A conflict refers to a situation in which the parties, involved in a disagreement, perceive a danger or threat to their well-being. For conflicts to take place, the parties involved must have conflicting ideas that are irreconcilable. The unmet needs of the conflicting parties result into discontentment which, when left unresolved, erupts into a conflict. Conflict resolution strategies are of significant importance in dealing with conflicts (Schrich 78). This paper discusses the circumstances under which nonviolent approach to conflict resolution is likely to succeed and fail.
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Nonviolent conflict resolution approaches include accommodation, collaboration, compromise, and withdrawal (Ramsbotham, Woodhouse and Miall 11). Accommodation involves one party sacrificing his individual concerns in an attempt to satisfy the other party’s goals. This method is likely to succeed when the stakes of winning are low, and the parties want to live harmoniously (Genest 547-583). However, in the case where both parties expect to win, and only care about their individual interests, accommodating approach is likely to fail.
Collaborating entails direct and open dialogue in the face to face meetings, to arrive at an agreement, which satisfy both parties’ concerns (Genest 547-583). This approach is likely to be successful when there is adequate time for dialogue, and there is trust between the conflicting parties. However, collaboration is likely to fail when both of the conflicting parties are ready for war.
Compromising involves the two parties bargaining to arrive at a mutually satisfactory solution. It is also referred to as the give and take approach. Conditions under which this approach can succeed include lack of adequate time to solve the conflict, where there is a deadlock, as well as when the two parties risk loosing if they do not arrive at a compromise. This approach is bound to fail if the conflicting parties do not trust each other’s intentions of compromising, or are self-centered (Genest 547-583).
Withdrawal involves evading confrontation of the problem or pulling out of a conflicting situation altogether (Genest 547-583). It is likely to be successful when the chances of winning are low, the parties want to retain a healthy relationship, and one party does not push for resolution of the conflict. Since it avoids rather than solve the problem, withdrawal cannot succeed in the case where one party is ready for violence.
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