This paper will briefly describe some common theories of conflict. Different sholars will be identified and their views to conflict sources will be discussed. The levels of social interaction at which conflict occurs and the general strategies of approaching conflict that are available will also be discussed.
What is conflict
Conflict can be defined as a disagreement or misunderstanding or no ompromise that can lead to fighting, blood sheds, civil wars, and world wars. At its very early stages the war can easily compromised. Sometimes war can have a silent characteristics like the cold war.
Sources of conflict:
Early reviews in the field of conflict resolution identified a large number of schemes for
describing sources or types of conflict (Fink, 1968; Mack & Snyder, 1958). One of the early theorists on conflict, Daniel Katz (1965), created a typology that distinguishes three main sources of conflict: economic, value, and power.
Aristotles, Plato and the Socrates believe that conflict is a natural event given by god. Aristotle did a research trying to answer the ‘question why conflicts occur’ and found that animals (wild and domestic) are always have conflicts. He also found that man also fight for different reasons. For example the Kings and Queens are always engage in fighting for land. Because of that it was concluded that conflicts are natural phenomena as far as there are conflicts not only to man but also to animals. Natural resources have been identified as the main source of conflicts.
Natural resources conflicts occur at various levels and involve a variety of actors. They range from conflicts among local men and women over the use of trees, to conflicts among neighbouring communities disputing control over woodland, to villages, community-based organizations, domestic and multinational businesses, governments, international development agencies and NGOs in conflict over the use and management of large forest tracts. Most conflicts are characterized by the presence of multiple stakeholders who themselves may have subgroups with varying interests.
The ways in which people (even those from the same community) respond to natural resource conflicts vary considerably. All communities have their own ways of handling conflicts. These mechanisms may be formal or informal, violent or peaceful, equitable or not. Although the specific strategies may vary, people generally rely on the same basic procedural modes to handle conflicts: avoidance, coercion, negotiation, mediation, arbitration and adjudication. People involved in natural resource conflicts take courses of action based on their preferences, their understanding of their options, their perceived likelihood for success and their relationship with an opponent. Not all people have equal access to all options gender, class, age and other factors may restrict the options of certain groups and individuals. Seasonality, through its influence on labour patterns and income flow, can affect the ability of people to act. Finally, the nature of the conflict itself may prescribe the use of certain legal procedures.
Natural resources policy, programmes and projects offer significant means of addressing many of the needs and concerns that propel resource-related conflicts. Ironically, policies, programmes and projects themselves can serve as sources or arenas of conflict, even though their intention is to ameliorate such conflicts. This situation generally arises when there is inadequate local participation in all phases of interventions, and when insufficient consider-ation is given to anticipating conflicts that might emerge.
Natural resources policy and interventions are often formulated without the active and sustained participation of communities and local resource users. For example, some governments have long relied on centralized management strategies based on centralized control by administrative units and technical experts. These policies and practices frequently fail to take into account local rights to, and practices regarding, natural resources. For example, the intro-duction of new policies and interventions without local input may end up supplanting, under-mining or eroding community institutions governing resource use. Some reasons why conflicts may arise during policy, programme and project implementation include: policies imposed without local participation, lack of harmony and coordination between bodies of law and legal procedures, poor identification of and inadequate consultation with stakeholders, uncoordinated planning, inadequate or poor information sharing, limited institutional capacity, inadequate monitoring and evaluation of programmes, lack of effective mechanisms for conflict management
Most countries are characterized by legal pluralism, the operation of different bodies of formal and informal laws and legal procedures within the same socio-political space.These legal orders may be rooted in the nation-state, religion, ethnic group, local custom, international agreements or other entities. They often overlap resulting in different legal bodies that can be complementary, competitive or contradictory. Resource conflicts sometimes emerge because there is a lack of harmony and coordination among these different legal orders, particularly when policies, programmes and projects fail to consider local situations. Community forestry Lack of harmony and coordination between bodies of law and legal procedures.
