Five Sources of Conflict
When evaluating, one can easily identify the one prevailing issue affecting conflict on a global scale. To date, I consider identity issues to be the most difficult to resolve. For one, the struggle for power can at times be easily solved through government elections or even overthrowing a weak regime. While the struggle to acquire an abundance of resources can easily be resolved through a state’s brute military strength or strategy. So those two are out of the question. Finally, identity, or the way in which individuals and groups are defined in society, can affect the political behavior of social groups. In other words, a person’s ideas and values can be both positively and negatively affected by a person’s identity.
Evidence of identity influencing the beliefs of a person through group stereotypes is given. According to their research, “a voter identified with the lower class slants his beliefs toward the stereotype of his group, a poor individual.” As a result, these people become pessimistic about their social mobility, and therefore their demand for redistribution is boosted. The reverse would happen to a person that identifies with the upper class. These cleavages in society are hardest to overturn due to them being, as explained before, the very core of social behavior. We see conflicts that derive from identity happening today all over countries in Eurasia like Myanmar and the Rohingya people, Kosovo’s identity of Albanians and other minorities, Israel, Palestine, and so on. As a matter of fact, we do not have to go as far as a different country.
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Let us point a finger at our own back yard and the LGBT community’s constant struggle for basic human rights. We are one of the most socially advanced, educated nations in the world and yet reform has just begun to take shape for one of the largest social groups in the world today. People who simply seek to be able to live out their lives without being discriminated against. When it comes to conflict resolution, in these five respective sources, we must acknowledge that some regimes are simply better suited to handle certain situations. This is an undeniable truth. For example, I believe democracy, a regime that allows every person to have a direct role in society and an indirect role in government, to be better suited to conserving individual freedom, identity, and power disputes between government institutions and their respective representatives.
Citizens in a democracy benefit greatly from the voice they are given, a voice which is greater than a mere echo and instead of one that carries true weight; while institutions benefit from fair, trust-worthy elections capable of resolving the most complex of power disputes. Despite the above-mentioned struggle of the LGBT community, their ability to express themselves freely and fight for reform is still something they cannot and have not taken for granted. In contrast, the identity restraints in a monarchy, by the monarch itself, would not allow for the same individual freedom for this cohesive identity is what allows a monarch to remain in power. It might, however, allow for a faster turnaround, or resolution for power and resource conflicts due to the weight a unilateral decision might carry.