Conflict Analysis: Meaning and Key Elements

Disagreement may arise among groups working toward the same goal if their approaches to getting there are dissimilar and they need a shared vision for where they are going. An issue may quickly escalate if these parties keep misreading one other. Wars usually go in a different path. Conflicts may include people from different ranks and departments within an organization. When resolving a conflict, it is crucial to get to the bottom of what is causing the tension in the first place.

What is Conflict Analysis?

To better understand what makes up a dispute and what role various parties play in maintaining it, a thorough research of these factors is required. Recognizing the environment wherein the economic, medical, and peacekeeping agencies operate is aided by this tool. Differentiating between viewpoints and objectives is a fundamental tenet of the Harvard Method. Disputes may be settled if those involved look out for their own goals rather than those of their respective viewpoints and then if they establish some mutually acceptable criterion for resolving their disagreements.

According to the Basic Human Theory, disagreements emerge when people's fundamental, "generic" needs are unmet. To end the disagreement, it is necessary to identify the underlying needs, express them clearly, and meet them. According to the Conflict - resolution theory, how an individual handles conflict determines whether the encounter is harmful or productive. In this perspective, fights result from two opposing forces coming together. Various viewpoints and the historical and cultural settings wherein reality is produced are highlighted. The goal of peacebuilding that is both productive as well as transformative is to increase actor agency as well as foster mutual acknowledgement.

Critical Elements of Conflict Analysis

Living with or resolving incompatibility is a critical component of conflict resolution. This is learnt through the dynamic approach to conflict, for example, distinguishing between position and interests and delving into the parties' calculations. The emphasis on the parties' requirements necessitates a detailed examination of the parties themselves, their views of their needs, and the history of the dispute. These are components that are also necessary for analysing rational computations. There is a link between conflict behaviour and shifting positions, as suggested by terminology like action-reaction, but so are precisely calculated actions. Many similarities exist between the three techniques. They depict many aspects of the conflict and how it might be transformed into a peace process.

By closely examining all of these factors, one will gain a complete view of the environment in which one works. Nevertheless, one can prefer to highlight other factors of significance based on one's subjects of interest. For instance, if determining who will benefit from and contribute to development is a top priority, then experts in the field must have a firm grasp of the many players in the dispute and the connections between the various parties.


It is essential to identify prospective and present conflict reasons and independent factors promoting peace to understand a given situation. These preconditions for violent conflict might have structural origins and ingrained elements of current societal policies, institutions, and fabric. Factors at a more superficial level, such as circumstances that make violent conflict more likely or escalate it more. An act, occurrence, or expectation of such an act that may spark or exacerbate a violent conflict. There is no one source of conflict; this reality must be recognized when we identify the key reasons and variables leading to peace and war. When looking for places to intervene, it is essential to identify prospective points of focus and develop links between syntheses among causes and variables.


Conflict analysis focuses on individuals. All parties involved in or impacted by a dispute are collectively referred to as "performers" in the Requirement Applies. Anybody involved in or impacted by the dispute, positively or negatively, and anyone actively working to resolve the conflict falls under this umbrella. Objectives and interests, roles and responsibilities, resources as well as networks, as well as interpersonal links all vary among participants. Some methods categorize actors by their degree of involvement. Managers in the centre may serve as catalysts by connecting the top and the bottom, which is why they are so valued in conflict theory. Regardless, the dynamics of a conflict are heavily influenced by the interplay of several players and organizations operating on different levels. Runners, or those with a vested interest in preserving the current unfavourable status quo, need particular scrutiny. They threaten peace negotiations if they are not appropriately handled within the context of preventative methods. In the same vein, it is critical to determine pre-existing capacity building for reconciliation to designate additional entry sites for addressing causative factors of violent conflict. Societies' "capacity for peace" usually refers to the organizations, organization, methods, and methods it has to address and resolve disputes and divergent interests. Specifically, it is essential to evaluate such players based on factors including their legality, the probability of their participation, the roles they may play, as well as their aptitude for conflict resolution.


The conflict dynamic emerges from the interplay of the dispute profile, the participants, and the root causes. Using scenario analysis, which seeks to evaluate potential events and think about acceptable responses, knowing that can assist in uncovering windows of possibility. Based on examining the conflict in the region's characteristics, reasons, and participants, scenarios evaluate what might transpire next in a particular setting over a specified period. To be safe, it is recommended to plan for three potential outcomes: the best possible, which describes the ideal conclusion given the existing circumstances; the intermediate scenario, which assumes business as usual; the worst-case situation. If studying past events helps us comprehend present-day problems cited, then a chronological analysis of those events might be instructive. Please make an effort to describe pivotal moments as well as evaluate their impact. To comprehend the mechanisms of the dispute, it may be necessary to examine temporal variations. By repeating the process with a variety of players as well as organizations, new insights as well as viewpoints might emerge.


Essentially a snapshot of the situation the solution will be implemented in, a conflicts profile describes the background of the dispute in a few key points.


An individual might experience conflict on an internal level due to feelings of frustration or anger or on an aesthetic level between more people and themselves anywhere between two nations. How a dispute is described depends on the conclusion. When the upshot of war is a shift in power dynamics, we call it a revolution.

Updated on: 14-Mar-2023


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