Conflict

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The Geographical Basis of Conflict:

Conflict: A state of opposition, disagreement, or incompatibility between two people or groups of people, which is sometimes characterised by physical violence. The disagreements are based on incompatible goals, needs, desires, values, beliefs, and/or attitudes.

Nature and Origin of Conflict:

  • Identity: A sense of belonging to a group or geographical area, people can be very protective of identity; includes Nationalism, Regionalism, and Localism
  • Ethnicity: The grouping of people according to their ethnic origins or characteristics
  • Culture: The customary beliefs, social norms, and traits of a racial, religious, or social group, and the set of shared attitudes, values, and practises that characterise that group
  • Territory: A geographical area belonging to, or under the jurisdiction of, a governmental authority
  • Ideology: A systematic body of concepts regarding human life or culture
  • Resources: Refers to items like water, land, minerals, oil; conflict occurs when there is a dispute as to who does have or should have authority over these resources

Patterns of Conflict:

  • International
  • National
  • Regional 
  • Local

Expression of Conflict:

  • Political activity i.e. protests
  • Petitions
  • Debate
  • Insurrection (Insurgency is going against the government)
  • Civil War
  • War
  • Terrorism

Conflict Resolution:

The process of resolving a conflict, by providing each side's needs, and adequately addressing their interests, so that they are satisfied with the outcome. It aims to end conflict before they lead to violence. Ideally done by removing the cause of conflict but often require a compromise.

  • Litigation: Also known as a lawsuit; brought in a court of law and is legally binding 
  • Mediation: Third party assists parties to come to a decision but no attempts to restore the relationship between parties
  • Lawyer-led Mediation: As with mediation except lawyers become involved
  • Negotiation: No third parties involved
  • Arbitration: Both sides agree to do this, third party listens to both sides and makes the decision that both parties have to accept
  • Conciliation: Goes to a third party to make a decision but neither part needs to accept OR third party meets individually and together and tries to rebuild relationship between parties so they can negotiate
  • Reconciliation: Where leading members of both parties have negotiation and try and let rest of group understand why the conflict has arisen and problems of conflict
  • Diplomacy: Involves diplomats (not politicians) representing a country’s opinions trying to come to a mutually agreeable solution to a dispute to which politicians sign up
  • International Diplomacy: Can take form of arbitration, conferences, or negotiations- often lead by a third party which leads to Accords or Treaties

Conflict over the use of a local resource:

Newbury Bypass:

Proposal: To build a new road to the west of Newbury to ease congestion in the town along the A34 (9mile stretch)

Problems with old road:

  • Most of A34 is dual carriageway except for around Newbury
  • 4 roundabouts in the town deal with 50,000 vehicles a day; 15% are HGVs
  • M4 is 3 miles North- connects to South West, South Wales, and London
  • The only way to Southampton from the M4 was through

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