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The Role of Conflict Analysis in Conflict Resolution: Reflections on International Mediation. The Case of Angola

Porto, Joâo Gomes (2002) The Role of Conflict Analysis in Conflict Resolution: Reflections on International Mediation. The Case of Angola. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94376) (KAR id:94376)


In face of the growing number of armed conflicts worldwide and their increasing complexity, conflict resolution theory development is an imperative. That such an imperative has already resulted in the development of a number of specific methodologies for the resolution of contemporary armed conflicts is very positive in a conflict landscape constituted by wars which are structurally different. However, only a fraction of ‘new wars’ and 'wars of the third kind’ have benefited from the application of these new and innovative approaches to conflict resolution. The ‘Clausewitzian universe’ continues to exert its influence and 'conflict resolution' at the international level ostensibly remains characterised by dispute settlement processes, achieved through the use of international negotiation tools such as bargaining. ‘Conflict resolution’ remains overwhelmingly about power brokerage between groups in conflict. Nevertheless, ‘new wars’ and 'wars of the third kind’ are notoriously resistant to such ‘resolution’ methods and in some cases they have contributed to their very protractedness. Why should contemporary conflicts be so fundamentally incompatible with resolution by negotiation and bargaining? Equally important, what are the reasons behind practitioners’ insistence on such processes, when they have repeatedly proven inadequate in the resolution of current wars? At the root of this problem is the issue of conflict analysis. Understanding these two different issues requires a discussion of the assumptions upon which conflict resolution theory has been developed and the underlying beliefs of practitioners involved in conflict resolution. Conflict analysis and the way armed conflicts are explained have been at the root of both the development of conflict resolution theory as well as underlying actions towards conflict resolution. It is only through the wider application of adequate conflict analysis to the practical world of conflict resolution and diplomacy that processes which emphasise the facilitated analysis of underlying, also termed structural, sources of conflict will be achieved.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Williams, Andrew
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94376
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Negotiation, Conflict Analysis, Conflict Resolution, Angola
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2023 09:54 UTC
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2023 09:54 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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