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Skopje, 2007

Intensity in creating identities, cultural diversities and practices,

awakening of forgotten identities of groups and conflicts such process
creates, represent the second side of the coin of globalization of
international relations, postmodern societies, and those in transition
towards democracy.1 Such new particularity, fragmentation, new
tribalism, etc., are promoted like a global tendency. In this regard, this
tendency is part of globalization and at the same time is its opposition
as well.
In context of the theory of nation and democracy, new questions
on old topics were raised, of the kind: ‘Who are we …?’ by S. P.
Huntington, on the American nation with regard to losing classical
axis of domination by American Protestant white elites (WASP), and
incoming Hispanicization. In another yet context questions were
opened relating to the fall of politics of ‘integration’ (whatever was
conceived by that term, and was not conceived within the European
discourse and not so much in detail) and crisis of the European
identity. Challenge to the European democracies represented non-
integrated large immigration segments, their nationals, and those who
were not that. The world of ‘deep diversities’ opened, somehow at the
same time, with issues relating to ‘introduction of multiculturalism’ of
societies in Southeast Europe. These societies, being democratized
in the normative frameworks of liberal democracy, were unpleasantly
surprised by their own multicultural reality that was being politically
Then, of course, there is the ‘old’ topic on challenge towards
universalism of the education ethics or ethical code of the Western
world, in moment of triumph of liberalism and discourse of human
rights, by Eastern cultures, Islam, etc. Cultural relativism and
communitarian discourses further give rise to this issue and so set
down the postmodern horizon of moral without having a universal,
single ethical code.

Sydney Mintz calls this a universal feature/capability of a human being to create cultural values
and afterwards to behave according to them; Immanuel Wallerstein says that the same feature is
added by ability to use cultural strategies in order ‘to lie oneself and others’. Cf. : Sydney Mintz
W., The Power of Sweetness and Sweetness of Power, 8th Lecture, Denventer: Van Loghun
Slaterus, 1988; Wallerstein Immanuel, The Ideological Tensions of Capitalism, in J. Smith ed,
Wesport, CT, Greenwood Press,1988.

There is tendency with some authors addressing this issue to
see it, let us say, from ideological/geographical aspect. That is to say,
the rise of the phenomenon of group/identity topics and conflicts is
outcome of the fall of ideological bastions of authoritarianism and
former great monarchies. In other words, that this is supposedly the
outcome of introduction of Eastern, Oriental, or, simply, non-Western
values and civilization. Huntington’s inspiration to some extent is also
outcome of this aura. In other words, this claims that cultural/national
crises emerge in societies in transition towards democracy and such
crises are explained by inherited injustice towards minority groups,
unequal access to resources, actually a struggle to ‘… keep
minorities from losing…’ (W. Zartman, 1996).
This is the horizon of debates on territorial demarcation,
secession, or irredentism in societies in transition (S. Woodward), or
on instruments as discussed by W. Kymlicka: rights of self-rule, and
special representation rights.2
However, a more profound and empirically more responsible
analysis shows quickly that identity conflicts are not only the outcome
of intergroup diversities in culture, or of primordial hatred,
remembering blood, distribution of resources, etc, but also of the
stress caused by contemporary mass anonymous life and the global
economy, i.e., that they are equally ‘a Western phenomenon’. Then
‘fear’ (Z. Baumann) is introduced in the discourse. Namely, fear and
issues on uncertainty, security, safety of human life and own group –
that identity and primary links/groups provide (regardless if it is
realistic or illusory).
Whether you would approach this ‘awakening’ or process in
defensive manner, as done by S. Huntington (with his thesis on the
start of threats to Western democracies and nation-states), or you
would approach it in context of further ‘democratization of
democracy’, of re-establishing balance between liberal individualistic
principles and group rights/justice, depends on the very profile of
authors in this field. For us, it is important to define the basic
character of this process, in order to be able to establish the identity
of issues on its thematization in the political theory.
Among other things, this debate opened new perspectives
within discussions on the theory of equity, human rights, theories of

Susan Woodward, Redrawing Borders in a Period of Transition , ed. Milton J. Esman and
Shibley Telhami, International Organizations and Ethnic Conflicts, Cornel University Press , New
York , 1995 ;
Will Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1995.

transition, conflictology, crisology, and, even more important, it
opened a line of new return to the notion of ‘culture’.

Our subject matter in this book will be part of that front of

debates relating to specifics in creating cultural identities from aspect
of their confliction dynamics. This represents the basis for further
theses that will address the conflict zones by means of ‘theory’ of
prevention, cessation, and negotiation in identity conflicts.
The basic thesis of this text that I would like to present an
argument in favor of is: that there is motivation and basis to morally
oppose/classify, and then prevent violence in politics; that there is no
determinism in outbreaks of violence in this identity conflicts; and that
it is important for the entirety of democratic opportunities in societies
with multicultural structure.
We would like to leave considerations of the very ‘final’ conflict
resolution as well as reasons for conflict appearance, for the final
section of this book. That ambition is difficult to attain on short, and
even long-term by means of political experiences. This means we
would agree with reasonable ambition of the text to outline a basis for
living with conflicts, in conflict situation (according to U. Beck, in the
risky, late-modern society; or, according to E. Gidense, with
apocalyptic opportunities in societies of high modernism) that is
‘diluted’ and neutralized in context of politics and political system to
such extent allowing functioning of democracy and ‘viable states’. Our
aim would be to try suggesting experiences relating to processes and
certain institutional solutions that serve as shock absorber for
conflicts of the said type and create conditions for democracy. These
democracies do not have to be necessarily well-known standards in
’the Western world’. Namely, we would here prepare ourselves for
what Hermen Van Gunsteren calls ‘terra incognita of multicultural
societies and their democracy’.3

All this construction I have presented needs to be consciously

supported by a minimalist ethical platform. This is especially
necessary when we let ourselves ‘recommend’ resolutions and
methods in disputes and conflicts between diverse cultural/ethnic
segments. We would borrow this minimalist ethical configuration from

H.V.Gunsteren, A Theory of Citizenship, Westviev Press, Oxford, 1998.

few authors: sociologist Sigmund Baumann,4 and two philosophers
Richard Rorty,5 and John Gray.6
Three connecting ethical judgments or theses make the ethical
configuration. The first one is that violence as such is not necessary;
that it is not ‘destined’ or ‘predetermined’ to conflict resolution, in any
context, be it even in context of interethnic political situation. On the
contrary, violence makes conditions harder and sometimes even
destroys any chances for political solution. In other words, it is
claimed that majority of people, experts, or ‘reasonable’ citizens can
understand this and be motivated to eliminate violence, or at least its
most cruel forms, from the political discourse.7
The second ethical premise refers to our attempt to suggest
resolution. Then we would need to carefully avoid that modern,
universalistic model, that specific universalism that is in constant
search of rules that ‘will be valid on all occasions’ and of foundations
that will not ‘be shaken’. We will try to clearly distance ourselves from
such ‘modern’ ethics that suggests non-ambivalent, non-aporetic
ethical code. Especially when such attempts hide a campaign to
suppress differences and eliminate all ‘wild’, autonomous,
disobedient, and uncontrollable sources of moral judgments. Modern
societies practice, sometimes, moral narrow-mindedness under the
pretext of promoting universal ethics.
We will try to advocate another position and try to support it by
political and law-based methodology and technique, which consists of
the following: skepticism in ‘objectively established moral’. A moral
Reference would be especially his Postmodern Ethics, published by Templum, Skopje, 2005.
Richard Rorty, see in: The Priority of Democracy to Philosophy, Objectivism, Relativism and
Truth, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1994; Contingency, Irony and Solidarity,
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1989.
Cf. John Gray, Two Faces of Liberalism, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2000; False Dawn, The
Delusions of Global Capitalism, London, Gants Books, 1998; Enlightenment's Wake, Routledge,
London, 1994; End-games, Polity Press, Cambridge, 1997; Isaiah Berlin, Princeton University
Press, Princeton , 1996 .
We would like to express our gratitude especially to Richard Rorty’s pragmatic defense of moral
obligations in democracy which he amounts to several conclusions: the only moral obligations of
people in democracy is the capacity for empathy, elimination of humiliation of the others, and
solidarity. In the cited essay, Priorities of Democracy Over Philosophy, Rorty advocates the thesis
that for a functioning of a reasonable democracy, it is not necessary to have philosophical
foundation of the system and universalistic ethics (this is also our point of departure). Rorty
indeed concludes in powerful manner that once we have freed ourselves from the obligation to
serve supernatural determinants and nonhuman sources of power and legitimacy, the only thing
left to us as basis for regulation of our society is our definite human destinies and contingency,
i.e. our feeling of being related to others in the group and solidarity in context of our culture.
LIBERAL CULTURE is the cement of the public moral, and justification of democracy is simply
based on its comparative advantages from other societies in history or the non-feasibility of
Utopian projects. Such non-metaphysical advocacy of democracy represents a sound basis for us
for the situation of inter-cultural evaluation so needed in mediation in interethnic conflicts.

position is always ambivalent and depends on the individualistic
responsibility of the person making moral decision. It seems this is
some kind of ‘the original sin’ of moral as such. Moral judgments are
undeniable aporetic, difficult to make universal, and to some extent
‘irrational’. Uncertainty, moral responsibility, and evaluation always
follow every moral situation, even this one of evaluation and
proposing resolution to interethnic conflicts.8
None of this put together certainly advocates a moral or cultural
relativism to the ultimate consequences. This position only wants to
morally conceive and/or evaluate the fact of appreciating cultural
diversities and make further consideration of the question: how is it
possible for people living in one country and sharing diverse cultures
that even cannot be reduced to a common denominator, to have a
common moral position?
If it is possible to have some kind of aesthetic soft universalism,
then it must come out of a self-reflexive, morally responsible and (at
the same time) uncertain evaluation by citizens themselves. To
evaluate what is best to do for myself and others, in concrete
situation full of tensions and conflicts, as found in societies of late-
modern or postmodern conditions. This would especially be the
outcome of reflexive deconstruction of those small national/cultural
exclusivities and statements of the type: ‘after us, the Deluge’.
Deconstruction of nation-states, of nations in quest of their own
states, traditional communities, or communities in search of traditions.
Deconstruction of ancient and new tribes and similar vanity fairs.

Anyway, consequences of the debates on value and making the

policy of diversities in democratic societies operational are far from
being concluded or sporadic. Namely, they become center of political
discussions and social struggles. Uncertainly and importance of
responsibility in that new and old situation, on how to behave vis-à-vis
‘the otherness’, become painfully sharp. If the term integration does
not imply assimilation (it does not at least in context of a doctrine),
then perspective is opened for ‘post-integration’, or politics of
integration falls down. Of divided societies with deep cultural
diversities, within one democratic system, one state. Contacts
We found the viewpoints of Zigmund Baumann rather inspiring and helpful for this thesis. His
thesis that we live in a society in a multitude of organizational systems and cultures and that a
‘hard’ universalism is not possible of any ethic code – opened many horizons. Equally dangerous
and inspiring. On the other hand, its pointing out the role of the responsibility and uncertainty in
making moral judgments again makes ethics topical in a postmodern context, making it a
reasonable and necessary human struggle for elimination of fear and violence by means of

between cultures is present everyday on the street and ‘philia and
phobia’ towards foreigners and ‘others’ grows and becomes evident
as fluid. This further becomes ‘political’, within the good old definition
of the political by Karl Schmidt (antagonizing opposition all the way to
hostility itself).

The third guiding premise in this book is that the corresponding

‘soft universalism’ of human rights and liberalist principles – is both
possible and desirable. This would represent reference platform for
‘offering solutions’. Pragmatism is second such basis; it relates to
success level of certain models and solutions that are operatively
analyzed and proposed for conflicts in multicultural societies.

I expect that topics I address in this book would be part of the

reflexive discourse of ethics of postmodern cultural situations, such
as the Macedonian. Although we address ‘the harder’ side of such
policy – the one of conflicts, nevertheless this would be a contribution
towards self-understanding of complex, structured cultural and
political bodies/states such as multicultural ones.



2.1. Brief fact-finding support

Researches in the field of conflict resolution are basically a

contemporary concept. The work of pioneers in this field, like that of
Piririm Sorokin, 1937, or Quincy Wright, 1942-1951, further confirms
the thesis that systematic studies with analytical ambition and
relevance have appeared in recent times.9 Interest in this topic grows
proportionally with the dimensions of human suffering from conflicts
(especially internal conflicts and civil wars after the end of the Cold
War). Humanitarian interventions based on moral
judgments/arguments and expectations that solutions would be
possible in order to avoid violence emerged on sites scorched by fire.
Inclusiveness and mutual interconnection of the nation-states,
groups, and illusion of immediateness produced by world order
globalization caused these analyses to be focal point in the political
Systematic studies in this field exist since 1980s, and become
increasingly present in the 1990s and at the start of the new
Evolution of interests and outcome of analyses of conflict
resolution go together with evolution of the term ‘international
community’. This notion consists of different defocused, value-
focused groups, all the way to more ambitious projects especially in
some of the parts of the international community.
We would like to make a working suggestion, when using the
term ‘international community’, to take in account the following
factors: the leading Western democratic states and EU bodies; the
international organizations such as UN, UNHCR, UNHCHR; the more
influential action groups within the non-governmental sector; and the
democracy-promoting groups in Asia.

P. A. Sorokin, Social and Cultural Dynamics, American Books, New York, 1937 .
Q. Wright, The Nature of Conflict , Western Political Quarterly, IV, 2, 1951.
For more detailed chronology, see: Peter Wallensteen, Understanding Conflict Resolution,
Sage, London 2000; Preventing Violent Conflicts, Uppsala, 1998; and William Zartman,
Peacemaking in International Conflict, Washington USTP Press, 1997; Elusive Peace,
Negotiation an End to Civil Wars, Brookings, Washington 1995.

