Stefan Wolff: The path to ending ethnic conflicts

To put it differently, for the civilians that suffer the consequences of ethnic conflict and civil war, there is no good war and there is no bad peace.”

A good place to start thinking about the way forward from Ethnic Conflicts to Conflict Resolution!!!

If you liked this talk, you will love these critical comments.

Ben Jarvis

Nov 13 2010: fantastic speech, but to me it seems he’s made a pretty big assumption: that the parties both want peace. doubtless in conflicts around the world even if both parties say they want peace, it’s likely that what one or both truly wants is to wipe the other party from existance, and participating in negotiations are just so the rest of the world doesn’t step in and prevent that from happening. furthermore even if both parties do want peace, they can have reasons (possibly religious but not necessarily so) that compell them to continue the violence despite their distaste for it. the solution to conflict is to ensure all sides truly want peace. to offer something constructive – conflicts arise when one group feels it’s more deserving than another. when we stop thinking of ourselves as divided, them and us, liberals and conservatives, kurds, serbs, blacks, whites, jews and christians, and accept that that other person is just another human, no more or less, then we will have peace.


avdoot swami

Nov 30 2010: I for one feel this whole discussion to be useless babble. As Einstein so well put it, ‘you cannot solve the problems of the world with the same mentality that brought them about in the first place.’ Your rhetoric and logic is all of the same mentality that sees differences in people. The right way of thinking is actually realizing that these bags of skin are only shells surrounding the conscious living being who is neutral to any material description. That realization can come if people submit to real education from the textbooks of Vedic wisdom such as the Bhagavad Gita. For a fact, the body is external and race, religion and ethics stand in the way of understanding the actual self. Self-knowledge has to be taught and understood from childhood otherwise we develop false identification with the temporal bodily designation that , ‘I am American’ , ‘ I am Chinese’, ‘ I am Russian’, etc. This is all a false pretense since the body is just a bag of blood and fat that decays and dies.


Theodore A. Hoppe

Nov 10 2010: This talk could be boiled down to oversimplification 1-4, but let’s focus on the point about how leadership, diplomacy, and institutional design can save lives, tens of thousands of lives. Ethnic conflicts are no longer the local problem they once where. They have global implications: Resources matter, especially when rebels can use lootable resources or contraband such as alluvial diamonds, drugs, or timber to fund their struggle (Buhaug and Lujala 2004; LeBillon 2001; Ross 2004, 2006). Specific terrain features such as forests or mountains sometimes lengthen wars, as well. Third party intervention’s effect depends on its form, timing, and neutrality (Collier, Hoeffler, and Soderbom 2004; Eldabawi and Sambanis 2000; Regan 2002). As with all TED talks, this is merely a starting point, where an important issue is being brought to our attention by a knowledgeable source.


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