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Peacemaking strategies in Northern Ireland : building complementarity in conflict management theory

Author: David Bloomfield
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : St. Martin's Press, 1997.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Competing theories of conflict management can be characterized as the settlement approach, which advocates issue-oriented, zero-sum negotiation and bargaining to achieve compromise, and the resolution approach, which prescribes relationship-oriented facilitation to achieve positive-sum, integrative resolution.
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: David Bloomfield
ISBN: 0312163460 9780312163464
OCLC Number: 35686099
Description: xvi, 240 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Contents: 1. The Northern Ireland Conflict: Issues and Interpretations --
2. Conflict Management Practice: The Structural Approach --
3. Conflict Management Practice: The Cultural Approach --
4. Complementarity in Conflict Management Theory: Resolution and Settlement Approaches --
5. The Brooke Initiative: An Examination of the Structural Approach to Conflict Management --
6. The Community Relations Council: An Examination of the Cultural Approach to Conflict Management --
7. Complementarity in Practice: Northern Ireland --
8. A Model of Complementarity in Conflict Management --
9. Concluding Remarks.
Responsibility: David Bloomfield.

Abstract:

Competing theories of conflict management can be characterized as the settlement approach, which advocates issue-oriented, zero-sum negotiation and bargaining to achieve compromise, and the resolution approach, which prescribes relationship-oriented facilitation to achieve positive-sum, integrative resolution.

Detailed study of actual peacemaking strategies employed in Northern Ireland since 1969 demonstrates two interdependent and complementary practical approaches in use there which mirror these theoretical positions: the cultural approach, comprising initiatives to improve the relationship between two alienated communities, and the structural approach, which embraces political attempts to negotiate new structures of governance for the region. Examples of each approach are also presented as case-studies: the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council, and the political negotiations of the Brooke Initiative in 1990-91.

The interreliance between the practical approaches in Northern Ireland suggests ways for improving complementarity at the theoretical level, by means of a flexible and inductive model of conflict management.

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