The aforementioned colloquial term must include certain value-
mobilized communities, such as: the Muslim countries and the
petroleum-producing countries; China; India; and Russia. Finally
these communities should be compatible with a ‘group’ called Pax
Americana, powerful grouping of countries especially connected with
the American role as leader in global politics; however this group
membership might change depending on focus of action.
Complementary subgroups can be additionally added to the
above groups. These subgroups can be identified as: Pax
Democratica, a group of democratic countries with stronger value-
centered cohesion; regional groupings, such as the Group 77 or
special, so-called security communities (according to words used by
Karl W. Deutsch, 1957). Some authors pay special attention to the
latter due to their decisiveness to carry our action when stability and
security of shared values and states are threatened.
I would like to set forth these designations since analysis of
subject matter of conflicts has produced an almost cult term of
‘guarantors, third side, arbiters’, and the likes that refer to the so-
called international community. This term can be considered basic
when one talks about the so-called preventive diplomacy or
preventive actions. In all these cases, mention is made of certain and
some ‘international factors or community’. This is not always done in
scrupulous manner. We consider it important to bring some clarity
and exactness in use of this term in every concrete situation of peace
agreements or conflict resolution agreements. Given these reasons,
we will emphasize which group has the role of mediator, guarantor, or
‘international factor’ in every concrete situation.

Given history and records of contemporary internal conflicts

and civil wars that concerns us in context of techniques used in
conflict resolution, we would consult mostly those after the end of the
Cold War.11 Just for the sake of comparison, we would use but not so
often data originating from the beginning of the 20th century, of after
According to such research, the total number of armed conflicts
in the 1989-1999 period was, on average, 40 – every year was
For more details on all types of conflict, see: Uppsala Conflict Data Project at the Department of
Peace and Conflict Research Uppsala University, given in Preventing Violent Conflict Past
Records and Future Challenges, Peter Wallensteen, 1998, Uppsala. Very detailed map of all
conflicts in Europe and of the European forces in the world is given by David A. Lake and Donald
Rothschild in The International Spread of Ethnic Conflict, Princeton University Press, Princeton,
1998, pp. 174-184.

marked by ongoing conflicts or by appearance of new and cessation
of old conflicts, with tendency of small reduction (1989 – 47 internal
conflicts; 1999 – 37 internal conflicts). The total number of internal
conflicts in this period was 48; on average 1/3 of them ended with
some kind of peace agreement or conflict resolution agreement.
These data shows us interesting tendency of reduction of internal
conflicts and corresponding increase in their number that were
negotiated and terminated with some kind of settlement or agreement
(according to customary standards, such agreement should last for a
year at least after the conflict in order to be considered an
implemented agreement). Namely, the 1945-1992 period recorded a
total of 56 internal clashes, 13 of which were ended by settlement,
i.e., 23% of the total number.12 Authors, who processed this issue, are
within the boundaries of percentage of internal conflicts with
‘negotiated settlement’ – going from 15% (Stenadman), then 17%
(Lickleader), and to the mentioned 23% (Mason and Fat), for the
relatively same period.

The said authors define average duration of conflicts in this

correlation: 153 internal armed conflicts, with at least 200 victims,
after WW II, had duration from one month to 50 years. The average
duration of these conflicts was from one to six years; even 30% were
shorter than one year; and yet there were conflicts of such nature
lasting more than 50 years (in Burma).13

2.2. Definition of CONFLICT

Let us return to the basic question in this section – definition of

the term conflict, in order to be able in the next sections to specify it in
context of cultural-identity groups – with complex of sources and
reasons for such conflicts.
Conflict in international relations, in the same way as in internal
relations within a given state, is actually part of the term DISPUTE. A
dispute is such situation when at least two actors (or sides in conflict,
regardless of the way they are structured) find themselves in a
Mason T. David and Patric J. Fett in How Civil Wars End, Journal of Conflict Resolution, 40,
1996 cite the said data, but Licklider Roy in The Consequences of Negotiated Settlements in Civil
Wars, 1995, American Science Review , 89 (3) gives somewhat lower percentage - 17 % of the
total of 87 civil wars in the said period. Likewise, Stephen Stedman, in Peacemaking in Civil
Wars, Boulder Co., 1991, gives a lower percentage - 15% but his period is 1900-1989.
See in: Patrick M. Regan, International Negotiation, op. cit. p. 366.

dynamic confrontation of their interests, which they consider
incompatible, incongruous. On the other hand, a CONFLICT is such
phase of a given dispute when said confrontation of interests (which
is a normal situation in social, especially democratic relations) has
tendency to become violent, involves threats, or violence has already
been used.14
Therefore what is colloquially called in everyday language and
even in parts of literature a ‘conflict’, actually represents a dispute; on
the other hand a conflict means a ‘violent phase’ of a given dispute. It
is possible to deconstruct dispute and conflict from different aspects;
in this context, two groups of definitions are mostly present in
literature: one aspect of definition involves the pragmatic and
phenomenological part of the term; the second aspect involves the
psychological, perceptive aspect of the term dispute/conflict.
Namely, according to first group of authors, it is important for a
conflict to give a single, synthetic definition, which is reductive and
minimalist. Afterwards, this definition can be deconstructed to its
integral parts and have them in detail further explained or analyzed.
This type of definitions is best represented by those given by
Ross Stagner, 1967. According to him, a conflict is situation when two
or more human beings desire goals and have interests they know or
are aware of that they cannot implement them all together at the
same time, but one. Stagner further says that there should be at least
two sides in a conflict. Additionally, every side should mobilize energy
to attain own goals, and every side should consider the other side an
obstacle or even a threat to own individualistic goals.15

Definition given by C. R. Mitchell (1981) is within this context.

According to him, a conflict represents every situation in which two or
more social entities or ‘sides’ consider they have own interests that
are mutually incompatible.16
What is important to add to these definitions so that the picture
of the term conflict becomes meaningful for analysis, is to separate it

The classical 'crises model' or conflict model is described by J. D. Morrow (1994), Game Theory
for Political Scientist, Princeton, NY, USA, Princeton University Press. He says that every conflict
has three players: the nature of the conflict; the challenger; and the challenged. The nature of the
conflict determines it as solvable or not solvable; while the challenger draws the second move
and decides whether to challenge or not the status quo. Regardless of the confronted interests, if
the challenger fails to draw a confrontational move, then there is no crisis/conflict.
Ross Stagner (1967): The Analysis of Conflict , ed R. Stagner, The Dimensions of Human
Conflict, Wayne State University Press, Detroit; Cf. Psychological Aspects of International
Conflict, Brooks/Cole, Belmont, California.
C. R. Michell, The Structure of International Conflict, MacMillan Press, UK, !981, p.17.

from the term dispute and potential conflict. This is especially
important in assessing situations in internal conflicts and in efficient
conflict management.
Namely, crucial prospects of existence of a conflict situation are
DYNAMIZATION of confronting interests, and not mere recording of
their static existence. It is necessary to have concrete and active
confrontation, head collision of incompatible interests of involved
actors in social sphere or international relations. It is not sufficient to
merely state or conclude that given actors have incompatible
interests in a static situation. This is a situation of ‘potential conflict’,
which can be activated, but ultimately it does not have to. Such
potentially conflict situation can remain frozen, or, following change in
social circumstances, it can disappear - partly or entirely. Many social
situations are potentially conflictive; and yet they are not activated
into conflict; as such, they cannot be defined as conflict.17
This is important because if an erroneous prospects are made
and potentially conflict situations are overrated or turned into or
replaced by conflict situations, then there could be poor prospects of
measures required to deactivate such ‘would-be’ conflict and one
might enter fully a ‘vicious circle’ of connected mistakes that would
compromise the project of conflict settlement. This in turn is crucial to
measures of the so-called ‘early warning’.
Failing to notice the very difference between potentially conflict
situation and genuine conflict situation is very frequent confusion in
practice of conflict management (especially present in the so-called
analyses of potential conflicts in the Western Balkans) and represents
basis for many failed analyses and proposed measures addressing
zones of high risk in that region.

Therefore, in a word, exactness of definition of a given term

implies its reduction towards basic and discrepant modifiers. It is very
important to avoid non-selectivity and mixing or interference in
situations that might be defined as similar to a given conflict, in order
to avoid risk in having that term diluted and stretched out; this in turn
would make the term analytically useless.

Second set of conflict definitions addresses perceiving

perspectives of involved actors. Bernard Mayer offers a rather good
example of such definitions. Hence, according to this author, (…) a
For similar conflict definition, see in: William Zartman and Guy Olivier Faure, Escalation and

Negotiation in International Conflicts, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2005, p. 4 .

conflict, as perception, (…) consists of the belief that interests of
involved actors are incompatible, in seeing them as such (actually
they do not necessarily have to be); conflict as sensation/emotion (…)
of confrontation, disagreement, resistance, bitterness, fear, or fury
(…) in a word, its emotional component; finally, conflict as action (…)
sum and articulation of actions for confronting interests (…)
mobilization of energy, organization, focusing, and risk assessment,
or ‘cost-profit’ analysis (its behaviorist component).18
The definition is based on existence of a value system of a
group that defines itself as special and seeks social space for
protection (in passive meaning) and development (in active meaning).
Conflict furthermore implies making prospects/perception and
mobilization by a given group on possible ‘enemies’ and how to
neutralize their intentions and goals (according to L. Coser, … to hurt
and neutralize the opponent…).19
Deconstruction of a conflict into its cognitive, emotional, and
behaviorist elements, although fails to provide a single synthetic
definition, still enables us to have a better understanding of complex
of terms relating to conflict; this in turn enables increase in capacity to
resolve a conflict. An example of this would be the so-called new
imaginative leadership of confronted groups that exactly relates to
ability of leadership to transform collective determinants, perception
of interests as incompatible – into interests that can be solved or are

2.2.1. Deadly conflicts

2.2.1. Separate subgroup of definitions relating to conflicts are

so-called DEADLY CONFLICTS, regardless if this are classified as
rebellions, insurgencies, or belligerencies. This involves conflicts
conducted with special intention to cause formidable human suffering
and losses. Conflicts of organized violence resulting in manslaughter
of great number of individuals or even genocide of entire groups and

Bernard Mayer , The Dynamics of Conflict Resolution, Josey-Bass, San Francisco, 2000, pp. 4-
9. This author both in more detailed and in different manner deconstructs conflicts, suggesting
'styles' of conflicts, such as: analytical versus intuitive; linear versus holistic; integrative versus
distributive; conflict focused on ways out versus conflict focused on process of confrontation;
emotional versus rational; direct versus indirect; threatening versus consolidation; etc.; pp. 42-44.
Coser L.A. , The Function of Social Conflict, Free Press, New York, 1956 .

From this aspect, Lake and Rothschild, for example, make
distinction on one hand between ‘large-scale’ internal conflicts
producing loss of more than one thousand lives, and medium- and
small-scale conflicts, on the other.20

From aspect of international law, civil wars are banned!

However, they still happen! According to present and predominant
interpretation of international common law, civil wars are not banned
as such and so this regulates the manner of involvement of a third,
interested side, as well as manner of application of principles of the
international humanitarian law in this type of conflicts. The general
dominant position is that civil wars represent internal affairs of the
countries in which these wars take place. In spite of such doctrinal
position, one still could differentiate in practice several levels of
violence intensity in internal conflicts, from aspect of possibilities of
involvement by a third side, and today from aspect of legal
establishment of a so-called humanitarian intervention.

Hence, one could make distinction between three types of

internal conflicts: rebellion; insurgency; and belligerency.
As far as rebellion is concerned, there is standpoint that it is an
affair of internal security of a given state/government; that
international law does not provide a position of interference by a third
interested side; and that no ‘internationalization’ is provided for a
rebellion as such.21 Certainly, definition of the term depends crucially
on the proportion of forces in the field and ability of authorities to
apply swift suppression/crushing down of a given rebellion. If this is
not the case, then definition of an internal crisis could be modified
together with the international law consequences. Hence, it would be
possible for a given crisis to be reclassified now as insurgency.22
David A. Lake and Donald Rothschild (ed), The International Spread of Ethnic Conflict,
Princeton University Press , Princeton 1998 ; as well as Donald Rothschild, Caroline Hartzell,
Matthew Hoddie , Stabilizing the Peace after Civil War, International Organization, 55/1, 2001. Cf.
The Responsibilities of Democracies in Preventing Deadly Conflict , Graham Allison and Hisashi
Owada, Carnegie Commission, New York, 1999.
According to the interpretation of the international common law, the government of a country in
risk, in case of REBELLION, may insist that the neighboring countries observe strict non-
interference, closing of their ports and land roads for use of rebels, etc.
This is what actually changed the position of the international community in the case of the
crisis in Macedonia in 2001. The initial reference was the existence of gangs and criminals from
Kosovo; however, after the failure of the Macedonian authorities to crush down that intervention
within a month and when some of the fights with the rebels started to be conducted in certain
Macedonian villages and towns (Lipkovo, Aracinovo, Tetovo), then reference of the crisis was
changed and so 'a door' was opened for international intervention in the segment of transforming
the clashes into a political solution and so the Ohrid Framework Agreement was made. Part of the