Stakeholders are people who possess an economic, cultural or political interest in, or influence over, a resource. The stakeholders may need the resource for subsistence, large and small commercial activities, conservation, tourism or for cultural reasons such as use of sacred sites. The concept is complex and dynamic because stakeholders are not generally homogeneous but can be further divided into subgroups according to their specific interests. Conflicts can occur because planners and managers identify stakeholders inadequately, or they refuse to acknowledge a group’s interest in a resource. Many policies and interventions face challenges in defining exactly what constitutes a community because of the limited ability of planners to identify the range of interests within it. When planners and managers fail to identify and consult with the full spectrum of stake-holders, they limit their understanding of these groups’ diverse needs and priorities and their indigenous knowledge of the situation. This increases the likelihood of Conflicts emerging.
Poor identification of and inadequate consultation with stakeholders may also cause conflicts among men. For example, a conservation warden negotiated a memorandum of understanding with two local groups to provide their livestock with seasonal access to water sources within a national park. The memorandum specified who received access, the number of cattle allowed and the responsibilities of community members. However, this agreement has been unsuccessful for several reasons. Outsiders migrated into the area to gain access to the water sources, and residents listed in the memorandum brought in cattle belonging to other communities. In addition, some community members and park staff allowed people who were not part of the agreement to use the corridor for access to grazing areas.
Conflicts arose at different levels. Households that upheld the agreement resented those who broke it. Park officials committed to the project’s success were pitted against park officials who colluded with local community members to break the rules. The difficulty of defining “community” in this instance, coupled with the inability of park officials to regulate resource access, contributed to the failure of this innovative project.
There is an ideological foundation underlying all the wars, strife, chaos and conflict of the 20th century and the hatred and enmity incited among human beings. That ideology has totally ignored such virtues representing the essence of religious moral values as solidarity, altruism, protecting the poor and weak and regarding all human beings as equal. Instead, it propagated the lie that life is a battleground, that it is legitimate for the weak, the poor, or anyone regarded as a supposed "inferior race" to be oppressed or even annihilated, that the "fittest" will survive while others are eliminated in that merciless struggle, and that this is how mankind will "progress." The basis of that ideology is Darwin's theory of evolution.
Darwin’s theory deals with the former transfer to human society. Darwin’s doctrine of the evolution of species, according to which each individual has to fight the rest in order to survive, and only the fittest to do so will leave in this world successfully. Darwin theory is a biological version of bourgeois philosophy which is expressed in economic terms by the doctrine of free enterprises; to the struggle for life corresponds to satisfy needs. For example, different species of animals struggle to survive in the environment.
With his theory of evolution, Charles Darwin sought to apply this philosophy of selfishness to the natural sciences. Ignoring the examples of solidarity and cooperation created by God in nature, he maintained that all living things were engaged in a ruthless struggle for survival. On the basis of no scientific evidence whatsoever, he even claimed that this same ruthlessness applied to human societies. When his theory of evolution was applied to human society, social Darwinism appeared on the scene.Some people suggest that Social Darwinism was born in the second half of the 19th century and lost its influence during the second half of the 20th. But this theory has had far more permanent and damaging adverse effects. A twisted world view, in complete contradiction to religious moral values, has spread, alleging that life is a "struggle for survival," and that people need to compete in order to succeed in that struggle, or at the very least to survive. New lifestyles emerged that were the source of totalitarian and bloody ideologies like communism and fascism, ferocious capitalism that ignores social justice; racism, ethnic conflicts, moral degeneration, and many more disasters that inflicted catastrophes on humanity.
All of a sudden, Social Darwinism imparted an alleged scientific validity to existing evils, ruthless policies and practices. Adopting that trend, which lacks any scientific basis whatsoever, many people failed to live by religious moral values and began to regard ruthlessness, savagery and cruelty as unexceptional. They ignored the fact that religious moral values require virtues such as compassion, affection, understanding, self-sacrifice, solidarity and mutual support between individuals and societies. Perpetrators claimed a scientific foundation to their cruelty, and that therefore, the savagery they inflicted could be regarded as justified. These false claims and suppositions were of course a terrible deception.
