Civil Wars Conflict Resolution

The world community has a tough challenge in the form of civil conflicts. Even though conflicts may vary from relatively minor incidents to total devastation, the casualties among innocent bystanders are almost always substantial. People flee their homes, and regional stability is threatened because of this. As intrastate conflicts multiplied starting in the middle Cold War era, many academics wanted to comprehend better the root of the problem and the best strategies for resolving it.

What is Conflict Resolution for Civil War?

Practitioners and policymakers use a wide range of methods to shift the contacts of fighting players toward a more delicate pattern to reduce the likelihood of future conflict. Scientists seeking peace have looked at civil conflict from several angles. Scientists do this because they assume their work will have practical applications beyond the narrow pursuit of knowledge. The goal of peace studies is to effect positive change in the world.

However, it has become clear that the professional and academic groups need to engage each other more, resulting in a sizable hypothesis gap that persists. Andrew Mack pinpoints many factors that contribute to this gulf. In particular, many people in the policy realm need help to make heads or tails of the methodology used in research outcomes. Policymakers sometimes wrongly assume that a single anomaly may invalidate a whole body of statistical work based on empirical methodologies.

Approach to Conflict Resolution in Civil Wars

Academics have made strides in resolving civil conflicts by zeroing in on particular facets and stages of the mechanisms involved. Bringing the relevant parties together for negotiations is the first stage in any dispute settlement system. Previous research has demonstrated that mediation is much more likely to occur in the territory, internationalized, and prolonged conflicts.


After both sides have agreed to talk things out, the following steps are negotiation and mediation. Even while parties in intrastate disputes often negotiate without outside help, the uneven power relations in these situations often prevent productive discussions that resolve core grievances. Therefore, recent research confirms that third-party-assisted discussions may be an effective strategy for a thriving settlement. However, the success of a conciliation process may rely on the mediator and on whether or not they have any vested interest in the result. According to the available evidence, mediators are much more likely to succeed if both parties have confidence and carry substantial power to the negotiation table. Practically speaking, this study suggests that a mediator should be chosen with consideration given to the parties and circumstances of the conflict at hand. The mediator mission is an unexplored area in the scholarship on resolving conflict. Nathan provides some insight into this debate by defining a mandate classification. His main argument is that arbitrators are "constrained and empowered" by mandates, that mandates heavily influence the mediator's method, and that mandates heavily influence outcomes. There are various significant ways in which mediation is affected by regulations.


When both sides believe they are making little forward toward victory, the dispute is ripe for the picking. Overall, the guys are experiencing a frustrating impasse. An option to break the "reciprocally damaging deadlock" may be found via negotiations in such a scenario. In different situations, the parties may reach an impasse in various ways. Progress on the battlefield may stall out in several circumstances. While determining their relative standing in the conflict, participants must take into account the military component, according to Stephen Stedman. Although parties to a conflict may each individually conclude that a resolution is impossible, it is common for third parties to assist the feuding parties in seeing dialogue as a preferable option to continuing the conflict. Even more so, service providers may actively attempt to advance a conflict towards ripe-ness to bring fighting sides to the platform.


If accords to cease hostilities are to last, more thought must be given to what comes after that. The execution of the agreement is a critical factor in the outcome. When early elections are part of a peace accord, the date of such elections might be a source of worry. There is a push for fresh elections to bring new leadership to resolve the sectarian war. Academic investigations suggest that professionals should not rush votes.

Higher-capacity post-conflict nations look better equipped to execute their commitments. However, service providers might be capable of increasing good governance in certain situations. Transfers to calm may be facilitated more smoothly if the underlying causes of the conflict and or the resulting economic hardships are addressed. Economic and physical resources are severely weakened, if not destroyed, by civil conflicts. When post-war economies are stabilized and allowed to expand, they strengthen state institutions and reduce the likelihood that citizens would resort to violence to settle perceived injustices. Vast numbers of civilians killed in civil conflicts are sometimes unintentionally caused by military forces. Peace may be more long-lasting if there are procedures to deal with victimization so society can recover after conflict. The findings of academic studies of post-war cultures have significant practical consequences in this respect.

Changing Nature of Conflicts

Conflicts evolve through time. According to a recent study by the Chennai-based Centre for Security Analysis, conflicts evolve over time so that the "causes" that first triggered them are forgotten after a while, and novel "causes" are requisitioned in order to perpetuate them. To use an example from Assam's recent history, violence against unlawfully settled foreigners in the 1980s finally evolved into violence against Hindi-speaking settlers in the early 1990s - who are, by all accounts, Indians. Understanding the morphology of disputes is thus essential for building conflict resolution approaches. The end of the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union as two superpowers is also thought to have signalled the beginning of several new types of conflict as well as newer techniques of conflict resolution. The following sections highlight some new tendencies in conflict development, notably from the early 1990s −

  • When the Cold War ended in 1990, the number of active armed conflicts reached 38, the highest number since the conclusion of World War II. Internal conflicts now outnumber exterior conflicts, yet there are instances when they overlap. According to a 2012 assessment, 74 of the 136 civil wars waged since 1940 aimed at seizing control of the state and 62 at secession. Interestingly, since the Cold War's end, around half of the internal conflicts fought for state control have resulted in negotiated settlements and some power-sharing with the incumbent regimes. In contrast, most others have resulted in regime victory. A third of the separatist conflicts concluded in treaties that acknowledged regional autonomy, another third were defeated, and the remainder were stalemated.

  • There has been a growing tendency towards more democratisation, which has been influenced partly by the fatigue effect of authoritarian governments that existed, notably during the Cold War. It has been observed that the longer a man in authority, such as Ben-Ali, Mubarak, Saleh, or Gaddafi, is in office, the more likely he is to be challenged and deposed. While there is no straightforward method to assess the rise and fall of public complaints, an approximate link may be drawn. Much of what has occurred in the name of the "Arab Spring" in recent years, whether in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, or other countries, has to do with a rising disillusionment with authoritarian governments actively backed and patronised by the superpowers during the Cold War.

  • The fall of Communist Party control in seven Eastern European countries from 1989 to 1992, beginning with regime change in Poland, is the most recent example of why the end of the Cold War resulted in regime transitions and the violence that goes with them.


Given the importance of specialized conflict expertise, it is imperative that research into the topic continues and even expands to include new study approaches. It could also be helpful to look at peace procedures after a civil war, not only during it. During their development, friendships may go through peaceful and turbulent phases, and vice versa; this is normal and often leads to a cycle of unsuccessful efforts at mending the rift. Some civil conflicts ebb and flow over decades. Particularly typical with peripheral separatist conflicts. Numerous civil conflicts in Burma, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and India are good examples.

Updated on: 14-Mar-2023


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started