CONFLICT THEORIES 1: WE MUST FIGHT,IT IS INEVITABLE

There are no general theories that cut accross all conflicts to explain them,but we can rightly argue that most conflicts revolve around competition for power,ideologies and resources due to ethno-socio-economic and political conflicts. Mwagiru Makumi,2006 argues that different conflict traits give rise to the theories discussed hereafter. Karl Marx also has many conflict theories associated with him with classical scholars like Emmanuel Kant,George Hegel and Ludwig Feuerbach having the same mind.

1. MARX’S THEORY OF CAPITALISM AND CLASS CONFLICTS
The comprador bougeoisie own the means of production while the proletariat provide labour. The latter are manipulated. Conflicts arise. According to Marx,this exploitation takes place in three distinct stages:
(a) Merchant Capitalism of 1600-1850
This is the accumulation of capital through slave trade and plunder where an estimated 9 million slaves were shipped accross the Atlantic and 2 million died of harsh conditions. This hampered African population growth;fuelled inter-tribal wars;killed trans-saharan trade among Africans;Africans became dependent and inter-locking of economies started.
(b) Colonialism
This involved forceful control of production and labour force.
(c) Neo-colonialism
This is where a country is sovereign in theory but her economic system and internal policy is directed from outside in practical thus conveying the ideology of the outside world.

2. INHERENCY&CONTIGENCY THEORIES
Mwagiru,’06 is the father of this school of thought which argues that conflict is inherent in all humans. We are all born aggressive and it is through the struggle in the championing of our ideas to be good that the society can progress.

3. MAHATMA GANDI,1864-1920
He pioneered non-violence resistance to tyranny through civil disobedience and championing for easing of poverty;expanding human rights,religious and ethnic unity and self-reliance and increasing the economy. He led India to independence and the whole world strives to get along with his doctrine.

4. REALISM
Pioneered by Thucydides,Hobbes,Machiavelli as the classical realists and Hans Morgenthau (1965-1985), human nature and international relations are conflictual and can only be resolved by war. Conflict is inevitable,and so is war.

5. THE CLASH OF CIVILISATION BY SAMUEL HUNTINGTON,1996
Conflicts will occur to groups of different civilisations and that people’s cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-cold-war world.

6. PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORIES
These theories are significant in explaining conflict but are not sufficient.
(a) Frustration=aggression theory
Aggression is the result of aggression. Frustration is aggression. Aggression is activated by certain levels of frustration. (J. Dollard et al,1980) Mwagiru is however a strong opposer of this.
(b) John Burton and Hubert Kelman use the psychologists view to argue that there are human needs like need for security,identity and recognition that people,both at individual and institutional level will strive to achieve even at the expense of personal disorientation and social disruption. Conflicts will thus not stop unless these needs are attained.

Posted on August 9, 2012, in HUMAN RIGHTS AND CONFLICTS. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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