In case of ‘insurgency’, or an armed conflict with higher
intensity and longer duration, legalistically said, foreign states and the
international community are allowed, as sole actor, to assume
corresponding authority in interfering in the internal conflict. This is
made possible without having the given states to be in a state of war
with the state where an insurgency has broken out. The level of
internal crisis called insurgency is used to protect commercial and
private interests of foreign nationals as well as for opening the
process of conflict management by a group of states representing the
international community.
Classification of a given internal conflict as ‘belligerency’ (that
could almost imply status of a civil war) puts such conflict,
legalistically said, at same level as a war between states or an
international conflict. In other words, all dimensions are being opened
relating to rights and obligations of sides to the conflict in full
accordance with the international war and humanitarian law. The
status of ‘warring sides’ given to sides to an internal conflict is
extremely important since it has direct reflection on forms of peace
agreements and conflict resolution.23 In this stage, third countries,
guarantors, facilitators, mediators, etc., must take a rather more
neutral stance. Even in such state of affairs of conflicts (according to
G. Von Glan), it is nevertheless necessary to maintain that a
rebellious side is an integral part of a given society and state, the
government of which is fighting against such rebellious side.
Recognition of being a ‘side’ or ‘party’ in a conflict gives opportunities
general public in Macedonia has never accepted this and thought that the conduct of the
international community regarding the Macedonian crisis was dishonest and inconsistent (by
raising the question: 'What did really happen to us in 2001?', there were also insinuations by the
general public in Macedonia of some kind of international plot or conspiring).
For more detailed and condense definitions of the relationship of international law towards this
problem, see: J. Rosenau ed, International Aspects of Civil Strife, Janus Tormented: The
International Law of Internal War , 1964 ; or in Problems of International Law and World Order,
Problems in War Prevention by E. Castren, 1966, pp. 857- 886.
Here again we locate one of the confusions that are often raised in debates regarding the
positions of 'the sides' in agreements such as the Ohrid Framework Agreement in Macedonia.
Namely, this agreement does not have definition of the then existing situation as belligerency and
does not have position of 'sides'; on the other hand, the signatories of that agreement are the
legal political parties, but this is not always satisfactory for the newly created political parties of
'the rebels' who formally are not signatories but they feel they deserve most of the credit for the
character of the solutions therein. They feel such agreements in a more symbolic manner – just
as result of their successful actions. These new parties usually do not cherish and do not interpret
the provision of such agreements in their legal sense and meaning; they only see them as 'good
basis' for further demands and rights. Such interpretation of agreements can represent grounds
for their weakening and abandonment, which in turn opens a new possible crisis cycle. In this
moment of crisis of agreements, the role of the GUARANTORS/third countries is very crucial;
these third countries must firmly insist on the provisions of the agreement and its original

to a rebellious side to impose blockades of ports and roads and even
make confiscation of assets obtained from the so-called contraband
as part of military actions, without being labeled for ‘piracy’ or

2.2.2. Identity conflict

2.2.2. Let us finally go back to definition of IDENTITY

CONFLICT, being crucial to our subject matter.
According to most of the definitions consulted, a synthesized
one would be as follows: identity conflict is such type of conflict where
given actors define themselves, their own interests, reasons, and
aims of a conflict through ethnical, religious, or other cultural notions
and determinants. The dominant notion used for organizing all
mentioned determinants is the notion of IDENTITY, both in cases of
defensive sensation of identity threats and cases of offensive activity
to create opportunities for its development.

Therefore, SUBJECT of identity conflicts is a group (cultural,

ethnic, tribal, religious, linguistic, racial, etc.) with identity definition,
which is active towards outside, towards others, and towards inside,
towards own members, by means of different strategies for protection
or maintaining order and discipline. Such strategies are directed
towards further strengthening of identity features of a given group and
strengthening of security and social status (power) of the same

For needs of this work, we would have to take in consideration,

at least in working context, the model of ‘rational actor/subject’ in
identity conflicts. Being aware that many conflicts do not follow this
model or even are directly opposed to it. Such situation consequently
produces most of poor forecasts and even strategies for conflict
management. Nevertheless, we consider that methodically, having
under control the basic matrix of ‘rational actor’, we would be able to
define more easily situations of its digression, where conflict of
meanings, rationalities, and narratives takes place.

Certainly this leads to reduction of usability of the ‘rational actor
model’, or, at least, towards introduction of combinations with new
‘rationalities’ of viewpoints on logic of effects made by very actors.24

2.2.3. Notion of identity

2.2.3. The notion of IDENTITY, deconstructed and reassembled

in a definition, should answer the question why it is so important to an
individual, in his social context (group justice) and why it is important
for an individual in more internal context of self-awareness, self-
realization, and intimacy.
This notion is then deconstructed for several needs that it
serves for accommodation of a given individual. The first one is the
need of MEANING, a sense of what individuals they are and what
their place in society is. This is the need to have meaning in
everything they do and sacrifice for; in other words, this is need of
culture and history. The second one is the need of specific sensation
of COMMUNITY, a communal spirit with specifically defined part of
the entirety of the human race having similar ethnic roots, language,
history of rituals, religion, etc.; in other words – a culture. This is a
special type of ‘intimacy’ among group members, a special type of
relationship among them who do not necessarily know each other.25
Such intra-group ‘intimacy’ is the next need that the notion of identity
satisfies. The last one is AUTONOMY. Therefore, autonomy implies
the need to run ‘own affairs’, mostly without interference by overall
society and other groups. Autonomy stimulates group spirit and team
energy in action and requires to be respected such as it is - different.

Charles Taylor defines IDENTITY as self-reflexive action of an

individual. It is such action that develops and constructs identity by
means of self-reflection, as opposed to the theses that identity is just
a fixed sum of meanings in a given point in time and space. The
same author substantially connects identity with notions of

According to some authors (Bruce B.G. Clarke, Conflict Termination: Rational Model, US
National Security Studies, Pennsylvania, Institute for National Security), 'the rational actor'
functions taking in account: the goals of the conflict as the final points at which the attempts of the
actor are aimed at; the manners, as methods for attaining the goals; and the means, as resources
that need to be used in some concrete manner in attaining the goals.
In this context, Benedict Anderson talks about the nation (that might expand to all cultural
groups) as 'the imagined community. See: B. Anderson, Imagined Communities, Verso, New
York, 1992.

authenticity, demand for recognition, diversity concept, and principle
of equal dignity.
Adding to this, Richard Rorty and Wang underline that the
process of identity building through self-reflection differentiates
various levels of meanings, desires, and values that make it. Human
identity is formed by a set of ‘central desires and values’ that have a
more profound meaning for him. According to the said authors, these
would include: individual somatic dispositions; psychological
parameters and human temperament; social roles, social group
identities and cultural narratives; and the ideal identity (as
Making further connection to this line, another group of authors
underlines that, in cases of identity definition, great role is played by
moral conflicts and dilemmas, which an individual solves and is faced
with, thus forming his own identity. Such ones would involve four
- conflict of obligations; - conflict of goals; - conflict between
moral codes or views of the world; and, - views between different
moral requirements.

Just for a brief moment, let us go back to the identity

characteristic advocated by the said C. Taylor – to be RECOGNIZED,
to be seen as such – being different, in its demand for recognition.26
Namely, to be seen in own very distinction, specialty/diversity,
often can be a predominant perception for an individual, coming way
before other perceptions on similarities with own fellow citizens. To be
‘recognized’, according to C. Taylor, means to be accepted in specific
way – with dignity. This means with own authenticity, with affirmative
social recognition and respect. The demand to recognize equal value
for diverse cultures is reflection of deep human need to be
unconditionally accepted. The feeling of such acceptance that also
implies confirmation of the ethnic distinction and the universal
potential of individuals – is essential part of the identity feeling. The
policy of equal dignity is based on idea that all human beings equally
deserve respect.

Charles Taylor, The Politics of Recognition, Gutman (ed) 1994; Multikulturalizam, ogledi za
politikata na priznavanje, Evro-Balkan, Skopje, 2004 pp.: 25-57. Taylor says that identity is
partially formed by recognition, i.e., by its absence or mistaken recognition... Actually identity
recognition is part of the fundamental human rights because it has universal basis – everybody
has his own identity and a universal requirement authorizes recognition of specifics. Certainly
every identity implies a dialog character, sometimes in struggling with others...

The note raised by Taylor is very important in context of our
topic; namely that lack of recognition or, even worse, wrong identity
recognition creates ‘wounds’, makes damage, produces a form of
subjugation and so entraps an individual in reduced form of
existence. Sometimes forms of wrong identity recognition even can
imply various techniques for subjugation, should subjugated groups
accept underrated pictures about themselves and their own culture.

In this regard, when conflict definition uses the expression like

OWN or ONESELF for the very actor in question, this refers to the
notion of ethnic/cultural identity/diversity; however when using
expressions of the type ‘own interests’, their incompatibility with rival
ones, etc., then this refers to the notions: sensation of uncertainty;
identity at risk; struggle or even fight for resources; struggle for values
and social room for their reproduction; or, struggle against
marginalization in social status.27

Identity can function in different contexts and serve different

functions; the most important one to us is pathology of overemphasis
of the basic notion that identity uses in its creation and in making
distinctions from other ones. Namely – the notion of DIFFERENCE.
Especially its intensive, statically conceived, made under stress,
hypertrophied and conflictive/aggressive showing. Such
‘differentiation’, making differences on everything and at every
moment can easily make conflicts with own surrounding.
Our notional, definition-based cognitive activity unavoidably
follows the line of finding reductive, distinctive features in notions, as
basis for defining any one of them. The definition that would be
analytically useful is unavoidably based on finding a fundamental
difference from all other notions (Weber defended this long time ago).
However, such differentiation becomes dangerous if it is replaced in
and by reality, if it gets its own ‘reality, existing somewhere over there,
outside of its pure form and separate life. If a particular group thinks
its members are crucially distinctively different from all other things
and find themselves in antagonism with all other things, this can then
easily blur social contextualism and relations of its members.

Cf. David A. Lake, Donald Rothschild, ed., The International Spread of Ethnic Conflict, pp.154,
317, Princeton University Press, Princeton , 1998. In this book, Sandra Helperin claims that an
ethnic conflict is a conflict about political, social, economic, cultural or territorial issues between
two or more ethnic communities or groups. Cf. Dynamics Of Conflict Resolution, Bernard Mayer,
p. 9, Josey-Bass, San Francisco, 2000.

Some authors notice this and so underline that identity is based
on making constant differences from other identities, i.e., identity is
DIALOGICAL. Therefore, based not on finding similarities of the
single human kind, or common denominator of equality before the law
(this is presumption for democracy and constitutionality), but based
on constant construction of differences – cultural and traditional. In
this context, the notion of BORDER with and away from other
identities represents the most important notion for consolidation of a
given identity. Border, not similarity; demarcation vis-à-vis others;
pathological intensification of creating taboos on closeness within
given group members.
Herman Van Gunsteren claims that deep groups, as he calls
them, dominate social perception of its own members, their social
relations, and, ultimately, their self-perception. In place of ‘normal’
political conflicts, or demand making to the system by its citizens, we
have in turn constant raising doubts and threats about the very
‘citizenship’ and the fundamental consensus, i.e., the constitution of a
given society. Members of such identity groups become ‘primary
reality’ that determines all other things and so becomes challenge to
established civil consensus. This reality is additionally sees as
‘obvious’, ‘natural’, and undeniable; by this it attains advantage over
other socially constructed concords and consensuses.
Confliction of self-definition and social activity of group
IDENTITY, according to some authors, is universal human tendency. 28
It is much easier and more efficient to predict reactions of other
people when you base such reactions on their group characteristics
than on individualistic features of their members. Such slipping away
into creating clichés on making group characteristics, rude
oversimplification or demonization of others, is called
STEREOTYPING. Sumner (1906) calls this same phenomenon
‘ethnocentrism’.29 Ethnocentrism is such ideological viewpoint where
my own group is the center of everything and everything else is
valued in relation to my own group… This phenomenon both favors
internal relations within a given group and tends to discriminate
everything outside a group.

Cf. Brewer M. B. and Miller N. (1996), Intergroup Relations, N.Y., Brooks/Cole, Journal of
Abnormal and Social Psychology , 68, 403-412; Cf. Tajfel H. and Turner J. C. (1986) The Social
Identity Theory of Intergroup Behavior, (ed) Worchel S. and Austin W. Chicago, IL, Nelson-Hall,
Sumner W. G. (1906) The Role of Evil, The Origins of Genocide, N.Y., Cambridge University
Press .

A desire to increase our value/importance is pathologically
related to making stereotypes and ridiculing others. Very close to this
is also ‘demonization of others’: what is called remembering blood
and justice inflicted by history. RETALIATION or, better, collective
retaliation is the operative sensation which remembering injustice
turns into. This implies non-selective violence to members of the
group considered to have inflicted the very ‘injustice’. It is interesting
to note that individual retaliation is sanctioned in majority of known
political systems; however, it seems that collective retaliation
somehow ‘is tolerated’. Such intergroup tolerance and justification of
retaliation gives moral stand-up for the act of retaliation (sometimes
even to level of genocide!?).
Collective memory of injustice and retaliation often leads to
sensation of HATRED (as more durable ‘cultural’ determinant of
group behavior), or, more exactly, collectively remembered hatred for
members of certain groups. Such situation is recognized by:
obsessive focus on hated groups/members; belief that hated group
has evil characteristic per se; belief that all members of such group
are equally bad and guilty; and need for retaliation motivating
destruction of such group.
If such ‘tendency of negative emotions’ and stereotyping is
established, this in turn can be solid basis for numerous ethno-
conflicts and their escalation to level of genocide.

Paradoxical to the said tendency, IDENTITY, as we have said,

is relational notion. It always depends on relations with and to others.
Identity cannot be constructed and constituted in different manner as
either notion or practice.
The said operation of ‘constructing’ identity by means of
exclusion, differentiation, negative assessment of others, together
with constant attitude and ‘frictions’ vis-à-vis them, varies according
to social conditions in given societies, especially crisis and stressful
situations for groups. Identity is 'projected' always and again into
society (to use the existentialist term of J. P. Sartre). Pathology of
identity confliction lies in that ‘hell’ of projection towards others who
are considered permanent threat to our own identity.

