When discussing the term “conflict” certain questions are taken into account such as, why does it occur? How does it develop? And what can be done to prevent it? To begin with, our world as a whole is engaged with conflict as it is a social process in human relations, where individuals or groups challenge their opponents with violence or threats. There are numerous matters that could generate conflict between individuals, society, and nations, such as, individual differences, cultural differences, social change, and clash of interests. Conflict can be characterized as universal, a deliberate objective to oppose, and a personal movement. It is believed that it is difficult to fully prevent and solve conflict, however, it is possible to decrease the rate of conflict being faced by the world. This essay will associate conflict to the “realism” theory including theorists Niccol ò Machiavelli and Thomas Hobes. Nevertheless, this essay will outline the root causes of conflict and possible resolutions.
It is believed that pursuing power and self interests are two chief objectives set by human beings, particularly in political actions. People tend to seek possible opportunities that will allow them to maximize their powers and superiority in relationships with others. However, doing so may cause a rise in conflict as it generates poor communication, misunderstandings, frustration and stress. Observing the realist theory, it is stated that egoism is the defining characteristic of human nature considering that people are essentially selfish and competitive. With egoism comes great yet violent power. There are two core types of realism, including classical realism and neorealism. Classical realism explains power politics concerning egoism and neorealism explains structural realism with regard to anarchy. The key features within realism are state egoism, conflict, national interest, balance of power, and international anarchy. Realm theorist, Machiavelli viewed politics as a “negative and dark changeless human nature”. In his view, humans are violent, deceitful, manipulative and arrogant. He also argues that political life is illustrated as an unavoidable conflict, as a result it encourages political leaders to rule through the usage of manipulation, brutality and cunning. As for Thomas Hobbes, he debates that humans are driven by illogical desires such as, fear, establishing dominance, hatred, and the longing for power. Hobbes refers to the stated situations as a “state of nature”, ‘which is a continuous civil war developed between all members of society’. States are led by citizens who are power-seeking and selfish allowing the state itself to inherit the same features, therefore, human egoism determines state egoism.
Conflict is universal, for that reason the term international conflict is referred to conflicts between nation-states and organizations in different nation states. Nevertheless, it also involves internal group conflicts within a country, this occurs when a group is struggling for liberation or for political, economic, and social power, for example, Syria. The foremost root cause of conflict is war. Wars in developing involve a high rate of human, economic, and social costs leading to poverty and underdevelopment. Commonly, wars –apart from economic causes- have cultural measurements related to religion or ethnicity. Further reasons for conflict include, poverty and political, social, and economic inequalities. No two individuals are alike, each person has their own ideas, interests, principles and attitudes. If these differences fail to adjust with one another conflict will arise. Moreover, culture is an approach to life and each culture group differs from one another. Each human has different beliefs, many individuals may not tolerate ideologies understood by others and will contradict their views causing tension between one another, such as religious differences.