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BPSE-146: Conflict Resolution and Peace Building

BPSE-146: Conflict Resolution and Peace Building

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for BPSE-146 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Conflict Resolution and Peace Building, you have come to the right place. BPSE-146 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in BAPSH, BAG courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: BPSE-146/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BPSE-146

Assignment Name: Conflict Resolution and Peace Building

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Answer all questions in the three Assignments and submit them together.



Answer the following in about 500 words each.


Q1) Examine different sources of conflict. What are the variants of threats in international conflicts? Discuss.


Sources of Conflict-I

Conflicts can occur for a variety of reasons and causes. These can be separated into two main categories. One is focused on problems and available resources, and the other is based on interpersonal and intergroup differences. Economic, value, or power interest conflicts are those that develop as a result of problems and resources. These could get worse due to poor communication and other factors.


  1. Economic Conflict: Conflict over scarce resources implies competing interests. Each party seeks to benefit the most.

  2. Value Conflict: Value conflict refers to the clash of opposing ideologies, preferences, values, and behaviours that people hold dear.

  3. Power Conflict: When two parties want to maximise or preserve their level of influence in a relationship or social context, power conflicts result. At least in terms of their ability to directly influence one another, it is impossible for one party to be stronger without the other being weaker.

  4. Ineffective Communication: Conflict can also arise from ineffective communication. Even in situations where there are no fundamental differences, misunderstandings and poor communication can lead to conflict.

  5. Escalation of Conflict: Conflict escalation is a significant additional source of conflict. It is more than simply basic that it enters the battle after it has already begun. There is a clear propensity for conflicts to intensify, or to turn hostile, and to produce more issues, or what the sides claim the fight is about.


Sources of Conflict-II

Humans are the second source of conflict. These could be people, teams, parties, states, or countries.


Inter-Personal Conflict: Interpersonal conflict is caused by irreconcilable needs, goals, or approaches. Communication breakdown causes many interpersonal conflicts. Communication skills can prevent and resolve such issues. Despite greater communication, people still have significant differences. Personality conflict involves highly different motives, values, or people-handling styles. In such confrontations, both parties have a great craving for power; neither can be satisfied; hence a power struggle follows.


Role Conflict: Role conflict involves discrepancies in role definitions, expectations, or obligations between interdependent individuals. If there are uncertainties in a company's role descriptions or unclear obligations, then interpersonal conflict is likely. Unfortunately, the dispute is often misunderstood as inter-personal rather than role conflict, complicating and misdirecting solutions.


Intergroup Conflict: Inter-group conflict include ethnic or racial groups, departments or decision-making levels within an organisation, and union and management. Competition for finite resources is a typical source of intergroup conflict, and civilizations have created regulatory systems, such as collective bargaining and mediation, to deal with it. Intergroup conflict involves social and psychological dynamics. Stereotypes and discrimination are common among groups.


Multiparty Conflict: Varied interest groups and organisations have different agendas for resource management and policy formation, causing multiparty conflict. Complex conflicts incorporate economic, value, and power. Traditional authoritative or adversarial procedures can't handle this complexity.


International Conflict: On a global scale, there are conflicts between nations. Resource competition undoubtedly plays a role, but value and power conflicts are frequently intertwined and can dominate. In a steady and ongoing game of give and take, or threat and counterthreat, differences between governments are communicated through diplomatic channels, occasionally for the greatest stakes.


The competition between states is characterised by a dramatic alternating of peace and war, which is one of the most striking differences between the conflict of firms and that between nations. All other relationships exhibit this alternating of two opposite forms of conflict, covert conflict characterised by threats, promises, and demands during peacetime, and overt conflict during times of war. The second peculiarity of international conflict is brought up by this. Not only does war symbolise a system border of deteriorating diplomatic ties and a lash out when the strain of those connections grows intolerable for one party or the other, but it also symbolises an ongoing threat to diplomatic relations itself.


Q2) Explain different theoretical approaches of conflict. Discuss also the ‘nature versus nature’ debate.

Ans) These two groups of theories alludes to the nature vs. nurture controversy. The "nature" theorists emphasise that since genes are essentially responsible for shaping who we are, conflict is fundamentally a part of who we are. Conflict, according to "nurture" theorists, arises from how society is set up. Conflict originates from the numerous divisions that exist within society.


People who emphasise the role of human nature in conflict believe that violence is inevitable, pervasive, and universal regardless of societal institutions because it is "inherent" in people or within the individual. Because of this, these ideas are often known as Inherency Theories. According to social structural theories, conflict exists outside of people rather than within of them. Conflict therefore depends on elements outside of the human body. These hypotheses are frequently referred to as contingency theories.


The properties of inherency and contingency theories are combined in a third category of theories known as interactionist theories. This method rejects the "nature versus nurture" debate because it holds that neither nature nor nurture alone can or should account for all of human behaviour. In reality, both genetics and societal structure factors contribute to human behaviour. Both inherent and contingent elements can be seen in John Burton's Human Needs Theory. Human behaviour, both on an individual and collective level, is emphasised as the root of conflict in theories based on human agency.