Next important identity characteristic (especially important in

conflict resolution) is conclusion made by entire group of authors
(Grillo R. D. Cohen, Bart, Epstem) – that identity is not ‘granted,
primordial or natural’, as often as it seems to us, but it is constantly

exposed to CONSTRUCTION, namely an imposed notion. Ethnicity
and identity based on ethnicity represent an entity that is constantly
under construction and reconstruction. This is similar to situation of
ancient, huge shrines and cathedrals whose parts are constantly
being reconstructed and you are never able to seem them entirely
reconstructed. Ethnicity and identity originating from ethnicity are
more of PROCESS and PROJECT then implying structure or a ‘solid
body’ of meanings.30

Almost no specifics of identity conflicts stem from existence of a

single specific group of questions that are exclusive to these
struggles (political. cultural, economic, social or territorial), but from
the very manner in which they are accepted by groups as being
dangerous to their group identity. Motivation force and violence of
these conflicts stems from perception of threats to identity of groups
in conflict. Therefore, secret of intensity and violence of such conflicts
lies in the structure of perceptional/emotional determinants used in
addressing usual conflict issues. If one fails to consider this, then
there could be entire missing of the very reasons why certain conflicts
that seem to be same (on same issues), have so different dynamic,
manifested forms, duration, and epilogue.
Struggle for values and perception of scarce status, power, and
resources is conducted under impression that such interests are
incompatible with those of other groups, that there is scarce status in
given social moment, so that interest of all groups cannot be met
together and at the same time; hence other groups are threat to our
own interests. Motivation of all such struggle is maintenance of
favorable social conditions so that there is also duration and
development of culture identity of a given group (and of individuals in
such group. Cf. J. Rudin. D. Pruitt, S. Kim).31

A good basis to better understand identity conflicts is definition

of ‘the political’ by Karl Schmidt. The angle of viewpoint of the political
For such topic of construction and hybridization of identities, we find very interesting the work
of Tariq Modood, The Recognition of Religious Groups, Citizen in Diverse Societies (op.cit., pp.,
175-194). In his work, the said author suggests that for identity of various minorities, mostly
religious ones, the line of exclusion-inclusion is more important than the line of chances for
cultural choice (as suggested by W. Kumlicka). Namely, he thinks that the so-called post-
migration minorities and groups determine themselves mostly according to the chances of being
included in the division of power and resources in a given society. In this process, such minorities
are being 'hybridized', changed and so make demands to be recognized as such – hybrid, and
being in process of changes, but with a purpose to enable inclusion of their members.
Dean Pruitt, The Role of Third Parties in Ethnopolitical Conflict, Orbis, 44; and Jeffrey Rubin
(1986): Social Conflict, Escalation, Stalemate and Settlement, Random House, NY.

is very important, when this it not determined by exclusive range or
set of topics and issues, but by intensity of feelings and confrontation
level. Indeed such angle does function in identity conflicts; every
issue that seems not to be of priority/political nature (for example,
education or network of schools), can be transformed into priority,
political question and even question of profound confrontation, if
ethnical communities perceive that question as crucial in their identity
From such angle, identity conflicts are classified as the most
complicated, most violent, and most difficult to resolve. To this end,
there is corresponding need for special preparedness and knowledge
of characteristics of basic factors, techniques of preventive or
coercive diplomacy, and negotiation techniques (for mediators or third
parties, in order to have successful resolution).
Another group of identity conflict definitions, as we have already
said, bears somewhat different perspective and underlines the
structural parts/perspectives, and not so much the ‘synthetics’ in
defining. Therefore actors fight in identity conflicts for: ‘need to have
meaning’ in own existence, actions, and struggle; for need to have
specific own ‘togetherness’, characteristic ‘intimacy’ of their own
group, primacy of these sentiments that is different from all the rest;
for need for ‘autonomy’ of life within their own group. When these
values become primary in a conflict, then such conflict is defined as
identity-based conflict.32


Identity conflicts can take place in relations between an

individual and another individual; between an identity group and
another identity group; and between an individual in identity group
and his group as such. V. Kumlicka calls some of the said conflict
zones a practice of ‘internal restrictions’ or ‘external protections;
however, in his work this has more to do with issues on
accommodation of a group in overall community.

Intensity and psychological and social source of identity

conflicts dominantly originates from and depends on feeling of
individual and group UNCERTAINTY, endangering or threats. Such
Cf. Bernard Mayer, The Dynamic of Conflict Resolution , Josey-Bass, San Francisco, 2000,

psychological dimension can be dominant and we would call it a
security dilemma. This feeling, namely uncertainty assessment, can
be realistic, for example, when it is a question of inability of weak
state institutions to impose control over the ‘predatory’ conduct of
political elites from majority groups, or when there is inability to offer
political leadership that would bring consolidation of legitimacy of
state institutions and implementation of generally accepted
consensus on how society would function and on what values. The
latter does not mean lack of consensus; on the contrary, it is
weakness in implementation, thus the effect produced is ‘chaos’ and
uncertainty for identity of groups and individuals.

However, that same feeling of uncertainty can be irrationally

‘conceived’; however even such feeling can equally motivate in
mobilization of all energy of a given group towards protection of
attacked values or towards aggression upon other groups and their
members. Let us not forget that some of the major and most vicious
murders in history of racial and religious persecution (that
unfortunately did not end up with holocaust atrocities as such) were
committed on basis of irrational mobilization to ‘cleanse’ others who
were given various racially inferior or demonic attributes.
Second major reason for identity conflicts is EXCLUSION of
relevant identity groups from process of political decision-making (i.e.,
decision-making institutions and processes).
Pluralistic societies, or societies that are culturally divided, form
especially complex pluralism and special political milieu for this.
According to Hannah Arendt, pluralism is ‘condition’ for entire political
life in democracies, while ‘freedom’ is their internal reason for
existence. To practice politics means to constantly process pluralism
into freedom. Indeed, this process is additionally complicated in
culturally divided societies where political discourses are violated by
means of ‘filters’ of identity and cultural diversities and meanings. To
transform this disturbing, antagonistic pluralism into viable democratic
life and to create cooperativeness of individuals and groups,
represent the key in constructing democracy.
Further complication arises by the fact that there is no single
‘rationality’ as benchmark of offered process solutions and
compromises; on the contrary, consensus must be created
additionally (it is imposed, and not merely given) by constant
transformation of one rational discourse into another, of one meaning
into another.

Such ‘creation of consensus’ in context of human rights is
Deep cultural diversities make point of departure; indeed, they
are ‘given, and in some way, even ‘imposed’, in construction of
mechanisms that would organize their functional plurality in
Such mechanisms do not have task to reduce or suppress such
diversity. On the other hand, limit of this organization of plurality is not
by any cost itself; rather, in context of definition provided by H.
Arendt, this plurality should be transformed into freedom for
individuals, and justice for group culture practices.

I would like to mention this as leitmotif of complexity and

possibility of constant simulation of feeling of exclusion, insufficient
inclusion and, by this, threats to group identities; on the other hand,
all of this ends up at higher level of confliction in policy of such

3.1. Exclusion and uncertainty

3.1. Now, let us deconstruct notions: exclusion and uncertainty,

to level of forms, in which they appear as concrete sources of identity

The first type/form is group strategic interactions.

Group strategic interactions mean struggle for better positions,
values, and resources in different fields, which a group considers
crucial for its culture-reproductive circle. Most frequent topics of
strategic interactions or strategic imbalance by groups are: territory
(geostrategic roads or natural resources), participation in political
decision making (at representational or administrative level), struggle
for education resources (use of language in public or official
communication), or participation in re-privatization of businesses
(during transitional economic reforms), etc.
Permanent source of tensions and conflicts creates position of
strategic imbalance between groups in a society.

Next type is lack of lawful consensus relating to rules of the

game. In this case it is not question of lack of, otherwise hard to
attain, full or coherent ‘value consensus’ in culturally divided

societies; it is question of lack of necessary, so-called thin, shallow,
procedural consensus (demand making process).
Lack of such institutional and fundamental value matrix can
take place at two levels: lack of credible commitments, or weakness
of political elites to implement negotiated constitution or procedure
(frequent situation in so-called falling states and ungovermental
In both cases, the situation of ‘ungovernableness’ of a system
results in a series of erroneous perceptions regarding intentions of
others, paranoiac reactions, being closed and situation of permanent
stress in groups and individuals; this in turn increases sensation of
insecurity and need to prepare for possible conflict.

Third form (source) of identity conflicts is what is called

information failures. In this case we could have two types of ‘failures’:
first failures are of situational character and involve realistic difficulties
in communicating true intentions and interests to rival groups. This is
outcome of various reasons: for example: hostile relations previously
established and communication failure because of them; intentional
propaganda exaggeration of interests and intentions of groups given
through the media outlets, etc. basically this is lack of true information
on preferences and capacities of the other side, as well as sending
pieces of information about oneself and own interests. The thesis
goes on to claim that information or knowledge of true intentions
might prevent outbreak of conflict; nevertheless it is possible
sometimes (for instance, the genocide in Rwanda) that knowledge of
true intentions can be only basis or pretext for preventive measures,
because of the frightening consequences of implementation of ‘the
true intentions’ of other groups.
Second level of information failures involves different meaning
of various information messages, notions, and interests that mean to
different group cultures literally different things or that are partially
different. Then we talk about a more complex problem of different
‘rationalities’ and need of interethnic evaluation of notions and
appropriate transformation of their meaning into the language of
different culture practices of groups (take, for instance, frequent
examples of hate speech that is treated in one cultural environment
as integral part of freedom of expression, while in other cultural circle
it represents gross insult. Other examples would include: segments
relating to rights of women; religious rituals involving physical
modification of the human body; mutilation of body parts and

circumcision; sacrifice of an animal; arranged marriages; the so-
called ‘murders for honor’, etc.).
Such situation of information failure to and from other groups
could represent a source of hostile communication as vicious circle of
escalation, greater fear, preparations for conflict, or could even grow
into a conflict trigger.

Next important source (form) of conflicts is so-called ‘security

Namely, a security dilemma describes a situation when it is
difficult or even impossible for both sides to observe and learn mutual
interests, intentions, and moves – directly, through straightforward
communication. This in turn causes uncertainty and fear, and
afterwards even cramp in preparation of a group ‘for the worse to
come;’ and so this continues in a vicious circle of escalation.

Because of noticeable role of psychological and perceptive

matrix of conflict sources, and its dependence on how the others
‘understand’ our signs, communications and intentions and how the
others react to this, some authors see ethnic conflict resolution as
getting out of the vicious circle of violence through mistaken

Certainly, there exists no determinism in escalation of these

tendencies of ‘conflict psychology’. A scientific matrix trying to prove
such determinism would be indeed of quasi-scientific nature.
Attempts to find or define social Darwinism in a conflict between
ethnic groups and cultures always when they come in close contact,
represent a vulgar, unsophisticated and pseudo-scientific approach,
full of prejudice. Such approach always acquires black-and-white
simplifications, being obsessed with relations of domination and
subjugation or variants of class or ethnic struggle that ends up with
ideas on genocide, ethnic cleansing, and utopias on harmonized
states and ‘clean’ nations.
We should underline that ethnic conflicts are never only ethnic.
Ethnicity is most frequently manipulated in form, for example, of
ethno-nationalism. It is always wrapped up with confusion about true
reasons of a conflict, which further strengthens defensive strategy of
the type: ‘let’s sit and wait’ (this was so evident for the European
J. Contherman, W. D. Mars, P. D. Gaffney, and R. Vayrynen (1999): Breaking Cycles of
Violence, Kumiriah Press, Connecticut .

countries and their position concerning the 1991-1995 war in former
Yugoslavia). That strategy encourages forms of open racism and
calls for ethnic cleansing.

Some authors write about classification of sources of identity

conflicts from somewhat different aspects, although one can notice
certain overlapping with previously cited definitions. For example,
following classification is made of identity conflicts: conflict for value
systems; conflicts for resources, or access to material goods.34
On the other hand, other authors cite basis for causing identity
conflicts in a more diffusive way, trying to make a notion-based and
sector-based locating of sources of conflicts. Hence, following fields
are identified as conflictive: communications; emotions; history;
structure; and values.35
This type of approach bears difficulty to break down to
widespread zones/notions that directly cause conflicts. In this context,
the following is cited, for example: Communication as imperfect
communication (information failure represents such conflict
condition/situation); Emotions as energy that fuels up conflicts, this is
especially valid for irrational form of emotions; Values, as viewpoint
showing what is important, what is good and what is bad in principles
guiding our lives; Structure is external frame in which a conflict takes
place and which has influence on that conflict: this includes (in a
single interpretation) resources, decision making processes,
leadership, time frames, etc.; Aspect of history produces the milieu of
a conflict by supplying meanings, events, heroism of former battles,
and eternal light and shining of the heroism of the fallen in these

‘Human needs’ of material and development nature36 are

especially cited in this context as cause of identity conflicts. They are
usually hidden behind value and cultural diversities, full of historic
It is important to identify primary reasons standing behind a
given conflict, to ‘tear apart’ any ideological rhetoric in a conflict, in
order to be able to address the correct procedures in solving that
C. R. Mitchell, op.cit, p. 18.
Bernard Mayer , op.cit. p. 9.
Bernard Meyer identifies in this context four basic needs with different meaning: so, he defines
food with substantial meaning; home – with procedural meaning; health – with psychological
meaning; and security – also with procedural meaning. Op.cit. p. 17.

4. Conflict STRUCTURE

Identity conflict structure includes following notions related to

conflict: situation; behavior; psychology; escalation; diffusion; phases;
and aims.

C. R. Mitchell, in order to explain the structure of connected

conflict phases, draws a sketch of three decisive points of a conflict:
situation; behavior; and viewpoints of parties to such conflict. (Figure

In the first scheme of the conflict sources that the author calls
‘instrumental’, an actor creates conflict situation and then uses
conflict behavior and promotion of his own viewpoints (the conflict
situation is decisive in establishing the behavior and promotion of
viewpoints). And in the second scheme that the authors calls
‘expressive’, the actor, guided by the expression of his own
ideological positions and viewpoints that are decisive, moves towards
a conflict situation and conflict behavior.

