The first chapter of the book talks about the peace-making and de-escalation strategies. It discusses the theoretical approaches of statism, pluralism and populism in reference to the international conflict. The author of the book convinces the reader that effective conflict resolution should make use of convincing power and positive sanctions. Therefore, he argues that win-win solutions are achievable in international conflict. In the second chapter the relation of US and USSR and cases of Middle East are used to observe the de-escalation efforts.
The third chapter takes the example of US-USSR and Arab-Israel de-escalation activities to present some chronologies. Four de-escalation patterns are identified using these chronologies: frequency of initiatives, multiple de-escalation initiatives, and activity level of activity among conflicting countries. In chapter four the author explains the reasons of de-escalation activities and its timings. Factors such as domestic situation, international perspective, and associations between conflicting parties are the presented in this chapter. (Conflict Research Consortium Staff, 2010)
Chapter five explains the process of initiating the process of negotiation. The author explores different initiatives and tells which ones are more effective for negotiations. The chapter brings into light the factors resulting in negotiations between conflicting parties. Chapter six explores the negotiation process completely. Kriesberg presents the example of US-USSR and Arab-Israel to analyze different negotiated agreements (Mitchell, 1996). Taking into account these examples, the author creates guidelines for effective negotiations. In chapter seven the author describes the consequences of negotiations.
It identifies the effective negotiations leading to long-term de-escalation efforts. Chapter eights draws on the conclusion of peace making efforts. With the help of his findings, he concludes the way in which some countries improve their relations and others still remain conflicted. The last chapter analyzes the impacts of conflicts between nations. The author explains the cost that the countries have to bear and presents policies. In the end, the author comes up with the relationship between peace-making and de-escalation (Conflict Research Consortium Staff, 2010).
This book is a comprehensive study of international conflict de-escalation process. With the use of chronologies and tables, the author makes the study more meaningful and easy to understand. It contributes to the study of international relations by presenting a conflict resolution perspective. The book addresses the issue which needs future consideration. Kriesberg’s work lacks theoretical implication but it is practical. International conflict resolution is pioneered in this work and brought it into consideration. The author presents his idea in a persuasive way and explains easily why some inflicts are protracted.
The book provides some useful concepts to resolve conflicts and peace-making policies (Simon, 1994). However, book limits itself in providing propositions about the irreversible and complex processes. It raises some important issues like what are the conditions that result in de-escalation initiatives? In what conditions these initiatives leads to negotiations? And finally, how these negotiations results in agreements? The author is successfully able to answer these questions in an effective way (Holsti, 1993). Strengths and Weaknesses of the Book The book is a well organized and well-written by the author.
It provides sound understanding of the arguments presented by the author. The unique feature of this book is that the author is able to identify the impacts of agreements. He is able to put forward the questions that are critical to international relations and are helpful in peace-making agreements. However, the methodology adopted in evaluating these questions is off-putting but comes up with some effective conclusions and future policies. Moreover, Kriesberg is not able to justify the causes of failed negotiations and some successful initiatives (Holsti, 1993).
Hence, the book faces some validity issues. The analysis throughout the book is enriched by historical references and material representing opportunities and constraints, both in international and domestic context. The author emphasizes that good will and the positive attitude of the people is critical to negotiations. It encourages them and motivates them to work in the right direction and reaching some agreements. Therefore, the book is less controversial and is able to present a broader and positive view of the author.
Another advantage of this book is that it provides references according to the context that helps in the better understanding of the arguments and provides the author an easy way to justify his reasoning. The historical material enhances the validity of the content presented in the book. The approach adopted by the author is to provide long lasting solutions to the problems, which is a more practical approach. Kriesberg in this book is able to provide approaches that are complete in nature as many authors have been providing approaches that do contribute a lot but are incomplete.
Kriesberg has clearly presented the strengths and weaknesses of the concepts and approaches that he has used in the book. However, due to the use of just two major conflicts, the issue of comparison arises. The drawback of the book is that the language used in the book is difficult to understand by the reader, however, the content of the book is highly informative, providing insight into the subject. By dividing the book into number of chapters, the book is presented in a proper flow that makes the understanding much easier.
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