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Conflict, Its Nature and Types by Jahid

Last class on fourth week, the lecture was delivered on All about Conflicts. Conflict has always been a major issue from the historic time while many of the significant empires have fallen and many others have risen again due to conflicts, injustice and wars. In the mid of the last century, two major World Wars have happened and many countries have been affected consequently. Conflicts are very important in every ages to be studied and analyzed in case of current affairs of that particular times. Therefore when we study about current affairs of the world, naturally conflicts of the current era happening all over the world come to be illustrated in the study chapters. Due to colonization, political and economic crisis, conflicts are always happening either inside countries or beyond national borders. As the consequences and effects are enormous in this age compare to past, it would be insightful to study on the nature, types, results of conflicts.

The nature of conflict is the first thing to be comprehended in the journey to understanding conflict. The nature of conflict includes issues, environment, parties involved and behaviour in it. Moreover, conflict is naturally concerned with power, relationship and opinions. Due to conflict, relationships break up and in some cases set up between individuals or groups of people. Balance between powers also leads to conflict; one party wins and others loses or the parties sign a treaty to make peace. Sometimes disagreement with opinions of a person also may lead to conflict. All these phenomena shape our worldview, knowledge, perception about us and others, differences between truth and lie, philosophy and education.

However, the parties involved in conflicts may have power distance. The parties can be either individuals or group of people or a nation. The parties having greater power win over the parties having less power naturally and may go for oppression or strikes. Besides, the parties invlolved make the environment warmer than usual during conflicts. The usual environment of conflict are seemed to be unstable, insecured, imbalanced and exciting. Moreover, the behaviours of the parties involved in conflicts are likely to be either oppressive or hostile.

There are several types that Conflicts can be divided into. The first one is ‘intra-state conflict’ refers to a situation where armed forces of a government are in conflict with the a group of civilian forces. A better example of such conflict would be the ongoing conflict in Syria and Bangladesh. The second type of conflict is ‘inter-state conflict’ refers to conflict within governments of different countries. Current conflicts between China and Vietnam and the two World War fall under this category. The third type is ‘non-state conflict’ which is the conflict between two different groups other than governments. Political conflict is the next type which can be remarkably noticed at many places around the world. The fifth type is ‘socio-cultural conflict’ includes ethnic, religious and also ideological conflict. The sixth type is ‘Economic conflict’ of which European Union is a current example facing economic crisis especially the outstanding debts of Greece is affecting the common economic policy of EU. The seventh type is ‘territorial conflict’ which is the conflict between countries focusing mainly on the border issues. The sea-borders conflict between Bangladesh, India and Myanmar in the last decade is an example of such conflict.

Furthermore, ‘Religious conflict’ can be divided into some sub-divisions. For example, ‘Inter-religious conflict’ is the conflict among different religious groups in Nigeria. Secondly, ‘Intra-religious conflict’ refers to the conflict within the same religions. The similar conflict can be noticed in Iraq among Sunni’s and Shiite’s. Ethno-religious conflict among different ethnic groups fighting for religious ideology also can be noticed in few parts of Africa.

The term ‘Irredentism’ refers to the claim of territories by other states on a particular land of similar ethnicity, culture or historical relationship. A better example of irredentism would be the land of ‘Kurdistan’ where the Kurdish people are the majority and fighting to claim their land as a sovereign territory. The concept of ‘separation’ indicates separation of group of people by themselves or by the force of external parties. The similar scenario can be noticed in Myanmar among ‘Rohingya’ people and in Malaysia among ‘Orang Asli’ people. The concept of terrorism in this age has been widely used by western media due to human-made catastrophe in different places around the world. What was the definition for Terrorism in the past century has faced changes and it is realized how dangerous, catastrophic and horrifying terrorism can be. The religious terrorist groups in Afghanistan and underground smuggling group in Thailand and in other western countries are remarkable example of terrorist groups. Unlike all these which directly occur or help to occur conflict, there is a theory first propagated by Mahatma Gandhi, the great Indian leader to follow non-violent alternatives in avoiding conflicts.

Eventually, I believe, this is not the end of knowing all about conflicts. The brief explanations may have given us a glance only, but the actual realization would be achieved through continuing study on the actions to take on conflict resolution and to implement them successfully.

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