Basically, conflict situation represents a state of perceiving

contrasts or incompatibility of interests of actors to a conflict. As we
have already mentioned, it consists of perceiving own and rival
standpoints on subject matter of a dispute/conflict, especially from
aspect of: meaning of endangered values/interests of a group
(centers of gravity); public support to those values (populist moment);
existing legal and political limitations; resources at disposal for
waging a dispute; involvement existence of ‘third sides’ to a

dispute/conflict and their position as allies, rivals, or neutral parties;
nature of other political and legal obligations that conflict sides can
Some authors deconstruct a conflict situation into: conflict
sources; conflict standpoints and aims; and conflict behavior (C. R.

‘Conflict behavior’ – represents a set of actions and measures,

tactics and procedures, the intention of which is attaining goals.

Conflict psychology – represents a set of positions and

perceptions on threats to actor’s identity or on chances of further
development of such identity. Said positions and perceptions also
involve forms of ‘transfer and dislocation’ of initial, original sources of
conflict into the collective unconscious, replacing them with frustration
or shifting the center of rage towards illusory targets and objects.
Such complex of positions and perceptions also includes relaxing
perceptions or conclusions that indeed something has been done for
group protection and that there would be not more hostilities. Some
writers call the latter group stress reduction, which again falls into
category of conflict psychology.

Conflict state/situation produces a ‘tunnel-like’, one-

dimensional, or instrumental thinking (hence, psychological positions
and perceptions are very important to research). Such thinking
represents operation reduction of meanings and values, of actions
and evaluations of other identities, however, only from aspect of our
own safety or risk. The totality of perceiving the other is very
instrumental and makes us being constantly ‘under stress’ and ‘on
According to many authors, conflict per se means a stress-
reduction process, or, getting rid of tensions and fear (already
transformed into a trauma), by venting our own rage and violence at
‘the other’, which according to the staid tunnel reduction is ‘to be
blamed for everything’. Hence, (figure 2):

it is shown that stress-reduction need leads to cognitive
consistency (concluding who is guilty), which in turn can be divided
into three separate cognitive operations: selective perception;
selective call; and group identification. All three of them lead to their
‘discharge’ into action/conflict.37
The next figure shows how this action would follow (figure 3):

Selective perception can be deconstructed into: stereotyping of

the other; separation; polarization; tunnel vision; closing ranks.
Selective call is then broken down into: repression and
suppression (towards outside – towards others; and towards oneself,
towards so-called ‘inner or domestic traitors’).
Group identification on the other hand can be deconstructed
into: rationalization (explanation of what is to come, why it ‘has’ to be
like this and in not other way); and identification projection.

4.1. Phases of conflict

Op.cit., C.R. Mitchell, pp. 78 and 97 .

4.1. PHASES of a conflict can be explained by different
classifications. We would try to synthesize the most essential ones, in
our view. Hence, first conflict phase is called CONTESTING. This
phase establishes appearance of interest incompatibility situation in
reality and gives push to confrontation of opposing intentions with
diplomatic means, through media with direct contacts, or through

Second phase is a phase when HOSTILITIES START

APPEARING. This comes out when dispute/conflict resolution
attempts fail in the first phase, and there is confrontation escalation
and when at least one conflict side starts defining conditions in war
terms and in terms of possible use of violent means. Then use of
force becomes in essence expected.

Third phase involves START OF HOSTILITIES. In this phase,

group aims become ‘more rigidly controlled’, and compromise
opportunity is reduced. At this level, there is escalation of means
used and manners of confronting.

Fourth phase is called CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES. Open

use of force is terminated or temporarily suspended at this stage.
Conflict can be continued; however fights are ceased, while given
‘quarrel’ can move forward towards some form of resolution or even
backwards towards renewal of fight and hostilities.

Fifth phase represents a phase of renewed CONTESTING. This

phase makes outcome recapitulation of confrontation phases by use
of force; consideration is made which part of a conflict is possibly
resolved or is not relevant anymore, and which part of a conflict
remains unsolved and for further arguing. The nature of this phase
depends on outcome of hostilities; however this is most often a phase
of commencement of a political agreement on dispute/conflict
resolution. Similarly, this phase could be extended by introduction of
an interphase, called ‘protracted, prolonged hostilities’. They are
maintained, in smaller form, partially or along the entire line of the
conflict ‘front’. This in turn can lead to situation ‘of waging a conflict
until exhaustion’, when sides are not able to make benefit out of the
peace. Often this exhaustion from a conflict is maintained
intentionally (when other option is not possible or a third side is not so
powerful to apply coercive diplomacy; however, this is always done

with morally unacceptable high price and too many victims), in order
to ‘prepare’ sides to a given conflict for a political settlement. This
settlement is then imposed in light of the fact that confronting sides
are unable to terminate such conflict with unilateral victory.

RESOLUTION makes up the sixth phase of a conflict. From

historical aspect, very few conflicts have had such outcome. Most
often conflict cycles return even to the very start of such process.
However, resolution as phase can be broken down into a process of
political intermediation, mediation, bypassing or directing initial goals
and interests of involved actors towards other dimensions (i.e., an
interphase of changing initial goals when attempt is made to
persuade one side in dispute that his goals are not worth such price,
ultimately to diffusion level – thereby making a given dispute become
non-acute, only a potential one.
Actually, definition of the term ‘conflict resolution’ consists of
creating a situation (most frequently as a process) where sides in
conflict resolve their own major incompatible interests, or, points of
contention. Generally, such situation covers three parts: renouncing
all acts of mutual violence; mutual recognition and acceptance as
sides that have legitimate interests (although opposite) and that shall
continuously have status of sides in conflict as such; and a part
dealing with reaching settlement or agreement on their confronted

Nevertheless, there are other authors who claim that identity

conflict phases are more global and so consist of three elements:
Phase of perceived discrimination (when a group feels it has been
deprived of certain rights it considers belonging to it due to its own
distinctive cultural, ethic or racial affiliation/diversity); Phase of
consolidation – when organized group tries to mobilize persons
belonging to that group from the general population for
demands/struggle directed towards establishment; Phase of
confrontation – when such demands are not politically processed and
conflict opportunity is so opened in the field.38

According to another serial of perceptions, conflict resolution or

conflict settlement could be arranged in four outcomes: Resolution
that is outcome of negotiations and reaching compromise; Resolution
William Zartman, Putting Humpty-Dumpty Together Again, in The International Spread of Ethnic

Conflict, op.cit., p. 319.

that is imposed as such; No conflict resolution - a resolution that is
actually not so because a given conflict continues in spite of attempts
to have negotiations and pressure exerted; and Unclear conflict
resolution, when some elements of conflict have initially ceased and
then are renewed, or when other elements of a conflict have not
ceased but have only lost momentum, etc.39

Role of third sides in conflict resolution represents important

part in all of this that is the subject matter of this work. The role of
‘third side’ in this context includes, and, depends, on power to
persuade (in coercive and diplomatic manner that ‘winning’ a conflict
does not have to be necessarily a victory initially perceived by a side
in conflict), on opportunity to exert pressure to observe agreed and
promised conduct, or pressure and assistance in phase of agreement
implementation. There is also mention in this context of so-called
‘negotiating trump cards’ as values that could be offered in exchange
for modification of goals of the other side in conflict, when a third side
gets involved in first part of its mandate, in course of negotiations.
This process usually gets a better track when there is powerful and
rather authority mediator.

‘Victory’ can even imply a political agreement when both sides

in conflict ‘win’; for this to happen, it is necessary that both sides
change during conflict their own political and operative goals. This
means opening a political process known as ‘transformation of
conflict’ into reaching an agreement and negotiating; a mediator holds
very important position in this context.

4.2. Interphases of conflict

4.2. Following practices or terms could be identified in

interphases of the aforementioned conflict phases: ESCALATION;
STALEMATE, IMPASSE – when a conflict is stuck in a ‘dead-end
street’ or a ‘blind alley’, a blockade; and DIFFUSION of conflict.

ESCALATION of conflict implies situation when both sides

intensify instruments and energy for confrontation. As opposed to
Cf. International Negotiation, G. Goertz, D. Frazier, Patterns of Negotiation in Non-War
Disputes, V. 7, No. 3, pp. 342-352.

conflict intensification, conflict escalation not only involves increase in
energy and means of confrontation, but also special kind of
intensification that is conducted with plan and intention to produce a
desired effect. Hence, escalation can be ‘transitive’ when it is caused
and conducted by sides in conflict and when it depends only on their
own will and is initiated by a decision made by conflicting sides.
Second kind is ‘intransitive’ when it is consequence of some
developments in a given conflict or its negotiations.
Involved sides escalate conflict on different grounds. Some
escalations are outcome of rational confrontation; others are outcome
of emotional reactions. The first kind of reasons or grounds would, for
instance, include: escalation in order to obtain better (starting)
negotiations position (some authors also call it ‘constructive
escalation’ – Kriesberg and Thorson); escalation with newly perceived
prospects that indeed victory can be obtained; escalation just for the
sake of not losing and of imposing or coming (closer) to negotiations;
escalation to justify (or cover up) means and resources so invested to
that purpose, thus entering the very pit of entrapment; and even
escalation in order to receive new assistance from own allies and
partners. One can also include in this context a specific situation of
obliging oneself with too many promises and threats, thus cornering
oneself into a ‘no-exit’ position, a position of no retreat or chance for
conflict mitigation, a position of only further conflict escalation (this is
equally a doorway to entrapment).
Second kind of escalation relates to emotional or cognitive
viewpoints, or, demonization of opponent: in other words, our
opponent did deserve this; he had to be punished or humiliated; this
even might be expression of nervous overreaction to move made by
the other side.

Escalation of conflict can involve: escalation of means and

energy; escalation of goals; escalation of area in which conflict is
conducted; escalation of participating sides; escalation of emotional
projections and demonization of opponent; escalation of obligations
assumed towards own supporters so such side cannot withdraw from
a conflict but can only continue the conflict; etc.

Conflict escalation usually assumes forms of so-called

escalation spirals. They rely on each other and basically are outcome
of what is called negative reciprocity or binomial irrationality.

Dynamic ‘propelling’ escalation is mutual distrust between sides
in conflict. There is ever-present blame what side has started such
escalation, what hidden intentions of that side are, etc. Escalation is
maintained expecting that the other side would ultimately give up and
retire. Consequently, all of this is also called ‘competitive irrationality’,
being a phenomenon that enables escalation as such.

Escalation and ability of one side to make threats and perform

escalation, as we have said, is also used as ‘trump card’ in
negotiations. Then intention of escalation in this context is to bring a
more favorable position to the side starting it or to prevent the other
side from considering escalation and other maneuvers.
However, to use escalation in any option whatsoever would
represent a risky method, the use of which can never be ultimately
predicted. For escalation to be successful, it must be supported by
exact data/prospects on how the other side would eventually react
and whether the other side would be able to ‘bear the threat’ of
escalation, and ultimately not to respond and so to open the said
escalation spiral.
Escalation could also be used by extremist groups of any side
involved in conflict (especially when such involved side is divided in
military and political wings or factions) to prevent a positive
negotiating process and to bring back a given conflict back on its
initial, violent position.40
Escalation is criticized, as means of blackmail and improving
own position in conflict because it is too risky as such; it is only
efficient provided the other opposing side does not respond with
counter-escalation. Conflict escalation destabilizes compromise and
makes negotiations outcome rather unpredictable.

On the other hand, conflict ENTRAPMENT involves a situation

when, given poor prospects in conflict initial phases, one conflict side
suffers losses. Instead of making new prospects and repositioning,
such side nevertheless spends ever-increasing energy and resources
in order to compensate such losses thus being entrapped in spiral of
greater and greater losses and downfall. Losses become increasingly
greater, while conflict psychology propels such side towards re-
gaining initial positions at any cost whatsoever. This is road of no
return, a road leading to complete fall.
Cf. I. William Zartman and Guy Oliver Faure (2005): Escalation in Negotiation in International

Conflicts, Cambridge University Press, N.Y. pp. 251, 166, 254, 272, 185 .

This entrapment is described as sinking or ‘drowning’ in
‘quicksand’; the more you fight or struggle, the deeper you sink. From
aspect of rational prospects, such conflict actor would have to stop;
however in order ‘to save his honor’, he continues investing in conflict
and increasingly starts losing such ‘investment’.
According to the prospect theory, every actor, involved in risky
or conflict situation, is prepared to assume risk more for the sake of
loss prevention than for the sake of making profit.41
Such entrapment is also described as ‘downhill escalation’, but
not in context of de-escalation; it denotes movement or tendency
towards even more intensified conflict, with gross deterioration of
staring positions. In case of ‘being entrapped’, conflict actors make
greater efforts and demands; they even add unrelated demands,
increase costs to the very absurd; they demonize the other side,
increase risks to level of unacceptability. Due to increasing losses, all
of this ends up in reduction of maneuvering abilities of such conflict
actors, under enhanced costs and risks. Such actors, under risk, lose
sense of reality and possibilities for making definite options;
ultimately, they lose alternatives and so lose power.
In process of conflicts and negotiations, during internal
disputes, ‘entrapment’ is fascinating phenomenon, being at the same
time interesting for study, but very destructive for successful
In order to avoid such ‘entrapment’, actors must maintain
control over given conflict, and, especially, the price/value of
confrontation for attaining goals. They should control lines of losses
that lead easily towards entrapment.43
At this point of analysis, we should mention that our
methodological position is the term ‘rational actor’ in conflict.
Nevertheless, we are well aware that such model is often deformed in
conflict identities (where assessment of rational behavior and cost-
Kahneman D. and Tversky A. (1979): Prospect Theory: An Analyst of Decision under Risk ,
Econometrica 47, pp. 263-291.
Paul W. Meerts (2005) Entrapment in International Negotiations, in ed I. W. Zartman and G. O.
Faure, op.cit., pp. 11-139.
A classical and rather sad example of 'entrapment' is the decision made by the then Serbian
leader S. Milosevic to continue 'to the very end-final victory' the war in Bosnia and Croatia in the
process of disintegration of former Yugoslavia, and, consequently, to reject the political
agreement, wrapped up in a good package, offered by Lord Carrington at the 1992 Hague
Conference on former Yugoslavia. The outcome of that entrapment was that Serbia started
intensively to lose the war and ended up as the greatest loser from the process of disintegration
of former Yugoslavia. Finally, it is the only republic of the former Yugoslavia which lost 'territory' –
Kosovo, Montenegro, while international isolation has made it one of the poorest countries in the
Balkans (something that Serbia has never been in its history).

profit analysis is casualty of ideas of historic missions of own or other
groups, ethno-romanticism, irrationality, and constructions).

