Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa
ISSN: 1647-7251
Vol. 7, Nº. 1 (May-October 2016)
This thematic issue of Janus.net is dedicated to the Management and Resolution of
Conflicts, and is part of the more general framework of a project on this subject in the
OBSERVARE's course. With this initiative, we intend to contribute to the study of the
Management and Resolution of Conflicts in a systematic and coordinated manner, fully
convinced of its importance and the need for academia in Portugal devoted to it. The
OBSERVARE is to be congratulated for the courage to promote this endeavour.
The conflicts of the twentieth/twenty-first century have shown a special capacity to
threaten stability and peace on a global scale. Their complexity cannot sympathise with
simplistic approaches. This special issue seeks to contribute reflections on these issues,
both theoretically and practically, aware that efforts to inhibit the potential of
aggression organised by and in States, or at least reduce it significantly, requires
thorough analysis.
This exercise will be done by adopting a constructive approach to conflicts, seeking to
minimise violence, overcome antagonism between opponents, persuade them to accept
proposed political solutions and make them produce stable and lasting results.
Since the Management and Resolution of Conflicts is a complex domain with many
interdependencies, in this edition we tried to explore the convergence and
complementarity of knowledge in Conflict Resolution and International Relations, which
have led scholars and practitioners of these disciplines to build links in communication
between both communities.
Specifically, this special issue presents a range of approaches to the management and
resolution of intra-state conflicts based on non-violent and violent methods used in
times of war, negative peace and transition to positive peace.
The article by Gilberto Oliveira presents the theme of pragmatic pacifism, which
conceptualises the strategic/pragmatic aspects of non-violent action. It is distinct from
other non-violent approaches for its non-institutional agency and its "direct action" as a
means of pressure and resistance. Pragmatism is based on the fact that political power
and hierarchies depend, ultimately, on consent and cooperation. Through non-violent
action, it is possible to deny or block this source of power and thus strengthen the
power of resisting groups. Strategy is a requirement for success of non-violent actions
of protest, persuasion, non-cooperation and non-violent intervention. Despite periods of
negative peace being a more common method, such as in the recent "Arab Spring", it is
also used in times of war, as was the case in the 1990s in the wars in the Balkans or in
the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace movement in 2003.
The article by Alexandre de Sousa Carvalho discusses the institutional solutions of
power-sharing as a way to avoid violence, which are often applied in multi-ethnic
1 The translation of this text was funded by national funds through FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e
a Tecnologia - as part of OBSERVARE project with the reference UID/CPO/04155/2013. Text translated by
Thomas Rickard.
JANUS.NET, e-journal of International Relations
ISSN: 1647-7251
Vol. 7, No. 1 (May-October 2016), pp. 1-2
Introductory note
Carlos Branco and Ricardo de Sousa
societies. Being closely related to democratic peace theory and avoiding zero-sum
games, it is also found as a governmental solution in autocratic states. However, the
frequent use of power-sharing models as mechanisms for conflict resolution in post-
election or conflict escalation periods puts forward specific questions about power
undermining the democratic model.
António Oliveira's article focuses on the transformation of conflict resolution goals with
recourse to the use of force, an exclusively military intervention in war, but that also
understands social and civil security. In the context of increasingly complex and
multidimensional interventions, the article discusses the principles of the use of force,
its challenges and effectiveness.
The article by Madalena Moita focuses on the evolution of the concept of peace in the
United Nations, where ideas of peacekeeping and the concept of building peace are
seen together in the spirit of Galtung's concept of positive peace. Through an analysis
of United Nation interventions in Guatemala and Haiti, it is noted that the concept of
positive peace has not been attained. Moreover, the evaluation processes used in the
United Nations should be focused not only on results, but also on the processes through
which mandates are implemented.
Ricardo Sousa's article seeks to identify the mechanisms of the genesis of the transition
of negative peace into civil war as a way to better identify ways of resolving conflict.
The paper tests the model of "greed" and "claims" together with the role of leadership
and external interventions in four initiation and intensification periods of conflict in
Angola between 1961 and 2002. The results suggest the saliences of external
intervention during the Cold War, economic "greed" (associated with oil, diamonds,
poverty and war capital) and leadership in the post-Cold War period to be important
factors. The case study also identifies that "greed" and "complaints" may be
interconnected and are not independent mechanisms.
The edition also includes notes and reflections from José Milhazes on the meeting of
Francis I and Kirill I, head of the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church respectively,
on 12 February 2016. The meeting is framed in its political aspects, and it also reflects
on the role of the two churches in the "war between Christians" in the Ukraine.
Carlos Branco and Ricardo de Sousa