Role of State in Conflict Resolution

Government and politics provide a mechanism to determine how resources are shared and other conflicts are resolved. In traditional societies, this can mean killing one side of the conflict. This allows society to resolve conflicts with less reliance on killing.

What is a State?

Society's diversity may result in conflicts owing to the divergence of interests of various organisations and people, etc. The state must intervene quickly to resolve the disputes between the parties correctly. In practice, the government, which appears to be more prominent, represents the state. Governments hold all authority and perform all tasks on behalf of the state. Compared to 'government, "state' signifies a larger and more stable organisation. The organisation is the state, and the government is its administrative organ. A state has a Constitution, a legal code, a method of governing, and a body of citizens. It should be emphasised that the image of the state stimulates people's togetherness and gives them a sense of national identity.

Role of State in Conflict Resolution

The state's role in dispute resolution is critical in liberal democratic regimes. Elections are free and fair under this system, and the political process is competitive. A liberal democracy can assume any of the Constitutional forms available. It might be a constitutional republic, like Germany, France, India, or the United States, or a constitutional monarchy, like Japan or the United Kingdom. Liberal democracy stresses universal adult suffrage, separation of powers, and judicial independence, among others. Only in line with documented, publicly acknowledged laws approved and enforced following established procedures can government authority properly be exercised. The notion of division of powers and decentralization of powers are frequently present.

Many states are not culturally and racially homogenous for historical reasons. There may be significant ethnic, linguistic, religious, and cultural differences. Some groups may become overtly antagonistic to one another, resulting in confrontations. In such a case, a democracy, which by definition allows for public involvement in decision-making, will be forced to utilize force against such groups/organizations as a means of dispute resolution. As you can see, even such an activity must adhere to the rule of law and the fundamental values of liberalism.

Furthermore, coercive authority will only be used if all efforts to achieve an amicable solution fail. This contrasts with the military administration, where arbitrariness plays a significant role in decision-making and conflict-resolution attempts. As a result, the spirit and temper of the rule of law system were violated, undermining the peaceful society backdrop.

Role of Actors

There are an infinite number of possible stakeholders. The profound divergence between the governments of one party and all the other governments paints a partial picture of what is going on in the conflict transition by the outside parties. Louise Diamond and Ambassador John McDonald thus introduced the concept of multi-pronged diplomacy, which distinguishes nine directions: government; professional dispute resolution; business; Private Citizens; research, training and education; work; religion; expense; and public opinion. There are two main types of actors with several subtypes each −

Civil Intervention

Suppose the main criteria that distinguish different conflict intervention forms are whether direct deadly violence is used. In that case, the distinction between military and civil interventions becomes meaningful. Consequently, civil interventions are all those that are being carried out by civilians (in opposition to military personnel) and which refrain from using deadly personal violence.

Conflict Intervention

The objective is conflict transformation, and then when the intervener (either as a non-partisan external party considering the interests of all conflict parties or as a partisan party supporting one side in the conflict) engages in conflict transformation and human rights and justice, and when there is no use of direct or indirect deadly violence.

Role in Global System

Transitions are periods of intense work to initiate the long-term political, institutional, social and economic reforms needed to consolidate or restore stability. At the same time, in the face of efforts to dismantle rents, institutions and regulatory frameworks often established over decades, multi-faceted action is needed to build short-term trust among domestic elites. In this process, international actors are called upon, as shareholders of the international system and partners of governments in transition, too −

  • Ensure modes of transfer change

  • Provide technical support

  • Provide capital

In exchange for this support, international actors seek to ensure that the transition follows international law and is in the "national interest" (often defined as a stable outcome that benefits the country). In a highly politicized and volatile environment, with weak civil societies and divided populations, the political choices of international partners create "winners" and "winners" lose" and pose many dilemmas. International stakeholders must manage ownership by whom, for what, and for how long. External influences can weaken or intentionally fragment the underlying political arrangement when the transition is highly internationalized. At the same time, when transitions are left entirely to national elites, there is a risk that they will only conform to international law or consolidate state control.


International responders should recognize that the temporary nature of the transition contrasts with the long-term impact of decisions made during the transition periods. Transitions are defined by instability, short-term decision-making and disagreement over long-term goals, rarely with a national vision or development strategy agreed upon by international partners that can coordinate, organize, and prioritize. Consequently, international aid models need to be adjusted to avoid the risk that continuing crises impede structural or institutional reform progress.


International actors must mobilize and support the transition's overall management and the specific reforms needed to stabilize the country. This requires building consensus on specific times of international action, such as donor conferences, and drawing attention to specific areas in the absence of comprehensive vision and planning systems, such as the EU, UN and World Bank peacebuilding and recovery assessment processes, international aid risks irregular, partial and discrete flows, and limited or tight coordination - e.g. for example, between critical economic and political processes, impeding the transitional government'sgovernment's ability to balance priorities and trade-offs.

Special Roles of State

By most political science definitions, the State is the sole legitimate user of physical violence in society. So, by definition, he is almost involved whenever there is an armed conflict in society. However, violent control is not the only distinguishing feature. There are also financial, territorial and ideological monopolies. The simultaneous implementation of these four monopolies ensures unity within the State and international independence.

This requires some further clarification. The State has a financial trust, the only entity that can collect taxes and duties. Citizens must pay a certain amount in exchange for services over which they cannot immediately control the provision of services and quality and when choices are limited. A financial monopoly is unique and distinct from the trust a legal person can exercise in the market or a union to recruit company members.

The State is the sole legal authority in the territory of the and is expected by other actors within a particular neighbouring country to maintain that authority. A border is a line that divides a region and a geographical space where another replaces one legitimate government. The task of the central government was to maintain power over the border.

In addition to these factors, it is clear that the State, primarily through its control of the education system, is the source of the official vision of what the State is. There is a thought function. For each State, the government's interpretation of a particular state's role can be very influential. It defines the range of acceptable debates within the State, but simultaneously, it can limit the options available to political leaders. He cannot efficiently act beyond the established parameters of normal behaviour.

Transition-supporting interventions are often based on the assumption that policies that aim to navigate the complex security transition, promote macroeconomic stability, governance reform, and expand provision services will reinforce each other. However, little evidence supports the idea of a linear transition in which all the good things come together.

International partners play a crucial role in determining the level of support – and perhaps more importantly, the type of support – to be provided. Moreover, they are often the only credible deterrent to ensuring elites comply with transitional processes and international law. Resisting the temptation to use this power to determine the outcome of the transition, the most constructive role of international partners generally is to mediate the negotiating space and create safety nets – financial and economic, security, human and social capacity, and politics – to protect fledgling political settlements from shocks and help them move forward.


They are the people responsible for the State in respecting, protecting and realizing human rights. They remain critical actors in the ongoing dialogue and cooperation with supranational human rights mechanisms at the regional and global levels and with non-state actors (civil society organizations, companies, etc.)

Updated on: 13-Mar-2023


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