TURNING POINT, or, RIPE MOMENT, represents a

development/process in conflict or moment in conflict that can make
a conflict move towards settlement, and, on the other hand, in
negative direction towards escalation of confrontation or clashes.
Such moments mark transition from one phase into another; they are
actually part of a given conflict and originate from, sometimes,
unpredictable conflict dynamics. These turning points in conflict are
not condition or origin of a conflict; on the contrary, they are conflict
interphase that appears along confrontation.44
There are some authors who address in detail the so-called
theory of turning points; accordingly, they claim to distinguish three
phases of these turning points: process presumptions and elements;
start process; and consequences.
In contrast to the turning points, the already cited ‘ripe moment’
(according to I. W. Zartman) shows that a conflict creates a chance,
on different grounds, for making a ‘U-turn’ towards agreement. This
could be rising awareness of involved actors that further fight cannot
bring advantages, or, that further fight simply does not pay off, is too
costly and brings risks that are unacceptable; awareness that given
conflict has entered a phase of fatigue or exhaustion of both sides,
depletion of the kind that both sides cannot profit from a positive
outcome and so have become ‘captives of the fight’. The already
cited I. W. Zartman claims that such moment appears when both
sides fall in a mutually hurting stalemate.45

This moment precedes and enables the moment of ‘conflict

ripeness’ to create an agreement prospects. According to many
authors, such moment is cultivated, created, and is not mere
consequence of confrontation.46 The role of the third side/mediator is
very important especially in cultivating the moment of ripeness for
negotiations. This moment certainly depends on some objective
factors such as the mutually hurting stalemate, exhaustion, or too
high price of further confrontation with regard to values that are
Cf. Druckman D. (1997): Negotiation in the International Context, and I. W.
Zartman/Rasmussen, USIP, Washington DC, USA, p. 92; and especially cf. Conflict Escalation:
Turning Points Analysis, ed., I. W. Zartman , op.cit, p. 185 .
I. W. Zartman (1989): Ripe for Resolution, Oxford, NY.
Cf. : Karin Aggestam (2005): Enhancing Ripeness: Transition from Conflict to Negotiation, ed., I.
W. Zartman /G. O. Faure, same, p. 271.

defended; however, the moment of ripeness also depends on
psychological, perceptive factors, as well as on level of influence
exerted by convincing.
This is very clearly reflected in the manner used in opening
negotiations opportunity. Whether, for example, one side in conflict
has ‘saved its own honor’; namely, whether such side has not left
impression of being weak by agreeing to negotiate, a weakness that
the other opposing side might use later, etc. In those moments, the
role of mediator is crucial in definite shifting of a conflict to a so-called
pre-negotiation process.


Impasse is situation when a conflict gets stuck because neither

side wants to make a creative step forward in coming out of it. In case
of impasse, we can talk about lack of any will to step forward, and not
about lack of objective opportunities (this is used more in
negotiations, as established practice).
On the other hand, a deadlock is situation that is more used as
established practice in negotiations, equally as impasse. However,
one can also find deadlock in conflicts when both sides are
completely blocked and with exhausted opportunities for action in
context of their positions. Without changing them, it is not possible to
have objective way out of such dead-end street.
Conflict stalemate is situation when each side, separately, has
some of the conditions, but insufficient for conflict resolution. Neither
side can win or lose, by means of own measures. There is exhaustion
of means and strength of both sides, not only like in deadlock –
stranded in lack of opportunity for way out, but also with exhausted
opportunities for way out because both sides have tried all ways that
are at disposal. This institution is typically ‘conflictive’ and is not to be
found in negotiations.

DIFFUSION of conflict means its further expansion into areas,

sectors, and territories that were not previously part of such conflict.
In this context, diffusion can be ‘vertical’, involving quality and
contents of issues that are subject of a conflict; then there is
‘horizontal’ diffusion, which involves expansion of territory used for
confrontation of known topics and actors. Certainly, diffusion can be
also a combination of both elements. Here it is interesting to note the
relationship between conflict diffusion and conflict intensity or conflict

escalation. Namely, diffusion can be connected in different ways with
escalation. It can mean indication of conflict escalation, by increasing
the substantial topics that are at issue and point of contention or by
increasing the territory for waging a conflict.
However, diffusion can also mean a sign of ‘diluting a conflict’,
of its de-escalation through reduction of intensity of conflictive
behavior when it is also outcome of increase in number of topics at
issue. The latter is not completely valid for the territory as well, where
a conflict is waged, because expansion of territory that is drawn into
instability is always negative indicator with regard to possible
decrease or resolution of conflict. Diffusion in context of territory can
only be related to ‘dilution’ of conflict when there are indicators
conflict intensity has gone down in the entire territory used for waging
conflict and such conflict has so become a ‘low intensity’ conflict, as
direct outcome of the diffusion.
However, the latter does not also imply that a conflict has come
closer to or has become more prepared to go over to the negotiations




5.1. Definitions of multiculture societies and their sources of

conflict ion

Brightness and spectacle (to paraphrase F. Léotard) of

multiculturalism, or, of cultural diversity, do not represent new
phenomenon in history of politics. Its “return,” as new kind of
brightness, represents a rather specific postmodern political
phenomenon and is outcome of the need of cultural, primary identical
meanings in light of massive, depersonalized (Sigmund Baumann)
globalization structures.
Expansion of culture/identity topics, even one related to
confliction, is also outcome of the fall or demise of another project –
the project of ‘modernism’ called national building. This in turn is
directly connected to a crisis in a subproject of the main cited project
– integration policy of minorities into the mainstream culture of
societies in which they live. This problem has reached its peak with
non-integration, namely ghettoizing, of major immigrant communities
in the Western world.47
According to some referential authors (Cf. John Baylis and Steve Smith, The Globalization of
World Politics, Oxford University Press, 199, pp. 190-213, 220-223), globalization has two
different dimensions that mutually interconnect but bear different consequences. The first is the
so-called capitalist globalization economy (where economy is politicized, and politics is
economized) that is mostly seen in: integration of economic and financial markets and foreign
investment, global ecological interdependence, international company expansion, energy
interdependence, global social movements, non-governmental and governmental working on
global scale, etc. The consequence of this is the feeling of a world without borders and of hidden
mega-centers of decision making and power.
The second level is more of social and communicational character with strong impact of the
communication of cultures and shorter distances. This is called NETOCRATIC globalization and
is based on the increased possibilities of the new ITC. By means of them, great distances are
made shorter and local things become globally presented, and vice versa. This has a very strong
impact on the closure of cultures and their 're-examination' in contact with others. This helps
create an information global society, where communication addresses tribal identities and
subcultures. This netocratic society creates its own language – NET-LATIN, based on English that
uses the new informatic tribalism. Major institutions that are hit are: the nation-state;
parliamentary democracy; family; education system; and class-based culture identity of human
Cf. NETOCRACY, Alexander Bard, Jan Soderquist, Reuters, London, 2002.
Francis Fukuyama, in one of his texts published in Journal of Democracy, John Hopkins
University Press, says that exactly these distorted classical identities with Islam, in context of
'West” and the Internet, make the very reason for shift of Islam (rather, some of its parts) towards

‘National building’ lasted for about 200 years by means of
political and cultural means. It developed its own political philosophy,
theory of justice, and viewpoint on culture and its function.
In such discourse, culture was considered, until the 1960s, as
means of integration (voluntary, or, ‘little’ forceful), as ‘the melting pot’
of integration. All of this had a note of assimilation of ‘small cultures’
and diversities in creating a single ‘wider nation’ or cultural panorama.
This was the very basis of political intervention in national building.
However, the 1980s introduced a change in the role of culture.
There was an ‘outburst’ of national, ethnic, gender, and regional
identities. Such identities found or felt themselves to be under
oppression by ‘central cultures’. Consequently, instead of becoming a
venue of new consensus, culture has become an arena of conflict
and political struggle; i.e., it has been politicized and has become
more indicatively a political instrument. Classical meaning of culture
implied culture was in its essence a unique antithesis of politics.48
Nowadays culture is accepted, even underlined, as political
means or instrument. Such or similar views are shared by many
influential authors like: Terry Eagleton, Michel Foucault,
poststructuralists, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Jacques Derrida,
Richard Rorty, Charles Taylor, etc.
Such ‘new’ role of culture – in context of creation, protection,
and promotion of diversities and their concurrent management at
society level – has produced a new dimension in classical view of
PLURALISM in democratic societies. This has produced a ‘culture
pluralism’, which in turn leads us further to pluralistic, segmented
societies, or nation-mosaics (Strayer), disjunctive societies (R. D.
Grillo), or ‘unknown societies' (Herman Van Gunsteren), etc.

5.1. Definition of multicultural societies

militant fundamentalism, in search of illusion of classicism, stability, unchangeability and

The most general definition of culture was: norms and rules; customs and model of behavior
common to one specific group of people...
Therefore, culture was something that homogenizes, something that is in possession, a segment
that has its own autonomy, tradition of customs, distinction from other cultures (relational
Because of all this, and perhaps because of something else as well, practically there is no culture
theory or treatment of cultural phenomena in international relations (that remain a dominion of the
hard power of states).

5.1. A definition of cultural pluralism would be situation in a
given society where complex and large culture groups exist, while
practicing at the same time different forms of own common
institutions, behavior models, social relations, inner organizations,
and value systems – and, sometimes, even different religion.49
Diverse cultural segments observe not only different culture practice
and institutions internally, within their own culture circle, on one hand,
but equally their relationship to wider society and society institutions
is determined by culture perception established by particular
segment, on the other. The outcome of this is that the wider
consensus, which these institutions are based on, is similarly under
constant re-examination and pressure.50
Such societies are also called multicultural societies. Cultural
pluralism becomes dominant in these societies and it globally
intervenes, so to say, on the political scene, in a multi-layered
manner, at local level in form of micro communities, as manner of life,
and at trade and professional level.

Such pluralism goes well beyond the majority-minority

dynamics context, where national culture is predominated by
majority-culture matrix and minorities are ‘ghettoized’ within the
complex of minority rights and minority culture on the margins of the
dominant culture. This ‘going beyond’ is reflected in the fact that state
and political instruments cannot be used (at least in successful
manner and without risk of a wider conflict) to establish hegemony of
majority-nation culture matrix over diversities; hence, another
harmonization method would have to be pursued.
This political constellation of culture plurality is not always an
outcome of the number or size of minority segments.51 It can be
Cf. Charles Taylor, Iris Young, Cohen, Middleton, Grillo, and so on, in the cited works .
Jurgen Habermas, in context of Kant, says about this that and equal protection proclaimed by
law is not sufficient to establish a constitutional democracy... This is not even sufficient in context
of recognizing diversity as constitutional category... It is necessary that we are in condition to see
us as creators of laws that oblige us... Or, C. Taylor says in this context that the very recognition
of diversity or the potential equal value of diverse identities is not sufficient; justice is also
required, equity in the way such diversities practice their own potentials. Cf. Multikulturalizam,
Evro-Balkan, Skopje, 2004, pp. 40, 135-166.
There is no typology of forms of ethnic-cultural diversity. However, several classifications or
divisions are offered as follows. The first group involves the so-called national minorities: peoples
without own state; indigenous peoples, parts of peoples living in other states as minority. The
second group includes: immigrant minorities: immigrants with citizenship; immigrants without the
right to become citizens (metics); refugees; asylum-seekers whose application is being
processed. The third group includes religious groups: isolationists and non-isolationists. The forth
group involves the so-called sui-generis groups: Afro-Americans; Roma; Egyptians; nomadic
Roma; etc.

outcome of historical agreements and practice in relations between
different culture segments in a given state or of the manner used in
establishing balance of power in recent transition events (conflict, civil
wars, international mediation, etc.).52
We could talk about multiculture society only if this refers to
culture plurality within ONE society and within ONE state. In this
regard, we do not include federative states that have ‘solved’ cultural
diversity in classical manner, by territorial and political division of
powers between culture segments and have so re-established
states/republics that fall under the majority-minority dynamics context,
with one predominant national culture.

* * *

Complexity of politics in conditions of cultural pluralism in

multiculture societies, as we have mentioned earlier, is not expressed
by the fact that different culture segments practice diverse culture and
institutional internal practice, but especially by the fact that they have
different relations towards wider society and its micro-institutions,
towards values which they are based on, thus always questioning the
wider consensus.53
Reaching ‘new’ consensus in such pluralistic ambiance (only
even as procedural basis for functioning of institutions) is the most
serious challenge to classical conditions of democracy (from J. S.
Mill, then J. Rawls, R. Dvorkin, B. Ackerman, M. Sandel, etc.) and
represents front topic of contemporary discussions in the theory of
democracy. At the same time, this is where ‘the secret’ of crisis or
successful outcome of democratization and democracy in
multicultural societies lies.