Throughout, we shall be emphasizing that the model proposed by the theory of evolution, regarding human beings as a species of animal, is an error based on ruthlessness, loveless ness, selfishness and self-interest. Darwinism seeks to construct a world where humans live and behave like animals. Social Darwinism's teachings and practices make this quite clear. According to its twisted views, it is perfectly acceptable for an elderly, needy person to be dragged out of his home and taken away to be killed; or for handicapped people to be rounded up and left to die in concentration camps. According to this distorted thinking, those in the "inferior" classes can be ruthlessly persecuted, exploited and eliminated. Those who believe that human society can progress only when these savage policies are implemented regard such slaughter, genocide, cruelty and ruthlessness as a kind of success. They maintain that individuals and societies-indeed, entire cultures and nations-unable to achieve that success, must be done away with.
Without doubt, that is a most perverted and dangerous way of thinking. Perceiving this danger is of the greatest importance for those who oppose the theory and the ideologies based on it. Societal models based on Darwin and Darwinism are models that will lead to the most dreadful catastrophes. On the other hand, the moral values that God commands to humanity and reveals in the Qur'an will always bring with them peace and well-being.
2. Racialists/Ethical Determinism
Racialist theories originated in the middle ages, when Christian sovereigns wanted to seize the property of the Jewish bankers. They spread during the sixteenth century, when the Spanish and Portuguese used African slaves to develop their American colonies, but they only become really important politically in the nineteenth century. Levy did his study in Africa and concluded that African has less brain than and inferiority, where Europeans have more brains and superiority; where Hegel said that conflict was caused by the difference brain people have.
What is racism?
Descriptive: refers to certain attitudes and actions that single out certain people on the basis of their racial–or, in some cases, ethnic–heritage and disadvantage them in some way on this basis. Where ethnicity refers primarily to social and cultural forms of identification and self identification
The Invisibility Thesis: Racism is often invisible to the majority for several reasons such as; They suffer less from it, They don’t attribute their misfortune to race, They don’t always see the suffering that people of color endure.(Lawrence M. Hinman ;11/8/2005)
Overt racism: intended to discriminate against one or more groups on the basis of race. Example: covenants in deeds preventing property from being sold to people of color.
Institutional racism: social and institutional structures that, as a matter of fact, disadvantage certain racial groups. For example, do standardized aptitude and achievement tests disadvantage some groups?
Racialism believes that some races are inferior to others in ability and, in particular are incapable of organizing and maintaining modern forms of society. Left to their own devices, they would only reach a fairly low level of social evolution. However some races would reach a higher level than others, there are different degree of inferiority.
The question of race continues to divide our societies. We have widely divergent views on whether a problem even exists. For example most African Americans see racism as a problem and many feel it has gotten worse. The majority of white Americans see racism as disappearing and as no longer a significant problem in the United States. For a example, in 2009 the first African American was elected in America and become the first African American president in America.
Race distinction is undeniably a major cause of political strife. In some countries such as South Africa and various Latin Americans countries they dominate the whole political life. But the conflicts is not caused by the biological factors, or by the psychological nature of different races, but by the public image that attached to these races and by the kind of behaviour thus provoked.
The Civil Rights Movement
Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of a society beyond racism. Initially, the civil rights movement centered around injustices to African Americans. The Movement Expanded and Two additional civil rights movements emerged into the public eye: Rights for Mexican Americans and Rights for native Americans Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Russell Means first national director of AIM Racial categories appear biological, but their significance is often social. Racial categories in the United States often appear mutually exclusive, but may in fact be overlapping. The 2000 census was the first that allowed individuals to claim multiple racial affiliations, for example African American and Native American.
Racialists were criticized as being scientifically false. Certainly there are races which have been defined, biologically, according to the statistical predominance among their constituents members of some genetic factors such as skin colour, hair texture blood groups and soon. For all that it has never been proved that these genetic differences give rise to differences in intellectual capacity or social and political ability. Racialists arguments based on differences on races in the level of development attained by various races are just as invalid. Differences in development and behaviors are the result of the material and sociological conditions of life, and not of any so called inferiority.
