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A Century of Conflict
Transcript of A Century of Conflict
During the time of the turn of the century, there were a number of events that began to shape the worlds’ evolution through conflict management and dispute resolution.
Early in February, 1900, the International Arbitration Court at the Hague is created when the Netherland’s Senate ratified an 1899 peace conference decree.
During this time, conflict began to manifest when, in North America, a Kentucky Governor was assassinated, following his involvement in an 1899 election scandal. (Centre for Conflict Resolution, 2000)
The political turmoil around the world was exposed when in 1914, the Great War (WWI) emerged between nations.
Conflict was identified with war and the two were seen as one.
The 1920’s began with the world’s first peaceful establishment of a social democratic government that was formed in Sweden.
Conversely, and at the same time, Adolf Hitler first presented his National Socialist Program in Munich, Germany.
Nations like the Ukraine, Russia and Poland were engaged in military battle and war as both the Mexican Revolution and the Russian Revolution bring national turmoil and uncertainty in their states of existence.
As the 1920’s neared ending, the global economy was fragile and delicate with many of the nations around the world experiencing conflict within their own governments and between their government and those of their neighboring nations.
At this time in the modern history of conflict management and dispute resolution, there was a point of no return between conflict and war and the mindset of world leaders was to eliminate the enemy.
Religious conflict, political conflict and environmental conflict set the tone for the family conflict to come with the global crash of the world economy and the start of the ‘dirty thirties’.
The 1930’s started with a monumental event in India. Mahatma Ghandi sets off, with 78 followers, in a 200 mile protest march that ends in his arrest and subsequent imprisonment.
In North America, the local ecology experienced mass draught and complete agricultural Armageddon. Residents of Canada and the United States experienced mass homelessness of families, and over population of orphanages for children who were given up for better care. Jobs were lost, homes were lost and families were left devastated and hungry. (Egan & Mifflin, 2006)
Farm Aid was a government sponsored program that employed North Americans to plant trees, build railways and attempt to rectify drought oppressed lands. Society was fundamentally changing with the heads of families leaving their homes in search of wages. The end of the 1930’s was seen to be a sign of hope with the environmental shift and the coming of rain. Little did our world know that a second world war was emerging with the growing conflict between Germany and Austria. (Centre for Conflict Resolution, 2000)
The 1940’s brought a time of global war and disassociation.
Countries were emerged in conflict with World War II, or they were detaching from the rule of other countries.
In the midst of it all, the first United Nations Charter (UN Charter) was signed in 1945.
The UN Charter was designed to set forth the provisions of the United Nations, including the important provisions of the maintenance of international peace and security.
The fundamental human right to peace and security was embedded within the pages of the UN Charter, as was methods for nations to resolve disputes peacefully, whilst building a global community.
Although the UN Charter was established, the Cold War emerged and remained a continued state of political conflict, military tension and economic competition between the USSR, its integrated countries and the western world (United States) until 1991.
The 1950’s was a time of industrialism, conservatism and materialism.
Essentially, the 1950’s were a time of vast social change in North America with ideas of sociology emerging in the academic community.
Talcott Parsons (1953), a theorist, believed that society is a stable structure and that in order for change to exist, it must be peaceful and regulated. The following video explains order:
The world was beginning to look at conflict as separate from war, with a shift in focus from annihilation to resolution and peaceful existence.
With the rise in manufacturing and home construction in the United States, negotiations began to emerge between industry leaders and blue collar workers.
Parson’s (1953) ideals were reiterated during the industrial conflict about hours of work and rates of pay as wealth increased and desires changed.
The 1960’s brought the west a time of counter culture and social revolution.
Liberal views emerged at this time and this decade was known as a time of irresponsible excess and flamboyance.
Socialism joined the movement as anti war protests emerged all over North America as the United States was embroiled in the Vietnam conflict.
The political environment and institutions were joining together to form more liberal policies that embraced humanity and peace as a global community.
The academic community continued to evolve in sociological practice as John Burton (1987) developed the concept of problem solving.
Burton began to define conflict as a deep rooted situation with one solution for resolution.
His work, through Harvard University, is the foundation of interest based problem solving processes like mediation and negotiation.
During the 1970’s, social progressive values continued to emerge like the liberty of women, increasing political and economic awareness, opposition to nuclear weapons and the advocacy of world peace.
Environmental revolutions and society’s need for environmental sustainability emerged at this time as well.
