolent resistance. According to Jasper (1997) these individuals often give up commodities of normal private life, lucrative careers or other material advantages.
Nonviolent resistance can be considered as “direct action undertaken at risk but without recourse to destructive force” (Chatfield, 1999)
Parties are the people who are involved in the dispute. Most parties are disputants--the people who are in conflict with each other. Other parties--often called "third parties,"--are parties that intervene in the dispute to try to help the disputants resolve it. Mediators and judges, for example, are third parties.
Peacebuilding is understood as a comprehensive concept that encompasses, generates, and sustains the full array of processes, approaches, and stages needed to transform conflict toward more sustainable, peaceful relationships. The term thus involves a wide range of activities that both precede and follow formal peace accords. Metaphorically, peace is seen not merely as a stage in time or a condition, it is a dynamic social construct. (John Paul Lederach)
Peacekeeping is the prevention or ending of violence within or between nation-states through the intervention of an outside third party that keeps the warring parties apart. Unlike peacemaking, which involves negotiating a resolution to the issues in conflict, the goal of peacekeeping is simply preventing further violence.
Peacemaking is the term often used to refer to negotiating the resolution of a conflict between people, groups, or nations. It goes beyond peacekeeping to actually deal with the issues in dispute, but falls short of peace building, which aims toward reconciliation and normalization of relations between ordinary people, not just the formal resolution which is written on paper.
Power is the ability to influence or control events. It depends on resources parties can employ to influence others and attain their goals (Folger, Poole, Stutman, 2009). As such, power is viewed as zero-sum. It strengthens some people at the expense of others. Power can also be mutually expanding and capacity building (Moore Lappé, 2005). It builds the capacities of all involved. It is creative, generating new strengths and new possibilities.
Reconciliation is looked at as a process of transforming the relationship between former enemies partly based in the public acknowledgment of past hurts. Is the normalization of relationships between people or groups. According to John Paul Lederach, it involves four simultaneous processes--the search for truth, justice, peace, and mercy.
Social context - The term "social context" refers to the social relationships that exist in a community at a given point in time. A thorough analysis of the social context, for example, is crucial to identify existing power relationships in a conflict situation.
Social movements are heterogeneous collectives with common goals and mindsets interacting directly and indirectly with the civil society and with those in support and/or opposition. Members of social movements are engaged in a dynamic process of self-identification and transformation influenced by their collective belonging.
Stereotyping is the process of assuming a person or group has one or more characteristics because most members of that group have (or are thought to have) the same characteristics. It is a simplification and generalization process that helps people categorize and understand their world, but at the same time it often leads to errors.
Structural violence is considered as the ongoing and institutionalized deprivation of needs of survival, well-being, identity and freedom (Galtung, 1969). Structural violence is embedded into the structures of social order and the institutional arrangements of power on a constant basis (Barak, 2003).
Third Party - A "third party" is someone who is not involved in the conflict who gets involved to try to help the disputants work out a solution (or at least improve the situation by communicating better or increasing mutual understanding.) Examples of third parties are mediators, arbitrators, conciliators, and facilitators.
Triggering Events - A triggering event is an event that initiates a conflict. It can be minor--a simple statement that is misinterpreted, a manufactured event or a careless mistake.
Worldview – A worldview is as a semiotic phenomenon, especially a system of narrative sign that establishes a powerful framework within which people think (reason), interpret (hermeneutics), and know (epistemology) and which is central to human identity (Naugle, 2002). Worldviews must not be seen as an unstable, static tradition-bound “thing”, but rather as emergent and contested by the social actors who hold it. We can therefore look at worldviewing as a dynamic rather than a static process.