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Soviet Union and the Arab–Israeli conflict

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International Relations Nelson Author. Availability Usually despatched within 2 weeks. With Free Saver Delivery. The Japanese, for example, apply the avoiding strategy, as a means of not openly admitting conflict. This may involve disputants privately asking a mutual acquaintance to intervene, who takes an active role in the Conflict Resolution process. One study among University students in Hong Kong and the United States found that collectivist cultures appear to take different positions regarding Conflict Resolution, depending on whether they are dealing with ingroups or outgroups.

The Chinese subjects were more likely to pursue a conflict if disputes involved outgroup members, and to feel free to use aggressive strategies when negotiating with them. The Americans did not make any ingroup-outgroup distinction Triandis, Both contemporary conflict research theory and the 'Outsider-Neutral' global mediator model have been said to reflect largely American and Western practices and traditions Avruch, The imagery of the detached rational mediator may be less appropriate for other cultures, such as the Arab, through failure to deal with irrational aspects of human behavior and the role of emotion Melville and Bretherton, The 'Outsider-Neutral' model involving participative egalitarian methods whereby disputants are encouraged to solve their own conflicts, with mediators and 'conflict moderators' acting as facilitators, fits the democratic individualist tradition.

The Insider-Partial model appears in a different set of cultural contexts, in collectivist societies. Important features of these societies include preserving hierarchy, harmony and trust, based on personal relations within an ingroup, and dependency - the tendency to refer to others for advice and instruction.


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Respect for others is based partly on ascriptive status a person's position in life, and connections. Consequently, a mediator handling disputes in such environments might be involved in a wider role than a facilitator, acting assertively as a mediator-negotiator. This would include the capacity to exert 'leverage' or power, possessing resources able to influence disputants and the outcome of negotiations. A high intervening role falls within the range of tasks envisaged for the 'Insider-Partial' mediator type.

Such a mediator maintains close links with the disputants internality and has a personal interest in a successful outcome partiality. In the Middle East conflicts are often resolved through trusted third parties, as occurred when the Iranian hostage impasse achieved a solution when the Americans enlisted the Moroccans as intermediaries.

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The Insider-Partial mode originates from the study of the role Oscar Arias, President of Costa Rica, and others played in helping resolve interstate conflict in Central America, and especially Nicaragua, in the late s. Arias worked as a mediator-negotiator Wehr and Lederach, , Both Arabs and Latin Americans appreciate a communicative style involving flair, feeling, rhetoric and emotional commitment whereas a controlled, neutral or unexpressive style is more acceptable generally within African and Asian milieus.

Wehr and Lederach suggest that the Insider-Partial and Outsider-Neutral models complement each other, mediators of both types being able to work together in third party teams as they did in Central America. Collectivist societies have usually had weak to non-existent democratic traditions. Most countries involved in serious ethnic conflicts since tend to possess the characteristics just described. Part of the transformation of the relationship process on a long-term basis would involve measures for ceasing policies of obligatory assimilation or exclusion based on narrow definitions of a people, nation or state.

It would also imply the application of basic human rights to all members of a given population, the end to discriminatory practices, introducing greater democratization and finding ways of developing greater cooperation beyond family, ethnic or religious attachments. An important feature of societies divided ethnically, is that warring groups occupy the same space.

Kelman finds a correlation between the degree of the intensity of conflict and the degree of interdependence of the parties involved.

One solution might be for the intermediaries to encourage the actors, by the input of suggestions, to look for solutions likely to be viable permanently. In all likelihood it would be necessary to construct a new basis for identification, combining exclusivist ethnic forms with greater attachments to civic, public loyalties.

People in all countries, societies or cultures display features of individualism and collectivism in different ways and combinations. Countries strong in what Fukuyama calls 'familial communitarianism' are weak in 'societal communitarianism'.

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Although Fukuyama only cites Southern Europe, China and Taiwan as examples of familial communitarianism, it would seem obvious, based on Hofstede's work, that it is present in a large number of societies. Societal communitarianism implies the capacity of individuals to identify with voluntary associations based on a high degree of trust between members, which form part of an intermediate zone between family and kin groups on the one hand, and the State on the other.

Smith doubts the efficacity of detaching individuals from their ethnic attachments so as to acquire a larger over-arching public loyalty. Instead he suggests that ethnic cleavages could best be lessened by the building up among a people of commitment to a particular spatial location territorialism based on the importance of residence and propinquity, as opposed to descent and genealogy. Conflicts that have dominated the world since the s, such as the conflicts in the former Soviet Union or in Rwanda and Burundi, have demonstrated, according to Kelman , the correlation between the degree of intensity of a conflict and the interdependence of the parties involved.

Such protracted conflicts are high in both these respects. Consequently, there is a greater urgency for transforming the relationship between the actors involved. Slim and Saunders recommend, for divided societies such as Tajikistan, that intermediaries involved in resolving conflicts can work in conjunction with NGOs to strengthen or establish 'boundary-spanning organizations'.

The latter would bring individuals together from different sections of the population to work on the creation of superordinate transcommunal goals so that everyone can develop greater identification with the whole. Available evidence of third party intervention in former Yugoslavia since suggests that a number of mediators lacked experience and knowledge of conditions. The inter-governmental nature of the operation handicapped reconciliatory activities at local level Wiberg, , Lessons learnt from Balkan peacemaking activities include recognition of the value of increased NGO involvement in mediating, and the need for preventive diplomacy before conflicts became manifest or overt.

NGOs are now involved in projects to encourage closer cooperation in parts of Eastern Europe between ethnic minority groups, host states and adjacent "kin-states" homelands of these groups.

In conclusion, it can be argued that model-making and simple constructs, such as discussed in this paper, provide some generalized or idealized, but valid, signposts in an uncertain postmodern world. They represent starting or meeting-points. Peoples or societies invariably combine elements of contrasting values in different combinations. Everyone, for example, has an individual and a group aspect to their nature and behavior. Out of any polarity, or binary construct, a synthetic third path emerges.

In terms of conflict management, negotiating or mediating, this third way depicts the various options an individual or team develops within the space set by the low context - high context and Outsider-Neutral and Insider-Partial confines. Creative ways of handling conflicts often emerge from the adopting of a flexible, pragmatic outlook. Such a contingency model necessitates finding the strategy that appears the most appropriate in a specific situation.

Avruch, Kevin. Black and Joseph A. Scimecca, eds. Conflict Resolution: Cross-Cultural Perspectives. Westport CT: Greenwood Press.

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Black, Peter W. Burton, John W. Conflict: Basic Human Needs Theory. New York: St. Martin's Press. Conflict: Practices in Management, Settlement and Resolution. Basingstoke: Macmillan. Carment, David. Cohen, Raymond.

Elgstrom, Ole. Fisher, Roger and William Ury. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. Fukuyama, Francis. London: Hamish Hamilton.