We would use three values and notions in pursuing, for the

needs of our topic, this transformation towards multicultural
Because of this, for example, Albanians in Macedonia have different (better) situation than
Russians have living in some Baltic states, although Russians represent by far greater (in
percentage) minority in these countries.
Jacob T. Levy (1997), in his study: Classifying Cultural Rights, W. Kumlicka, I. Shapiro (eds.),
New York, N.Y. University Press, says that there are the following possible exceptions made in
recognition of the minority status in liberal societies: exemptions from laws that sanction or limit
cultural practices; assistance for minority practice that other can make even without assistance;
self-rule; external safeguards against interference in own affairs of a group; internal rules for
managing their own internal affairs; incorporation of the traditional law and customs; special
representation of a minority at national level; and forms of symbolic representation/recognition of
cultural diversity of a minority.

democracy: search for new basis of social equity/justice; multicultural
citizenship/differentiated citizenship (citizenhood); and, overlapping
consensus – or multiplied loyalties and identities. 54

Let us start with the thesis of Young Iris Marion that the
traditionally liberal model of universal citizenship – as the right to
have rights (Justice Warren first gives such definition)55 – is unjust as
far as it requires renouncement of particularistic cultures, identities,
and social perspective for persons belonging to minority cultures, for
the sake of accepting equal formal and legal status.56
This value standpoint represents a start in overcoming the
deontological attempt of J. Rawls to create social justice.57
Namely, what lacks is the universal, neutral individualism of a
civil, formally equal status, and, in this context, its attempt to embed
collectivist, cultural diversities of citizens through a so-called ‘soft
The problem is that it cannot be done by simple addition, or
‘loading’ of several more collectivist values ‘in the truck of the civil
W. Kumclicka and W. Norman, in the work Citizen in Diverse Societies, think the debate in the
Western societies in the last ten years about and around multiculturalism has concentrated on
two topics: minority rights – multiculturalism – civic virtues and practices; and responsibility for
democratic citizenhood (state citizenship-civic virtues, skills – debate). They think that the debate
on the first topic has a successful end for the opportunity to combine special minority rights and
liberal citizenship... ... given that the burden of proof has shifted from advocates of culturalism to
its negators... while the second topic is still open and hot. Op.cit., pp. 1-4.
Cf. Perez v. Brownell, 356, US 44, 1958, p. 48. On the other hand, 'citizenship' (citizenhood,
civism, citizenry, civility) has been treated since classical times as legal status of membership of
political community. Under the Roman jurisprudence, a citizen is someone who is free to use the
law, to act in accordance with the authorization of the law, and to seek protection from the law.
Such legal status indicates a special relation/connection between and individual and the political
community-the state.
There are several groups of theories of citizenhood or citizenship: liberal; communitarianist; and
republican. Liberal theories underline the individual rights towards the state (John Potter, John
Rawls). They claim that society organizes civil rights and is directly opposed to a society that
derives rights from group membership. Communitarianism on the other hand underlines
belonging to a cultural community as basis of wider community and citizenhood or citizenship.
Finally, republicanism and neo-republicanism underline public spheres of political life and ability
to organize plurality in public life.
I. M. Young, 1989, Polity and Group Difference, Ethics, 99/2; Justice and Politics of Difference,
Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1990.
John Rawls, Teorija za pravednosta, Slovo, Skopje, 2002; Politicki liberalizam, Filip Visnic,
Beograd, 1998.
Nathan Glazer is considered a representative of this viewpoint. He explains his viewpoint by
means of several traditional liberal thesis: the concept of individual rights is sufficiently wide and
so guarantees cultural diversities; the rights of association and expression of religious and other
particular affiliations are sufficient to maintain the cultural diversity of groups; tolerance supports
heteronomy of contemporary states; the state should not create special measures in support of
minority cultural communities; and there should be appropriate and strict observation of the
principle of separation of the state from ethnicity. See: Nathan Glazer , We Are All Multiculturalist
Now, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1997.

individualistic consensus’. This is because new collectivist values
import changes and take on the brink of re-consideration the
universal character of individual rights and their domination in the
discourse. By own confirmation and entry in the agenda of civil
consensus (through multicultural citizenship, etc.), they cause
irreversible changes in the said universal character. They require new
theory of liberal justice, instead of fitting into the existing, Rawls’
theory of liberal justice and citizenship of procedural kind.
According to supporters of this kind of developments, such
justice should be basis for a more inclusive society. Then, this society
would consist of more communities; at the same time, it would be
founded on the value of individual rights and legal procedures of
guaranteeing minority (culture groups) rights. Therefore, social life
would not require sacrifice of particularities for the sake of the
common, synthetic nation identity; however, this would not make at
the same time sacrifice of individual rights on the altar on culture
Indeed, this is a rather difficult task and could be ‘a quadrature
of the multicultural circle’.60
Will Kumlicka calls the described model that he supports a
‘liberal pluralism’ and confronts it with the then still dominant liberal
individualism61 of Rawls and communitarianism of Taylor.62 The cited
Cf. Charles Taylor, Priznavanje gradjanskog drustva, Beogradski krug, Beograd, 2000. Also cf.:
Politics of Recognition, ed., Gutman, 1994 .
According to John McGarry and Brendan O'Leary, there are several ways to regulate ethnic
conflicts: the first group involves methods of elimination of diversity: genocide; forced transfers of
population; separation/secession; assimilation. The second group involves management with
diversities: hegemonic control; territorial autonomy (cantonization/federalization); non-territorial
(cultural) autonomy (consocietal division of power); and multicultural integration. Politics of Ethnic
Conflict Regulation, London, Routletge, 1993, pp. 4-38.
Liberalism of this 'type' is an attempt to respond or create a basis for liberal interpretation of
expanded citizenship or citizenhood of the so-called Marshall civil status. This appears in 1970
with the work by John Rawls, Equity Theory, 1970. Other representatives of the same paradigm
are: Ronald Dvorkin (Seriously on Human Rights, 1974), Robert Nozik (Anarchy, Utopia and
State, 1974), Nathan Glazer (Individual vs. Group Rights, 1983), Ronald Dvorkin (Speaking
Seriously about Rights, 1985), Bruce Akkerman (Social Justice in Liberal State, 1980), Michael
Sandel (The Procedural Republic and Unencumbered Self, 1984).
This concept tries to develop neontological, non-value, neutral basis of civil consensus in
democratic societies and to 'suck in' the cultural diversities by means of the concept of 'soft,
benign neglect', or the so-called 'blindness law' – a law that is blind to diversities. This is a line
leading from J. S. Mill, previously from Kant, etc.
Michale Waltzer, following the line of C. Taylor, calls this liberalism 'Liberalism 1'. He defines as it
an attempt to dedicate to the individual rights and to deduct from this a neutral state without
cultural and religious projects.
Communitarianists follow a line that challenges liberal individualism of Rawls with a thesis that:
liberal principles of social justice or social equity are empty without the social context, where
culture and cultural identity are major determinants. According to these communitarianists, liberal
paradigm is based on vain liberal consideration of the self; it avoids and violates our embedded

model afterwards also opposes the model that comes out of a
postmodernist debate on ‘deconstruction of subject’ and is hence
even called model of differentiated, discerning citizenship and
differentiated political representation (reflective representation),
based primarily on cultural diversities, and not on equal civil status.63

* * *

Evolution of debate on multiculturalism in the flank of the

Western political theory formed several pillars. One pillar is the
already cited insufficiency of the ‘bare’ individualistically postulated
citizenship. Liberal ideal of equal treatment of humane rights is
insufficient if it does not recognize the right to cultural diversity.
Recognition of cultural identity is in context of providing individual
freedom and choice; this in turn unavoidable leads to providing
political instruments for protection of such identity (but not also
towards enhancing normative status of persons belonging to some
separate culture community).
The opposite is equally valid – insisting on individualistic
universalism could make a conflict resolution turn into a source of
conflict in developed postmodern societies.

cultural-identity self-perceptions and procedures; and it wants to have impossible universality and
objectivity. Communitarianism is inspired by and theoretically defines social criteria on citizenship
as being dominantly collective, cultorological, relational and contextual. Leading names in this
tendency are: Michael Sandel (The Procedural Republic and Unencumbered Self, 1984, and
Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, 1982), Michael Waltzer (Fields of Justice, 1982), Charles
Taylor (The Sources of Self, 1989, Politics of Recognition, 1994), Daniel Bell, Alasdair McIntyre,
Michale Waltzer, being again on the trace of Charles Taylor, calls this communitarianist liberalism
'Liberalism 2' and defines it as an attempt that permits the state to dedicate itself to the progress
of a given nation, culture, group, as far as the fundamental rights of citizens who have different
affiliations are protected. Liberalism 2 has options and one of them is Liberalism 1. Liberalism 2
also has tensions that come from the attempt to make balance between individual and collective
rights. But, according to this author, this is not a reason to reject it. Cf. Multikulturizam, Evro-
Balkan, op.cit., pp. 91-93.
With regard to debates on this topic in the circle of the Anglo-Saxon political theory since early
1960s, see also the very interesting M.A. thesis written by Aleksandar Jovanovski at the Faculty
of Philosophy, University 'Ss. Cyril and Methodius', Skopje, 2005;
Will Kumlicka, Multicultural Citizenship, Clarendon Press, Oxford,1995; Liberalism, Community
and Culture, Oxford University Press, 1995; with Norman W., Citizenship in Culturally Diverse
Societies, Oxford University Press, 2000.
The following authors, together with Kumlicka, promote the line of synthesis or liberal pluralism:
Joseph Ruts (National Self-Determination, 1990), Vernon Van Dyke (The Individual, the State,
and Ethnic Communities in Political Theory, 1989), Chandran Kukathas, (Are There Any Cultural
Rights, 1992), Jacob Levi (Classification of Cultural Rights, 1994), etc.

The second supposition in this regard says that the right of
‘membership of culture’, the right of culture self-identification is
important, valuable, and necessary to be protected and regulated by
law. Such self-acknowledgment of individuals through a specific
culture is necessary for preserving identity and prosperity of persons
belonging to a given society, and for acknowledgment of their civil
status.64 Such premises then make way for debates involving
dialectics between multiculturalism and civism, through concepts of
multicultural citizenship (of Will Kumlicka, etc.) and so-called
differentiated (discerning) citizenship/civism (of Iris Marion Young).65

* * *

Definitive communitarian axiom in cited debates is the position

that it is necessary to insert culture/community as an important
intermedium in the liberalist relationship of an individual and the state.
This especially relates to so-called ‘essential
communities/groups’ that are established by having common past,
history, language, etc.
Some of the key authors in this field construct different aspects
of this relationship; in this regard, we consider contributions by
following authors more important: Charles Taylor and his ‘social
thesis; Alasdair McIntyre and his reconstruction of social redistribution
system, underlining importance of the so-called membership of
culture, as medium distributing goods and values. According to this
author, there can be no objective, impersonal moral standards of
individualism; on the other hand, there is prevalence of what he calls
culture ‘emotivism' that determines the individual choice of a human
being by means of a series of rewards and punishments that a
community offers and uses as threat to its members. Mike Sandel
uses the term ‘situated self’ that precedes the so-called unloaded self
To back up their thesis, the authors sharing this viewpoint cite three key arguments: the
argument of equality – persons belonging to minority cultures are unjustifiably ignored at the
culture market; the argument of historical agreements – by means of agreements the status of
different minorities has already been regulated in many states; the value of cultural diversity –
cultural pluralism is also worth or valuable from aspect of benefits it carries to the majority
cultures by making them self-acknowledge and re-examine and develop.
This author classifies 'the fears' of the classical liberals (W. Kumlicka and W. Norman,
according to this author) into several questions: concern about losing the equal civil status;
concern about 'politicization of minority rights' expressed in proclamation of self-styled leaders;
tendency towards overemphasis amid exclusivity of diversity and status; concern about creation
of pluralism of mono-cultures or uni-cultures; concerns about erosion of civil skills supported by
the individuality of the civil status. Op.cit., pp. 31-40.

of an individual (i.e., a premise stipulating that our self,
consciousness, and action are deeply interwoven with communal
practices of the culture where we have been formed; our self is not
free and unloaded). Michael Waltzer sheds further light on this
primary membership of culture under economic aspect, claiming that
distribution of primary goods certainly implies membership of certain
human community.66

The concept of differentiated citizenship, which represents

some kind of response to the aforementioned dilemmas confronting
the then practice of liberal democracy, is very delicate to implement (it
is much easier to theoretically explain) because it encroaches and
relativizes the notion of ‘rule of law’ or of law-based state, as basis
that implies equality of all persons before the law and universality of
human rights, which in turn make up the grounds of contemporary
liberal democracy. Namely, such institution establishes de facto
simultaneous legal systems, or, at least simultaneous parts of one
legal system – different ones for different ethnic or culture minorities
and persons thereof. The aforementioned shows there cannot be
mention in such cases of accepting a single, common term or notion
of Justice which society is based upon; rather this refers to a process
of common accommodation (modus vivendi), a democratic co-
existence of different communities (communitarian accommodations).

Liberalism as such has no problem with appropriate level of

‘individualization’ in applying human rights protection provided for by
law. Liberalism has no problem with, for example, the so-called
affirmative actions, inverse or positive discrimination, special
measures, etc., for segments of a population (persons belonging to
ethnic groups, indigenous peoples, gender-based or age-based
groups, etc.). Therefore, in such context it is question of relatively
small segments of the law, i.e., exemptions from the principle of
equality as liberals understand it, especially relating to cases of
traditional rites or traditional clothes used by immigrant communities
or of tribal rituals of indigenous peoples. However, when elements of
different cultures and different legal systems start growing and
become complete per se to which these different legal segments
apply – then this creates several parallel or concurrent legal systems
See the following books about this debate: A. McIntyre, Po doblesta, Tabernakul, Skopje, 1998;

M. Sandel , Liberalism and The Limits of Justice, 1982, Cambridge University Press; C. Taylor,
Sources of Self: The Making of Modern Identity, Cambridge University Press, 1989; M. Waltzer,
Podrucja pravde, Filip Visnic, Beograd, 2000.

in one state, or, several ‘rules of law’ in one political system. This
experience is rather new to the ’democratic taste’ known and
practiced to date and reminds us of the medieval Europe based on
the caste system. Hence, this creates great resistance in liberal
circles with regard to both conception and practice.
If one adds the ‘social thesis’ of Taylor to all of this – namely,
analysis from aspect of the context in which the said differentiated
citizenship is being discussed today, especially: experience of non-
integration of most of ethnic communities in the mainstream of
traditional European cultures, their forced or voluntary ghettoizing;
criminalization; connecting them to or media-based propagandistic
presentation of their connections to terrorism or militant Islam;
reactions like, for example, phobia of Islam and Muslims, and reactive
phenomenon of so-called cultural racism, etc. – then the situation
with debate on multicultural citizenship becomes problematic and
politicized towards confrontation.