Biological and Socio-Biological Theories

The origins of conflict and violence can be found in the human DNA, according to biological theoretical theories. They place a strong emphasis on biological components or innate human characteristics. Interpersonal and intergroup violence is thought to be caused by biologically defined variables. Most biological theories emphasise violence. It believes that the human neural system is innately predisposed to violence.


Instinct Theory

According to this argument, violent behaviour is a natural human inclination. Aggression and destructive behaviour in humans are the result of instinctive impulse. This can be seen in the instinctual impulse to battle and rule.


Darwinism and Social Darwinism

In his book Origin of Species, Charles Darwin introduced the idea of survival of the fittest, which states that only those who can effectively adapt to their particular environment will survive. Although it is a protracted process, this is biological evolution. The concept of "survival of the fittest" has been used to justify hierarchical and graded relationships between various classes. Conflict is explained by social Darwinism in terms of natural selection, the survival of the fittest, and the innate hostility of people. It emphasises the important roles that competition and conflict play in human civilization. The idea of stages in evolution was employed by social Darwinists to support their imperialist goals of conquest and conflict.


The study of animal behaviour in its natural environment is known as ethology. It investigates the behaviours of many species. Comparing and extrapolating parallels between human behaviour and that of natural animals has allowed ethology and evolutionary history to reach conclusions regarding the instinctual drive. According to ethologists, distinct species' behavioural patterns exhibit a strong hereditary foundation.



A field called socio-biology focuses on understanding how animals' social structures function. Sociobiologists think that socially aggressive behaviours may be genetically inherited in both humans and other animals. Even while socio-biologists believe that animal hostility is mostly based on genes, they emphasise that it differs between different species and various forms of social organisation. Predatory aggression, fear-based aggression, irritable aggression, and other types of aggression all have diverse biological underpinnings. Compared to other animals, violence is less common in people.





Answer the following questions in about 250 words each. 10x3


Q1) What is the nature of major conflicts in South Asia?

Ans) The South Asian subcontinent has survived in a largely idyllic state of seclusion for many millennia. The Indian sub-continent, which is divided from the rest of Asia by the Indian Ocean in the south and the Hindukush, Karakorum, and Great Himalayan mountain ranges in the north, developed a distinct civilization identity and structured relationships between the various local political entities as the essential element of high politics for a significant portion of the region's history.


The invaders either departed the subcontinent after plundering its wealth or they stayed and assimilated into the local society, joining the other regional entities in their centuries-old struggle for dominance. Since 1947, the strategic environment on the Indian subcontinent has been dominated by the antagonistic engagement between these two nations. Without a doubt, there were also interactions with the outside world, namely with the United States and Russia, and to a lesser extent, with China, which courted Pakistan following the 1962 conflict with India. All of them, however, contributed to the main security rivalry between China, Pakistan, and India.


The rivalry between the first two states frequently attracts the most attention from the public, in part because their low-intensity war was clearly apparent. They take place in the shadow of very limited nuclear capabilities and have periodically threatened to escalate at a high risk. It is important to emphasise that low-intensity wars have also happened in the Sino-Indian scenario despite these conditions. For more than four to five decades, China has funded insurgencies in the north-eastern region of India. In the past, India has defended the rights of Tibetans in Tibet against China.


Two considerations are crucial when it comes to India and Pakistan and the ongoing low-intensity struggle between them. The first one has to do with the decision Pakistan makes in light of the current unrest in Kashmir. In a sense, the Kashmiri revolt has reached the point where it can no longer succeed. The second set of options relates to the selections made by the respective ruling regimes. Since Pakistani actions now towards Kashmir would affect the likelihood of Indian conventional response and the consequent escalation of warfare in the region, both Indian and Pakistani options are somewhat interconnected.


Q2) Criticism of Biological and Socio-Biological Theories.

Ans) It has received harsh criticism that human violence has biological underpinnings. According to anthropologists and sociologists, human instinct or behaviour cannot be linked to biological origins. It is primarily an outcome of human culture, which is produced by socially cohesive human communities and transmitted through social learning. Freud believed that violence was ingrained in people, but he also believed that it was learned through interactions with others, particularly parents and other members of the family. As a result, psychoanalytic theory emphasises that each person's experiences during the early stages of socialisation shape their personality.


Aggression is a result of social learning, not genetics, according to social learning theories. Conditioning, however, is necessary for learning. The stimulus at hand in a particular circumstance is most likely to shape our reaction; for instance, if a gun is accessible, one is likely to use it if their life or property is under danger. Furthermore, aggressive behaviour is more likely to be repeated if it is rewarded. Instead, if it is punished, it is unlikely to happen again. According to the notion of observational learning, we can learn from others' activities by seeing them in action. Language is another way that we learn.


According to John Burton, we will simply have to accept innate human aggression as the root of all wars. It can, at most, be managed. Dispute resolution in this instance, that is, identifying the causes of the conflict and making an effort to address them, is pointless because the source itself cannot be altered or changed in any way. Gandhi did not believe that human nature included violence. He had a favourable view of human nature and thought that people are inherently nice. He asserts that man is not fundamentally bad. Humans are also capable of transcending violence and selfishness. Gandhi also believed that society systems, not individuals, were to blame for causing conflict. Gandhi believed that people are not inherently violent.


Q3) Explain life cycles of conflict.

Ans) A dispute's level of intensity changes over the course of its life cycle; it is not a constant circumstance. Knowing how, when, and where to use different conflict prevention and management strategies and tactics requires an understanding of the conflict cycle. Conflict patterns have been the subject of numerous hypotheses and models over the years. Conflicts are sometimes described as rising from a condition of unsatisfactory or precarious peace to crisis and war, depending on how intense they are. The situation then degrades into a shaky calm.


  1. Conflict Cycle: Stable peace, unstable peace, open conflict, crisis, and war are the five stages of conflict severity.

  2. Conflict Prevention: To stop the escalation of a possible or impending violent conflict, short-term steps are taken during periods of stable and unstable peace.

  3. Conflict Management: Used when a violent clash seems imminent or possible during a crisis. It tries to end acts of violence and behaviour that leads to violence so that the issue can be resolved on a political level.

  4. Conflict Settlement: Refers to methods for stopping physical conflict and coming to a compromise through talks, mediation, or coercive means like military, political, or economic sanctions. does not address the conflict's root source.

  5. Conflict Resolution: Aims to promote mutual acceptance of each party's existence while resolving the underlying incompatibilities that underlie a disagreement.

  6. Conflict Transformation: Seeks to advance conflict management and resolution to the development of positive relationships between people and communities.

  7. Peace Building: Refers to resolving a dispute in a way that leaves both sides happy and encourages them to switch from a zero-sum game to a win-win scenario. The process of resolution frequently has to be facilitated by an outside party.



Answer the following questions in about 100 words each. 6x5


Q1) Difference between conflict prevention and conflict management


Crisis Prevention

There are numerous methods for preventing conflicts. Preventive measures strive to enhance the system's structure, which is required for peacefully resolving conflicts, in both stable and insecure periods of peace. However, conflict prevention strategies only work during periods of stable and uncertain peace, that is, before a dispute manifests itself.


Conflict Management

As soon as the dispute has been detected by the parties involved, conflict management can be put into action in an effort to defuse the situation and stop it from getting worse. Direct actions can be planned to address the issue and turn destructive behaviour into constructive, such as a reduction in armed troops, third party intervention, informal and formal transmission of general confidence building measures. As queries are frequently sensitive and not perceived as threatening at this point, measures are frequently bilateral.


Q2) Resource Theory

Ans) When two or more parties seek the same resource or when one party wants the resource the other party has conflict results. Because resources are limited or rare, people compete for them. Resources may be physical or abstract. They could take on various shapes, including territory, cash, coal, oil, water, etc. Resources can be divided into three groups according to Max Weber: status, wealth, and power. Money, land, and other tangible resources are examples of wealth. Power is a resource for those who hold it, have access to it, and have the authority to decide whether and how to distribute it. Prestige is defined as respect or reputation, and it is ranked from most to least regarded. It is a resource because everyone wants it, but not everyone can have it.


Q3) Relative Deprivation Theory

Ans) The idea of deprivation, which refers to the gap that exists between what an one hopes to achieve in life and what that individual actually does, serves as the foundation for the notion of relative deprivation. People experience a sense of deprivation when they receive significantly less than what they had anticipated or what had been promised to them. This can make people more likely to engage in aggressive behaviour and bring them into confrontation with others. Absolute deprivation is synonymous with a lack of food and financial stability. In order to provide an explanation for ethnic conflicts, Ted Robert Gurr utilised the idea of relative deprivation.


Q4) Examine the objectives and purposes of conflict.

Ans) By applying pressure for innovation and creativity, conflict helps to keep the social structure from becoming rigid and stifling creativity and innovation. George Sorel had the belief that in order for a social system to rejuvenate its creative powers and refresh its energy, it was necessary for there to be some level of conflict within the system. According to Coser, conflict both inside and between groups in a society can help to avoid accommodations and habitual relations from increasingly impoverishing creative potential.


Conflict not only results in the formation of new norms and institutions, but it also has the potential to be directly stimulating in the areas of economics and technology. Numerous times, economic historians have brought up the fact that a significant amount of technological progress has been brought about as a direct result of the conflict activity of labour unions by means of an increase in wage levels. It should be pointed out that the prevalence of militant unionism in American coalfields has been able to partially explain the great mechanisation that has taken place in the coal mining industry in the United States.


Q5) Why is Pacifism important for conflict resolution?

Ans) When there is a small human distance between the subject and the opponent, when the subject is well informed about the intentions of the pacifist, when the subject is required to justify his behaviour after the fact, and when a partial third party is present, a pacifist strategy has a tendency to be most effective in reducing violent and exploitative behaviour. It was discovered that female participants had a larger predisposition to stalemate, which resulted in a reduction of both their own wins and the winnings of the pacifist. However, there was no difference between male and female subjects in terms of the use of physical force. The demand features and the image of the pacifist held by the opponent were the most powerful determinants of the effectiveness of the pacifist tactic.

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