Political economy (greed and grievances)
Two phenomena have been recently utilised to explain conflict onset among rational choice analysts: greed and grievance. The former reflects elite competition over valuable natural resource rents. The latter argues that relative deprivation and the grievance it produces fuels conflict. Central to grievance are concepts of inter-ethnic or horizontal inequality. Identity formation is also crucial to intra-state conflict, as it overcomes the collective action problem. Conflict can rarely be explained by greed alone, yet, the greed versus grievance hypotheses may be complementary explanations for conflict. The greed explanation for conflict duration and secessionist wars works best in cross-country studies, but has to make way for grievance-based arguments in quantitative country-case studies. Grievances and horizontal inequalities may be better at explaining why conflicts begin, but not necessarily why they persist. Neither the presence of greed or grievance is sufficient for the outbreak of violent conflict, something which requires institutional breakdown which we describe as the failure of the social contract. The degradation of the social contract is more likely in the context of poverty and growth failure.
Economic conflict involves competing motives to attain scarce resources. Each party wants to get the most that it can, and the behavior and emotions of each party are directed toward maximizing its gain. Union and management conflict often has as one of its sources the incompatible goals of how to slice up the “economic pie”.
Power conflict occurs when each party wishes to maintain or maximize the amount of influence that it exerts in the relationship and the social setting. It is impossible for one party to be stronger without the other being weaker, at least in terms of direct influence over each other. Thus, a power struggle ensues which usually ends in a victory and defeat, or in a “stand-off” with a continuing state of tension. Power conflicts can occur between individuals, between groups or between nations, whenever one or both parties choose to take a power approach to the relationship. Power also enters into all conflict since the parties are attempting to control each other.
It must be noted that most conflicts are not of a pure type, but involve a mixture of sources. For example, union-management conflict typically involves economic competition, but may also take the form of a power struggle and often involves different ideologies or political values. The more sources that are involved, the more intense and intractable the conflict usually is. Another important source of conflict is ineffective communication. Miscommunication and misunderstanding can create conflict even where there are no basic incompatibilities. In addition, parties may have different perceptions as to what are the facts in a situation, and until they share information and clarify their perceptions, resolution is impossible. Self-centeredness, selective perception, emotional bias, prejudices, etc., are all forces that lead us to perceive situations very differently from the other party. Lack of skill in communicating what we really mean in a clear and respectful fashion often results in confusion, hurt and anger, all of which simply feed the conflict process.
The theory of greed
The greed motivation behind civil war has been popularised by empirical work on the causes of civil war where a cross-section of conflicts in different nations is analyzed together econometrically, and greed is proxied by the availability or abundance of capturable natural resource rents. In Collier and Hoeffler (2004) civil wars stem from the greedy behaviour of a rebel group in organising an insurgency against the government. Greed is about opportunities faced by the rebel group. The opportunities can be disaggregated into three components: financing, recruitment and geography. The most common sources of rebel finance are the appropriation of natural resources, donations from sympathetic diasporas residing abroad, contributions from foreign states (hostile to the government) or multinational companies interested in the region. Natural resource wealth is the chief among the three in terms of its relative importance. Recruitment is about the opportunity to induct fighting manpower; something made easier when there is a high proportion of young unemployed males in population, in a setting of endemic poverty and poor education. Geographical situations favorable to rebel groups are mountainous terrain and other safe havens for insurgents. In short, greed simply means the ‘economic opportunity’ to fight, and should be distinguished from socio-political grievances.
