fundamentals of conflict studies spring 2007
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Fundamentals of Conflict Studies Spring 2007. Syllabus Review Personal Introductions Course Perspectives. Working Definitions of “Conflict”.

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fundamentals of conflict studies spring 2007

Fundamentals of Conflict StudiesSpring 2007

Syllabus Review

Personal Introductions

Course Perspectives

working definitions of conflict
Working Definitions of “Conflict”
  • Conflict means perceived divergence of interest, or a belief that the parties\' current aspirations cannot be achieved simultaneously. (Pruitt and Rubin)
  • Conflict is a struggle between opponents over values and claims to scarce status, power and resources. (Coser)
  • A social conflict arises when two or more persons or groups manifest the belief that they have incompatible objectives. (Kriesberg)
by discipline
By Discipline
  • Biology
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • Political Science
by unit of analysis
By Unit of Analysis

Interpersonal(Conflict as a function of personality)

Inter-Group(Conflict as a function of group dynamics)


(Conflict as a function of strategic interests or systemic insecurity)

by type
By Type
  • Public Policy Disputes
  • Environmental Conflicts
  • International Conflicts
  • Workplace Conflicts
  • Interpersonal Conflicts
  • Racial / Ethnic Conflicts
  • Violent Conflicts
by level of intensity
By Level of Intensity


- Intensity +


- Negotiability +

course structure
Course Structure
  • How does this course approach the study of conflicts?
    • Interdisciplinary
    • Analytical
    • Personal
the four perspectives model
The Four Perspectives Model
  • There are four dominant perspectives through which conflicts and conflict transformation are typically analyzed.
A Victims of Terrorism group protests in Madrid during the trial of a suspected member of the Basque separatist group ETA.
group work
Group Work
  • Discuss the conflict from each of the four perspectives. Which perspectives are most important?
  • Which conflict resolution approaches flow from your analysis?
All perspectives have important contributions to make but …. It is the conditions and contexts of the conflict that determine which has the best explanatory power
premises for the semester
Premises for the Semester
  • Conflicts are a natural, inevitable and essential aspect of social interaction.
  • Conflicts can be waged constructively or destructively
  • Conflicts are socially constructed
  • Constructive conflict management begins with being able to ‘see’ more than one perspective
  • Insights about conflicts and conflict management can be applied across all levels of analysis.
  • You can disagree with any of these premises
questions comments
Questions / Comments?
  • Assignment for January 25