The way out seems difficult and still unclear. One of influential
concepts in this direction is that of ‘liberal pluralism’ (as promoted by
W. Kumlicka and others). It is based on several premises that are
interesting and important for analysis. Most important of them are:
defining which and what kind of culture identities are important and so
should be given priority – what to do with other multitude of identities
and diversities; second, what about the respect of human rights
inside, among persons belonging to autonomous identity groups,
which are relevant at macro level and are networked in the political
decision making (i.e., the well-known paradigm: whether there can be
tolerance for the intolerant, authoritarian micro groups both towards
their own group members and towards ‘the outside’, towards the rest
of society. According to Waltzer, the so-called Liberalism 2 has this
quality.); and third, what is and how to obtain equilibrium in whole
society. What does it mean having confrontation and somebody to
arbitrate it? And how can we process conflicts in conditions of a
multicultural citizenship?67

If we would analyze these bases of cultural accommodation in a

multicultural society, probably the first one would be most problematic
of the cited premises. The one used in constructing so-called societal
Will Kumlicka says that societal culture is based on shared language, societal institutions... in
public and private life... which is beyond than common religious beliefs, life-styles or family
traditions... and it is also territorially complete. In: Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of
Minority Rights, Oxford University Press, pp. 18, 76.

identities, societal cultures, pervasive cultures (term used by Mergelit
and Rutz), or, essential communities. These could be also called
‘historical communities’ and fall within the theoretical domain called
by I. Kant ‘noumenal, self-choosy selfness’.68 As such, they are only
relevant in constructing society of multicultural citizenship.
Namely, according to these authors, such cultures emanate
rigid identities for their own members and so surpass all other
possible identities, while self-defining perceptions are refracted
through them. The essence of societal culture is included in
meanings, i.e., manners of self-evaluation of society: values, norms,
choices, and goals it presents to its own members as manner of life
and identity.
The term ‘societal cultures’, rigidly determined as constitutive
element of multicultural citizenship and nevertheless influential, leads
its authors into series of unintentional exaggerations and mistakes.
First we could assail the classification into ‘essential and unessential’
identities; this is especially established with these authors in their
classification into ‘national minorities’ and indigenous peoples (that
should be considered seriously and are entitled to all rights provided
for) on one hand, and, ethnic groups and immigrant communities
(actually it seems that one does not know what to do with them);
however, the latter, even at the very outset, are ranked as ‘second-
class communities’!? Certainly, this is unfounded and does not hold
water in context of the latest tendencies in expanding ‘minority rights’
or rights of cultural diversity of these and even of many other cultural
identities and diversities. Such classification also implies per se an
indefensible dosage of arbitrariness in the act of attributing such
(societal) status to a given community, which many authors have
noted and criticized.69
Some of the aforementioned authors further introduce two,
additional thesis in the said term in order to make it more appropriate
to the liberal traditions. This is the notion of ‘entry into culture’ or
membership of culture, and, accordingly, ‘right of exit’ from it, which in
turn should make a given culture pluralistic and tolerant and at the
same time should protect the individualistic choice made by

Such 'self' or 'selfness' is further given elaboration in communitarianist manner by M. Sandel
and A. McIntyre with theses that: a self does not precede but is formed by the communitarian
goals of the community... it is impossible to make demarcation between ME from MY GOALS...,
or that: the story of my life is always embedded in the story of the community that I derive my
identity from... In: Po doblesta, McIntyre, Tabernakul, Skopje, 1998.
Cf. Bikhu Parekh: Dilemmas of a Multicultural Theory of Citizenship, Constellation Vol 4, No. 1,
pp. 54-62, 1997; or, John Gray and Iris Marion Young: in op.cit.

persons.70 On the other hand, the second group of perhaps
somewhat more successful terms denotes classification into ‘external
protections and internal restrictions’, as attempt to deconstruct group
dynamics and political practice of collective rights and creation of
functional multicultural accommodation (adaptation).

The first group of notions represents more theoretical

constructs, because of the fact, which B. Parekh and C. H. Gray see
clearly: namely, membership of culture ‘does not exist’ as
individualistic choice in the rational sense of the word. A person
‘belongs’ to a culture and this is very difficult to change by own
choice; and for certain, especially handicapped groups (women,
children…), this is impossible to do without a serious threat to own
life.71 This is true because it originates from the internal
phenomenology of creating identity and group behavior. This is
created on basis of underlining DIFFERENCES vis-à-vis their
identities and underlining the notion of BORDER towards the others,
and not based on seeking a common denominator, as the democratic
position of equality of individuals before the law. This makes the key
difference between the two dynamics and politics that come out of the
aforementioned – the democratic, individualistic vs. the group,
communitarian. The entire dynamics of creating common culture and
history is mythological construct of creating community spirit
(imagined, according to B. Anderson) that is of beneficial influence,
that creates significance of historic mission, goals, and meaning of
individual life in such community spirit. Such ‘culture placenta’ should
also deliver another important goal – protection and certainty of
individuals sunken with their heads in the collectivist, warm and cozy
‘pulp’ of meanings and safety – contrary to challenges in making
choices and depersonalization ‘over there, outside’ in the globalist
world and national majoritarian cultures.
The price of such ‘certainty in meanings’ implies the so-called
‘internal restrictions’ or taboos of individualistic free choices. Internal
restrictions are intended to protect a given group from destabilizing
influence internal discord among group members – in other words,
In this context, in addition to the already said Kumlicka, we have to note the effort by Chandran
Kukathas who says that ... the liberal community should recognize the legitimacy of the cultural
communities as a political subject... if the latter accept and support the individual projects and
protect the minorities inside minorities... In: Chandran Kukathas, Are There Any Cultural Rights,
Political Theory 20, 1992 .
Cf. Bhikhy Parekh, Rethinking Multiculturalism, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 2000,
and, Culture Pluralism and Limits of Diversity, Alternatives 20, 1995; C. H. Gray, Postmodern War,
Semiotex, New York, 1997.

decisions made by individual members should not have any influence
on traditional group procedures and customs. On the other hand,
external protections are intended to protect a group from influence by
external factors in context of supremacy by the majority, imposing
alien or other’s practices.72 This institution is acceptable and accepted
in the liberal discourse of modern democracy, in form of affirmative
actions (inverse discrimination; positive discrimination; or specific
measures) and special measures that enable maintaining and
reproduction of minority cultures. Nevertheless, there is a problem
coming from the over-extensive practice of internal restrictions, where
challenge towards a wider consensus based on individual human
rights is rather clear and open.
Regardless of the fact if cited institutions would be accepted
and/or criticized, or even another road would be taken towards
incompatibility, non-communication of diverse cultures under one
political ‘sky’, in one state – in other words, such problem amounts to
how to provide and apply new political consensus, and prevent
imposing by the majority (not even in indirect form).
We would like to elaborate this problem in more detailed
fashion, since it is the key element surrounding conflict situations in
multicultural societies; accordingly, it should be known in order to be
able to prepare negotiations strategy of avoiding or solving conflicts.

* * *

Let us begin with the thesis of John Gray that multicultural

citizenship and liberal discourse hiding behind it do not function in
illiberal societies and within illiberal minorities. In other words, even
‘civic virtues’ and high political culture of William Gallstone – which
liberal pluralists consider as equally important as institutional
arrangements are for a multicultural society to function – cannot lead
to firmly established consensus, but mostly to a temporary MODUS
VIVENDI.73 This model of accommodation or modus vivendi lies in

W. Kumlicka , op.cit., p. 35 .

Wiliam Galston, Liberal Purposes: Goods, Virtues and Duties in Liberal State, Cambridge

University Press, Cambridge, 1991, pp. 221-224. Here, Galston distinguishes four groups of
skills: social skills as independence, free-thinking; economic skills as work ethics, delay of self-
gratification, accommodation to economic and technological changes; political skills as ability to
respect the rights of others, preparedness to raise demands only if supported, preparedness to
get involved in public discourse.
The quality of citizenship is a function of the preparedness to take part in such community where
civic virtues are necessary together with the procedural-institutional arrangement.

between the minimal threshold of shared and accepted liberal
principles of equity as impartiality on one hand, and the maximalist
aspirations of the communitarian position on incomparable and
immeasurable diversities and meanings of various cultures in one
segmented society.

This line of criticism also pertains to the theory coming out of

the postmodern fascination with ‘deconstruction of the subject”, as
represented by Iris M. Young within feminist debates, through her
front notion of ‘differentiated, discerning citizenship’.74 Deconstruction
of the subject resulted in deconstruction of its hard identities.
According to these authors, there was none of them, and hence ideas
advocated by pluralists on special, historical identities do not hold
water or represent ideology. All of this turned into a simulacrum of
overlapping identities that are too far dynamic, unclear and
changeable – indeed more changeable than what Donald Horowitz
wanted to say with the note that ethnic identity is not static; it changes
with the environment …75
The thesis of advocates of differentiated, discerning citizenship
claims that such identity has never been firm and defined; it has
always been fluctuating. Hence, it is ideology, and not science or
theory, to consider any of those identities predominant, ‘firm’, and
determining. This then takes them to the term ‘differentiated
citizenship’, as innovative principle that is based on reduction of
injustice among ethnic and culture groups in a given society, and on
supporting justice inside them. Indeed, they have similar ambition like
the one of cultural, liberal pluralists; nevertheless, the means used
are somewhat more radical. There are no ‘nomoi’ any more like
primary groups, societal, historical groups; nevertheless, the
landscape has become more radical and dynamic towards
expressively more mobile overlapping identities, even to the level of
simulacrum of identities without subject.
Second, as John Gray emphasizes, a cultural discord, or not
having a single model of truth and justice is more radical. Namely,
such society has no perspective of agreed procedural basis of equity,
in sense of common value-based placenta and procedure for conflict
Iris M. Young, op.cit.
D. L. Horowitz , Ethnic Groups in Conflict , University of California Press, Berkeley, USA, 1985 .
According to John Rawls, the model of individualist justice is modified in direction of creation a
theory of equity that is based on several premises: principle of equal freedom for all participants;
freedom may be restricted only for the sake of freedom; every person should have the right of the

Deep diversities are not ‘rational’ and cannot lead to
overlapping consensus even of neutral type (they lead the theory of
equity of Rawls into crisis). It is not possible to separate the public
advocacy for equity and private moral arguments of what is good and
bad in given culture groups. Some of those groups deny definitively
and in detail freedom as option or understand it in very different
manner than liberals do. Although justice as equity (in case of Rawls)
represents an instrument of cooperation, collaboration, and
avoidance of conflicts and is not an instrument for concluding truth
and final moral judgments, even this does not have to be yet shared
as important by some of culture groups. Some groups think that such
‘softness and dullness’ of the moral judgments is rather expression of
decadency and disintegration of the moral code of people and that to
die for own truth still represents the only good and important deed
that makes man a human being. This position in non-militant versions
is denial of cooperation, deliberate marginalization, and ignoring the
outside world.

The cited Rawls’ concept of justice as equity is an attempt to

treat the political fact of cultural diversities in pragmatic manner, so
that conflicts could be settled in non-violent way. Such concept of
justice is neither meta-ethic nor metaphysical; it is political. In this
segment, liberal pluralists and postmodern deconstructionists accept
it; however both of them think it is insufficient, naïve, and inapplicable
in society of deep diversities. Both J. Gray and W. Kumlicka claim
that cultural pluralism is not a mere political fact but axiological
position as well. Namely, cultural pluralism discusses different stories
on meaning of life originating from different rationalities. By this,
most extensive overall system of equal freedoms; and all of this can be agreed in basic
procedural consensus because it is based on the neutral principle of the greatest use, i.e., of the
least common denominator. If such ideal principle could be adopted, then one could go to the
second realistic principle of intervention of the most endangered, but again in the name of
freedom and the previous ideal concept of contracted equity. The system of Rawls is based on
the optimistic opportunity for a complementary consensus, which in turn is based on a reasonable
calculation, of system of rationality that is considered universal. It is also based on values
(desirability of freedom) and moral judgments that were also considered universal. The system is
then based on the separation of such discourse and the possibility in private life to practice
radically diverse cultural options. This means that every individual should clearly understand that
he should prefer such 'equity' to his own benefit in public life and politics, preceding his own
system of beliefs of what is good and what is bad and immoral. According to Rawls, justice
reduced or amounting to equality is a condition for a democratic society to be faced with unknown
systems of personal and group cultural truths and justices, provided that this does not threaten
his own stability and efficiency.
Indeed, it is very clear that this system is in crisis if it cannot be reduced to the basic, 'thin',
essential rationality (even only as political pragmatics) about what is just, how to avoid conflicts,
and whether conflicts need be avoided after all?

cultural pluralism cannot be divided, i.e., to demand every individual
split himself in public rationality of Rawls’ kind, and in private –
diversity (another rationality) of every individual culture. This is
untenable, schizophrenic position and results in destruction of the
global consensus in such societies.
From this point onwards, theoretical consequences of cited
authors are different. One of them nevertheless goes back to
possibility of having a thin, procedural consensus (like the one with
Rawls) among different groups (because he thinks identities are not
definite and unchangeable, so it would be possible to stimulate liberal
values in them, and suppress patriarchal, repressive, and
fundamentalist values and wants to see state intervention in minority
cultures (Kumlicka). On the other hand, the second author is rather
pessimistic on possibility of external intervention in discourse of
cultures and takes more radical version of ‘splitting’ the state into
different jurisdictions, jurisprudences, legal systems for different
cultures in one state (J. Gray).
We find the epistemological note by C. