Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Word pair of the day

irenology (peace studies)
in contrast to:
polemology (conflict studies)

(thanks to Wikipedia).

Peace studies looks pretty fuzzy-minded at first glance, but on the other hand, these guys seem to come out of that area and are the only writings I've found that are close to my own view:

As conflict escalates, new, more militant leadership often develops. Leaders who fear that they will be replaced by challengers will not want to be seen as weak or submissive. As a result, they will often refuse to admit that any past actions were mistaken and are likely to grow in militancy and become more "hardline."[51] Furthermore, conflicts that already involve contentious activity are likely to fall into the hands of militants who have strong negative attitudes and tend to use extreme tactics.[52] In many instances, these leaders seek to ritualize the conflict and exhibit a complete lack of interest in resolution.[53] All of this contributes to conflict escalation.

Oh well, I knew this couldn't be a completely original idea...that's the problem with Google, it's always too easy to find prior art.


KinkyKathy said...

Only studies that interest me are moist, sexy ones. Matter of fact I'd rather screw than read. Still, good stuff.

mtraven said...

Hey, no argument from me!

As Bacon famously said about science:
"For you have but to follow and as it were hound nature in her wanderings, and you will be able when you like to lead and drive her afterward to the same place again...Neither ought a man to make scruple of entering and penetrating into those holes and corners where the inquisition of truth is his whole object."

goatchowder said...

Was that Kevin Bacon?

I know someone who knows him.

Zimri said...

[51] Kriesberg, Louis. Constructive Conflicts: From Escalation to Resolution. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, April 1, 1998, p 155.

[52] Pruitt, Dean G., Jeffrey Z. Rubin and Sung Hee Kim. "Conflict Escalation." In Social Conflict: Escalation, Stalemate, and Settlement, 2nd Edition. New York: McGraw Hill College Division, January 1, 1994. Pages: 68-116, p 95.

[53] Jameson, Jessica K. "The Escalation and De-escalation of Intractable Conflict." Communicating War and Terror available here (and not from the link at the site)

Zimri said...

I checked up on ref 53. It must be referring to this (which I'll put in italics because blockquotes are verboten here) -

Stage Four - Collusion. This final stage of intractability occurs when groups see the conflict as necessary for the preservation of their identity. A group or Nation's identity may become defined by "who they are not." The conflict becomes ritualized and celebrated through the election of leaders who hold extreme positions, a complete lack of communication or interest in resolution, and continued escalation or attack. We have seen this occur in countries where leaders have been overthrown when they participated in peace talks with "the enemy."

This ref is to an article without any hard data or statistics to prove the point. It looks like the other refs are going to be sociological nonsense, as well.

I say "nonsense" because this "stage" isn't even about conflict anymore. It's about community definition. I don't know how that is bad, exactly, except insofar as it goes against Unity and Diversity.