Interpersonal conflict began to be talked about in the academic communities.
With the work of John Burton to use as a foundation for understanding, theorists started to change how they used language about conflict and conflict management.
Terms like ‘interests’ (Fisher, R. and Ury, W. , 1981) and ‘interest based’ (Fisher, R. and Ury, W. , 1981) began to be used widely in the business communities of North America as Harvard University developed another process for problem solving that made conflict much more manageable.
Interest Based Negotiation was instructed to post graduate learners at Harvard University who were in the practice of law.
Interest Based Negotiation was used for business transactions and for resolving disputes in corporate America at this time.
In 1983, the Harvard Law School, Program on Negotiation (PON) was introduced and piloted and is now an integral component to studies.
The 1980’s was a time of industrial and economic change.
Multiple multinational corporations began to relocate form North America overseas to China, Malaysia, India, Africa, Mexico, Japan and Germany.
Transpacific trade opened and the United States was viewed as a superpower in the global economy.
While some countries continued to enjoy economic wealth, most countries were experiencing economic and social difficulties as they suffered from a debt crisis.
Many countries applied to the World Bank’s International Monetary fund for debt relief.
Ethiopia experienced widespread famine and relied entirely on foreign aid to feed it’s population.
In Canada, masses of homeowners were walking away from their homes and subsequent mortgages as the increasing cost of living due to the phenomenal rise of interest rates were overcoming a consistent income ratio.
In the field of conflict management and dispute resolution, Alternative Dispute Resolution emerged in the courtrooms of North America.
Legal counsel was finding that with the use of Interest Based Mediation, disputes were taking less time and less money to settle. Lawyers dominated the field at this time in an effort to diminish the role of the courts and the societal costs associated with the court processes.
Alternative Dispute Resolution was a culture of the legal community and legal language was used within all of the processes within this model of dispute resolution.
The 1990’s was the first decade following the effective end of the Cold War.
With the dissolution of the USSR, global economies and political power was realigned and reconsolidated around the world.
With this balance intact, living standards and democratic government improved in many states around the world.
Globalization was emerging as the world began to become smaller with less restrictions for both trade and travel.
Steady economic growth was prevalent in the United States and Canada the world wide web was introduced to the world in 1991.
Global conflicts were less prevalent in this decade, although conflict within countries between various social and cultural factions flourished.
The Rwandan Crisis and the subsequent genocide of more than 800,000 residents occurred in 1994.
The general public in Canada and the United States began to demand changes to the amount of taxes being spent on crime and criminals.
There was a need for more resources allocated to focusing on underlying issues to crime rather than just responding to crime.
In the late 1990’s, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), travelled to New Zealand to learn about Restorative Justice.
Shortly after their travel and subsequent training in Family Group Conferencing (FGC), the RCMP piloted FGC in Sparwood, British Columbia in an attempt to reduce recidivism and increase offender engagement and victim satisfaction with crimes associated with young offenders.
Following a successful pilot project, provinces across Canada began to make policy changes to include Restorative Justice practices in legislation such as the Young Offender’s Act and the Youth Criminal Justice Act as well as the Family Law Act and the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act in Alberta.
Conflict management and dispute resolution was widely tested and implemented at this time in the civil and criminal institutions including police, crown and corrections.
The 2000’s brought the world a decade of wide ranging topics including climate change, globalization through international trade and further dependence on technology and electronics.
At the end of the first decade, our world had once again experienced an economic crisis in the last quarter.
With the plethora of self help books and reality television, the 2000’s have become a time of postmodernism.
Postmodernism, as it relates to conflict and conflict management, is a concept that is embedded within intrapersonal theory: everything starts and ends with the individual.
Everything that we know to be true about the field of conflict management is starting to be questioned in the academic community.
Many theorists are asking if conflict really exists or is it just a reality in our minds.
This suggests that we literally construct conflict within our own minds, with our own thoughts and any existence outside of our minds is questionable.
Some theorists even suggest that conflict is a metaphor for the kind of relationships we desire to engage in. (Cran, 2006)
Conflict has become to exist as an identity similar to a label.
We have conflict at work, conflict at home, conflict in decision making, conflict with our children, conflict with our loved ones.
Conflict is no longer an existence of dispute or war, as the meaning of conflict evolved into the first decade of a new century to a place of crisis. And, conflict continues to evolve...