Nonviolent Approach to Conflict Resolution

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Conflict is a conclusive stage of the mechanism of dispute regulation in social relations. In other words, conflict is not deviance, but a way of people’s coexistence in society, a way to establish and change priorities in the system of interests, necessities and social relations. Conflicts can be regarded as a method of self-regulation of social stability. Although, on the one hand, conflicts destabilize, on the other hand, they encourage formation and acknowledgement of group interests, ideas, etc.

Modern conflicts are the main factors of destabilization. They can acquire different forms of political struggle and conflict resolution: violent and nonviolent, or peaceful. A lot depends on this choice: whether opposition will reach its goal or not, whether conflict will be solved, and whether political crises will be overcome. Violent methods always lead to injustice, even when they are supposedly used for better purpose. Our aim is to show methods and prerequisites of success or failure of nonviolent methods of conflict resolution, such as symbolic protest, social boycott, refusal to cooperate in economic and political fields, and nonviolent intervention. Use of nonviolent methods can deprive the authorities of the ability to resist the opposition, and, under certain conditions, it can even force them to accept the terms offered by the opposition. In case, when nonviolent actions are used by a significant number of people and main social institutions, they are able not only to paralyze but also ruin their counterpart.

Success of nonviolent methods depends on many factors: quantity and correlation of cooperating and opposing forces, courage of the opposition and lack of fear of repressions, support of the nonviolent philosophy, pressure of the third parties, etc.

However, the use of the nonviolent approach might not bring desired change in the system. Thus, it is important during the conflict not to surrender to emotions, including the desire of political revenge, to avoid unnecessary confrontation and extremism. It is necessary to demonstrate not only verbally, but also a desire and possibility of constructive cooperation aimed at the achievement of stability on the basis of democratic social development.

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