Conceptual Clarification

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Conceptual Clarification

General Idea Of Conflict

Human nature is replete with conflict. One reason for this is the facts that human have different views, ideas and interest which sometimes comes into collision especially in the process of trying to satisfy incompatible interest. In the same vein, the great philosopher Thomas Hobbes said that in the state of nature the life of man is “solitary, nasty, Brutish and short” inevitable which simply connotes life is base on the survival of the fittest.

The concept “conflict” would be analyzed below in order to have a deep understanding of conflict. Conflict according to Oxford Advanced Dictionary means A disagreement or a state of opposition between ideas, opinions, feeling or wishes.1 The term can also refer to psychological state resulting from an often unconscious opposition between simultaneous but incompatible desires needs drives or impulses. 2 on the other hand, Edward J Murray see conflict as “a situation in which a person is motivated to engage in two or more mutually exclusive activities. 3

Conflict may degenerate into the awkward violent use of arms if unchecked properly or not quickly curbed. As a result of the negative effects of conflict on the society, scholar have been prompted to carryout researches as to the causes and manifestations of some conflicts in the society. The end result of this existence of a myriad theories of conflicts that subjects to the views and perceptions of those scholars. 4 Stephen Ademola further opined that “conflict is a fluid and infinitively elastic concept which can be trusted into different shapes and become issues over which scholars find themselves in shared disagreement with their colleagues. 5 Conflict could be seen as a disagreement through which the parties involved perceived a threat to their needs, interests or concerns. Conflict occur when people (or other parties) perceive that, as a consequence of a disagreement, there is a threat to their needs, interest or concerns conflict is a normal part of human existence, providing numerous opportunities for growth through improved understanding and insight, there is tendency to view conflict as a negative experience caused by abnormally difficult circumstances.. Conflicts are normal within the human environment , because participants in conflicts tend to respond on the basis of their perceptions of the situations, rather than objectives review of it. Conflict responses are both filled with ideas and feelings that can be very strong and powerful guides to our of possible solutions. A conflict is more than a mere disagreement it is a situation in which people perceive threat to their well being, thus, it is meaningful experience in peoples lives, not to be shrugged off by a mere “ it will pass”. The state of nature which is war which man is trying to escape by establishing sovereign authority could not receive a laudable success as human nature entails conflict. Thus, conflict is a part of human nature.

Conflict Management

The concept conflict management is a combination of two key words “conflict” and “management” however the term conflict has been explained previously, thus, the term management will be explain here expressly in regards to “conflict management”.

The term management could transfer to the control of a certain situation which viewed along the line of conflict management.on the other hand, Imogibhe sees management as “control and direction”. 6 putting a situation that spells tension under control would reduce and prevent the outbreak of armed conflicts and crises. Rahim M. A. indicates that “conflict management involves the designing of effective macro level strategies to minimize the dysfunctions of conflicts and enhancing learning and the effectiveness of an organisatino. 7

Conflict management involves the process of laying procedures and methods that seek to contain and reduces to prevent it from degenerating into crisis. The concept can also be said to involve the process of implementing strategies to limit the negative aspect of conflict and increase the positive aspects of conflict at a level equal to or higher than where the conflict is taking place.According to David J. Francis, “conflict management includes efforts and interventions to limit, curtail or regulate a conflict. 9

In order for conflict management to be properly carried out a survey into nature causes or origin and manifestation of such conflict must be undertaken by the conflict management body. The body must understand the true areas of the disagreement that tended to the conflict. According to E.O. S. Iyamu and Lilian I. Salami “conflict management refers to the long term management of intractable conflict10. It is the variety of ways by which people handle grievances standing up for what they consider to be wrong.

In most African states or countries, conflict management has been made a function of the government, however, ineffectiveness on the part of government of African countries in managing conflicts has encouraged the civil society in those countries to take up the task from their government as alternative conflict management institution.

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