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Peace And Conflict Studies

Think of any conflict you are aware of (on a domestic, national or global scale) and break it down into the seven stages of Conflict Escalation (attached). Describe what happened in each of the different stages. Discuss how well you thought the template fitted the conflict you described, and also the usefulness of being able to deconstruct a conflict in this manner.

Sample Answer

Domestic Violence is not the problem of the family. It is an absolute crime that results in severe injury or death. There are many cases all around the world in which people suffer from domestic violence became the victim of life. Every day there are cases where the partner is beaten up by their spouse or friends and ends their life. However, violence is not an issue, and the primary issue is to hide it from the law an remain silent. The one who is the victim of violence should raise their voice at the beginning before it gets too late and ends up in something disastrous.

Conflict Escalation
The conflict can be any whether domestic, national or global can be escalated into seven stages. The stages are:

Specific Problem or issue: Domestic conflicts are personal conflicts that are the part of families and friends. Let's take an issue of personal conflict where the husband beats his wife every day for multiple reasons such as going out for shopping, talking with her friends, not preparing good food, bringing her friends inside the home and so on. The issue of conflict is the wife's daily activities which are not liked by the husband and ends up in violence.
Personal Antagonism: This stage of the conflict escalation explains that the issue is not related to the problems, but the issue is with the person related to the issues. In this case of domestic abuse, the actual problems are the wife's activities, but at this stage, the problem has shifted from the activities to the wife. Now, the main issue or problem for the husband is his wife. He is not fond of her wife anymore due to many other reasons that's why he is not liking any of her activities and ends up beating her which is the case of domestic violence.
Defensiveness: This stage of conflict escalation explains defensiveness. In this, the other part or the victimized party also made movements through words or actions for defending the violence. In this case, the women who are getting beaten up by her partner every day has become defensive and try to put her visions or point of view in carrying out the activities that are not liked by the husband. She can defend by saying that she has gone grocery shopping for home or she did not invite her friends, and they came by themselves. She can also stop her husband from beating her by holding his hands comes in actions of defending.
Expansion of issues: This stage of the conflict escalation is about expanding the issues. When conflict arises, it will result in an expansion of the problem. This way the criticality of the problem also increases and it becomes even more challenging to come out it. In this case of domestic violence, when it is the husband who was angry and disputing with his wife, the matter was heated up from one side, but after the defensive stage, both the parties get involved in the quarrel, and the issue expands and reaches to a more significant level.
The breakdown in Communication: This level of conflict escalation describes when one of the two parties break down in the dispute. This case represents that the victim wife who is getting tortured by her husband is continuously suffering from emotional, physical and mental stress can break down earlier than the husband. The situation arrives, when there seems to be no solution to the problem or the other party is rigid in the destructive behavior and not in a good mood to settling up or ending the issue.
Spiraling mistrust: This stage is about spiraling mistrust. It develops when the parties involved in the dispute are left with two options whether hit or run. Both the actions are not the part of any solution but are just a method of escalation or ending the problem. In this case, it is more likely the possibility that the husband keeps on insulting his wife irrespective of her appeals and suitable answers to the issues. This explains that the husband is not going to solve the matter in any circumstance, so the wife needs to respond or step back from the issue.
Polarisation: At this stage of the conflict, the parties involved in the dispute are no longer able to stay at the same place. Polarisation is the time when they seek for separation, divorce, and others. Anyone of them gets away from the place to somewhere else and carry on with their dispute from a distant place until the dispute ends. In this case of domestic violence, the wife is considered as the significant victim and decides to get away to some other place. The case will open and continue until the parties reach the end such as divorce. Both husband and wife must have agreed for the divorce before filing a divorce. The process continues followed by a separation where the parties need to stay away from each other for some specific time.
It can be concluded from the entire discussion that, these seven stages of conflict escalation undergo all the possible ways of ending the dispute. The last stage occurs when all the methods fail, and there is no chance of settling up.

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