The econometric models purporting to establish the empirical validity of the greed hypothesis, however, are atheoretical, in the sense of not having a formal economic model based on optimising behaviour by economic agents to explain why greed may cause conflict. If economic agents (homo economicus) are actuated only by self- interest, we must demonstrate why they choose war over other alternatives. Therefore, any theorising about greed must be based on the economic motivations for violence and criminality. Belligerents in the wars of natural-resource rich countries could be acting in ways close to what Olson (1996) referred to as 'roving bandits' who have no encompassing interest in preserving the state or its people but are simply intent on loot than to 'stationary' bandits who take control of the state and seek to maximise their own profit by encouraging stability and growth in their new domain. Civil wars motivated by the desire to control natural resource rents could also mirror “warlord competition”, a term that owes its origins to the violent competition between leaders attempting to control economic resources in the context of medieval Europe, Skaperdas (2002).
Both these models, however, neglect the destructiveness of war (collateral damage), and its capacity to ravage productive capacity, additional to direct military expenditure. These models employ intermediate inputs, and not factors of production, which can be costlessly shifted between fighting and production. Secondly, there is no growth in these models, something which would raise the opportunity costs of war. A similar effect could arise from complementarities in production between groups and/or economies of scale, which would make mergers between groups or cooperation in each group’s self-interest. Thirdly, the possibilities of peaceful exchange need to be limited in order to rationalise conflict. In traditional economics the gains from trade arise mainly from differences in tastes, technology and endowments, and these gains from trade need to be minimised in order to make conflict an optimal choice. Violent means are attractive when the intention is to extract resources (as in the case of colonial plantations and mines) or accumulate surpluses at the expense of others (mercantilism). Fourthly, these models imply full information. In the presence of asymmetric information, misperceptions about contest success, the opposition’s intentions and so on, wars that do not maximise expectedutility under full information may break out, akin to problems associated with moral hazard and adverse selection. Fifthly, such theorising is broadly blind to institutions (despite ruling out the existence of property rights and between-group contracts), and the presence of transactions costs that breed mutual mistrust. Wars can also reflect the absence of institutions which facilitate negotiation and peaceful exchange.
Despite these limitations, there is much in this models that can explain the greedy behaviour as analyzed by the empirical exponents of the greed hypothesis. The presence of readily capturable natural resource based rents may make conflict more attractive when compared to peaceful production, as can a shortage of intermediate inputs due to population pressure. These resources are best regarded as a non-produced ‘prize’ such as oil or diamonds (which apart from extraction costs are like manna from heaven), whose ownership is violently contested. Secondly, contributions Even in societies with property rights, there still may be violent or non-violent competition over resources which have, as yet, unassigned ownership. from a sympathetic diaspora (or aid from a super-power in the cold war era) can raise the probability of victory of a potential rebel group against the state. Thirdly, the inability of the state to act as a Stackelberg leader in a potentially divided nation may raise the chances of war between groups in a manner similar to the weak state capacity mechanism favoured by some political scientists (like James Fearon). For example, in the Hirshleifer (1995) model where different groups are in a state of anarchy vis-à-vis one another, the ability of one group to behave as a Stackelberg leader reduces equilibrium fighting levels and raises each side’s per-capita income. The leader, however, gains relatively less compared to followers, creating an incentive for each side to be a follower. If one group is strong and militarily more effective it will dominate other groups, and there will be no fighting in the equilibrium. This may lead to state formation, which may or may not lead to the re-configuration of group identities. If inter-group rivalries persist, state disintegration occurs when the dominant group can no longer control other groups.
Finally, war implies the absence of contract, and warring parties may enter into contracts that make their interactions more peaceful. This will be all the more true, if war causes substantial collateral damage. Groups may also decide to merge in order to reap economies of scale in production. If they do not do so when it is clearly in their mutual self-interest we have to resort to explanations based on misperceptions, mistrust or the lack of institutions that enforce contracts. Alternatively, the institutions that once bound groups together may have disintegrated. We now return to the empirical hypotheses that buttress cross-country econometric studies of civil war, which are dominated by various forms of a greed (or modified greed) and state failure hypotheses.
