The Culture of Conflict and Its Routinisation.

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Intergroup conflicts are an inherent aspect of human relations and they have occurred repeatedly on a large scale for millennia. But of special interest are intergroup conflicts that are termed ‘intractable’ with their distinct characteristics. Intractable conflicts occur when groups have conflicting goals that they consider to be essential for their survival. Such conflicts are violent and are perceived by the parties involved as having a zero-sum nature and hence as being irresolvable. They deeply involve the engaged societies, which invest vast resources in their continuation, and they last for at least a generation (Bar-Tal, 1998, 2007a, 2013; Kriesberg, 1993, 2007). The long lasting conflicts with the prolonged and imprinting collective experiences lead to the development of a culture of conflict. The evolved culture of conflict with the continuous violence is the key feature of intractable conflicts. These vicious conflicts figure prominently in the history of civilisation. Examples in ancient times include the protracted struggles between the Greek ‘city-states’ and Persia and between Rome and Carthage; examples in later periods include struggles between France and England and between France and Prussia. In the twentieth century, some intractable conflicts were resolved; these include the conflicts in Algeria and South Africa. But to this day, such conflicts rage in other areas, for example, Sri Lanka, Kashmir, Chechnya and the Middle East.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Global Political Psychology.
EditorsP. Nesbitt-Larking , C. Kinnvall , T. Capelos, H. Dekker
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic) 9781137291189
ISBN (Print)9781349671045
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameHandbook of Global Political Psychology


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