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Part Two: Engagement and Intervention > Chapter 5: Resolving Conflict

Chapter Five

Resolving Conflict

Although the resolution model may not be applicable to every conflict, conflict resolution is still the most commonly articulated goal of those who seek third-party assistance. It is also the goal around which conflict professionals are most likely to organize their practice. And for all the limitations of the resolution model, helping disputants resolve those conflicts, or elements of conflict, that are amenable to resolution is an important aspect of what conflict specialists have to offer. But what do we mean by resolution, how do we achieve it, and what role do resolution efforts play in enduring conflicts?

In the field of conflict intervention, we often assume that resolution is equivalent to agreement about particular issues underlying a dispute. If the parties to a dispute can agree on an outcome that is mutually acceptable, then the conflict has been resolved. When a divorcing couple agrees on a parenting plan or the division of assets, a resolution has been attained. When environmentalists, government officials, and industrialists agree on regulations for controlling emissions, a resolution has been achieved. When a manufacturer and a plaintiff in a product liability case agree on a settlement, the issue has been resolved. When the different parties or blocks elected to a parliament agree on the formation of a government, there is resolu....


  

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