Theories of Grievance
Central to grievances are identity and group formation. An individual’s utility may be related to his identity, specifically the relative position of the group he identifies with in the social pecking order; ( Akerlof and Kranton 2000). An individual may derive utility from certain normative forms of behaviour appropriate to his identity but considered deviant by other groups, and may even face sanctions from like-minded group members if he deviates from them. This type of behavioural paradigm may be related to solving the collective action problems (Olson, 1965), without which organised large-scale violence is impossible, even if we believe conflict is primarily motivated by greed. As noted in the introduction, some appropriate definition of ethnicity may be a superior basis for group formation compared to social class in an ethnically homogenous society. We sub-divide theories of grievance into relative deprivation, polarization and horizontal inequality. While it is important to differentiate them, some overlap among the three definitions is inevitable.
The notion of relative deprivation dates back to the work of Ted Gurr (1970) who defines it as the discrepancy between what people think they deserve, and what they actually believe they can get; in short the disparity between aspirations and achievements. Thus, educational achievements may raise the aspirations of young people, but they will become frustrated if unemployed, occasionally venting their feelings in mass political violence. Gurr puts forward the following hypothesis, ‘the potential for collective violence varies strongly with the intensity and scope of relative deprivation among members of a collectivity’. This lays down the notion of relative deprivation as the micro-foundation for conflict. Relative deprivation is considered to be a major cause of civil war, as well as sectarian and routine violence. The applications vary across ethno-communal lines, regional boundaries, societal class, or just the feeling of being relatively deprived vis-à-vis the general situation. In the eastern Indonesian province of Maluku, the traditionally privileged Christians group felt relatively deprived against the rising Muslim community economically and politically, which resulted in the bloodiest Muslim-Christian conflict in the country’s history (Tadjoeddin, 2003). Similar statements centring around unemployment could be made about the Catholic-Protestant cleavage in Northern Ireland. In Nepal, the lack of development in remote rural districts of the country fuelled the Maoist insurgency (Murshed and Gates, 2005).
Polarisation occurs when two groups exhibit great inter-group heterogeneity combined with intra-group homogeneity. Economic polarisation (along with high vertical income inequality) can occur in societies that are culturally homogenous (Esteban and Ray, 1994). In their original and seminal concept of polarisation, Esteban and Ray focus on the identification and alienation framework. They said that polarisation is related to the alienation that groups of people feel from one another, and such alienation is fuelled by the feeling of within-group identity. Furthermore, Esteban and Ray argue that the traditional measures of inequality are only concerned with interpersonal alienation, but fail to capture the dimension of group identity. It is important to note that ethnic polarisation requires two or a few ethnicities. When a society has a very large number of identities, then the term ethnic fractionalisation is more appropriate. Therefore, polarization is what may matter for conflict, rather than fractionalisation and/or overall vertical (inter-individual) inequality. Few studies have empirically demonstrated the existence of such an argument. Montalvo and Reynal-Querol (2005) find that ethnic polarisation is a significant explanatory variable for civil war onset, while ethnic fractionalisation is not.
The notion of horizontal inequalities between groups, classified by ethnicity, religion, linguistic differences, tribal affiliations etc., is thought to be an important cause of contemporary civil war and sectarian strife, but not routine violence. The idea of horizontal inequality may overlap with the notion of relative deprivation and polarisation as will be indicated by alternative measures discussed below. The expression, horizontal inequality, originates in the work of Frances Stewart; (Stewart 2000), and should be distinguished from vertical inequality, which is the inequality within an otherwise homogenous population. Four sources of horizontal inequality may be highlighted:
Discrimination in Public Spending and Taxation
Discrimination in the allocation of public spending and unfair tax burdens, lead to serious unrest.(Grossman, 1991) develops a theoretical model of insurrection against the state by the peasantry reacting to over taxation, where the state is a tax-farmer interested in maximising the income of the rentier class. Discrimination in the allocation of public employment is particularly resented in societies in which public employment represents the principal avenue for personal advance, as in Burundi. In addition, the over taxation of smallholders encourages insurrection, and indigenous peoples often face discrimination in access to schooling, health care, and public-sector jobs; many of these factors are present in Nepal’s current civil war, (Murshed and Gates, 2005). Where there are inter-group fiscal transfers, which may take the form of spending on education and health for disadvantaged groups, or including them in government employment, commitment to the transfer by those in power may be imperfect. This lack of credibility can eventually lead to civil war.
High Asset Inequality.
Agrarian societies with high inequality,for example El Salvador, Guatemala, Nepal, the Philippines, and Zimbabwe have high asset inequality, and are very prone to conflict, (Russet, 1964) for an early view on this. Asset redistribution such as land reform to lessen inequality is more difficult than public finance reform. (Besançon , 2005), however, points out that purely ethnic conflicts, as opposed to revolutions and genocides, are more likely when a greater degree of income equality has been achieved between contending ethnic groups. Inclusion in the political process is more crucial to preventing this type of conflict, which are not usually civil wars, as the state is not involved.
Economic Mismanagement and Recession.
In Africa, Latin America and the former Soviet Union conflict ridden countries have also suffered prolonged economic mismanagement and growth collapse. Successive IMF and World Bank supported adjustment programmes in DRC-Zaire, Somalia and elsewhere not only proved incapable of promoting economic recovery, but given the level of corruption within the state, themselves became targets for capture by elite groups. Economic mismanagement is often associated with an uneven and unfair distribution of the burdens of subsequent adjustment; public spending benefiting the elite and the military is protected, often favouring particular ethnic groups, with the burden of adjustment placed on expenditures of value to the poor and disadvantaged groups. Also, as Rodrik (1999) emphasises, countries with weak institutions of conflict management, as well as high income inequality are less able to withstand economic shocks and experience growth failure. They are also more prone to the risk of civil strife and war, since their weak institutions, which are further weakened by shocks and lower growth, are unable to contain the resulting social pressure and distributional conflict.
Grievances Related to Resource Rents:
Natural resource rents can by themselves become a source of grievance, if local populations feel that they are not getting a fair share of these, as in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. It can also cause secessionist tendencies amongst relative rich regions, who no longer want to subsidise their fellow countrymen, as in the case of Aceh in Indonesia, (Tadjoeddin et. al.2003).
With regard to incentives faced by rulers in developing countries, it has to be remembered that until the end of the cold war most developing countries were ruled by strong men. Some promoted development, others did not. Dunning (2005) makes an argument, based on a two period-two agent-two sector game theoretic model, about choices by rulers regarding the future growth path of the economy in the context of natural resource abundance. He compares Mobutu’s Zaire (1965-1997) to Suharto’s Indonesia (1965-98) and Botswana during the same period. In Botswana, revenues from Kimberlite diamonds were very stable, due to Botswana’s unique relationship with De Beers and its important position as a major supplier. It did not need to diversify it economy. But it chose a developmental path because of the mature nature of political elites there. In Indonesia and Zaire resource flows were volatile. In one case the dictator (Suharto) chose diversification and growth enhancing strategies, as well as policies aimed at equalisation and poverty reduction to contain political opposition. Development in Indonesia was impressive, and may have led, at least partially, to endogenous demands for democracy (Lipset, 1960). In the other case (Zaire, now DRC), Mobutu did not, because he felt that diversification and investment in infrastructure would loosen his grip on power and strengthen political opposition to him based on ethnicity. Zaire or the DRC has perhaps the poorest post-1960 growth record on the planet. Perhaps, in East Asia greater fears of communism strengthened benevolence in dictators (South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia), whereas in Africa a certain type of factionalism dominated policies and politics, retarding growth-enhancing economic diversification and infrastructural development. Turning to the all-encompassing importance of growth in promoting peaceful economic interaction and the social contract, it is worthwhile examining a few of the broad stylized facts regarding conflict across developing countries since about 1960. To get an empirical feel for some of these macro-channels, a descriptive look at the data may be in order.
It is discernable that India, Sri Lanka and Colombia are the stable democracies in the
post 1960 era that have had civil wars, including high intensity conflict. Many of the
transitions in regime type from autocracy to anocracy to democracy (during 1960-2000) are described in Murshed (2006). Multiple switches in all directions are possible, and not just from autocracy to democracy. Nevertheless, only 5 out of the seventeen nations with a high conflict incidence have ever been democracies with a democracy score over 4. Democracy, even stable democracy, does not guarantee the absence of armed conflict, both of the secessionist and rebel varieties, as the examples of India, Colombia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and others indicate. Autocracies also fall into conflict, nevertheless, stable autocracies such as China and Singapore have avoided civil war, as did Taiwan and South Korea which became democracies recently. Despite prominent outliers such as India, Colombia, and Saudi Arabia, most conflict prone countries are neither stable democracies nor autocracies, lending support to the Hegre et. al. (2001) finding that conflict risk is greatest when regime types are in transition, say from autocracy to democracy.
Natural resources conflicts have always been with us, due in part to the multiple and competing demands on resources. conflicts can arise if user groups are excluded from participating in natural resource management. They also occur if there are: contradictions between local and introduced management systems; misunderstandings and lack of information about policy and programme objectives; contra- dictions or lack of clarity in laws and policies; inequity in resource distribution; or poor policy and programme implementation. Conflict will always exist to some degree in every community, but it can often be managed and resolved.
The form and intensity of conflicts vary widely by place, and over time within any community. conflicts manifest themselves in many ways, ranging from breaking rules to acts of sabotage and violence. Sometimes conflicts remain hidden or latent. People may allow grievances to smoulder because of fear, distrust, peer pressure, financial constraints, exclusion from certain conflict resolution procedures, or for strategic reasons. Because some societies encourage their members to avoid public confrontations, a lack of public disputes does not mean there is no conflict.
Despite growing recognition of the need for integrated approaches to natural resource management, many governmental and other agencies still rely on sectoral approaches with limited cross-sectoral planning and coordination. For example, the agricultural service may promote cash crop expansion in forests to raise incomes without recognizing its adverse effects on other resource users. Overlapping and competing jurisdictions and activities among agencies may result in their inability to reconcile the needs and priorities of various stakeholders.
Effective sharing of information on policies, laws, procedures and objectives can enhance the success of programmes and reduce conflicts. In contrast, lack of information on the intention of the planning agencies may lead to suspicion and mistrust.
Encourage participation by community, have been supplanted by courts and administrative members and respect local values and laws. Customs are more accessible because of their low, are often inaccessible to people on the basis of cost, their flexibility in scheduling and gender, class, caste and other factors. Procedures, and their use of the local language encourage decision-making.
Conflict is an inevitable fact of human existence. If we work to understand and manage it
effectively, we can improve both the satisfaction and productivity of our social relationships. In order to reduce it occurrence in future the government may apply the following strategies:
Governments should plan to have compensatory programs. Compensatory programs are a way of responding to past injustices. They are justified up until the point at which the earlier wrong has been compensated for. Rests on a notion of compensatory justice the country may owe compensation for officially sanctioned racism. For example actions against Native Americans and actions against JapaneseAmericans in WWII. Enslavement of Africans brought to America (Hinman, Lawrence M. 2005)
Do not presume that the present state of recipients of compensation is necessarily impoverished. Important symbolic value in recognizing that a wrong occurred
and expressing sorrow or regret
Future oriented Models
This differ from compensatory models, which look to past injustices. Depends on one’s notion of an ideal society, the means acceptable to achieving that society. The government should have an affirmative Action. Four Senses of Affirmative Actions which include:
Weak senses of affirmative action:
• 1. Encouraging the largest possible number of minority applications in the applicant pool, and then choosing the best candidates regardless of gender, race, etc.
• 2. When the two best candidates are equally qualified and one is a minority candidate, choosing the minority candidate.
Strong senses of affirmative action:
• 3. From a group of candidates, all of whom are qualified, choosing the minority candidate over better qualified nonminority ones.
• 4. Choosing an unqualified minority candidate over a qualified nonminority one.
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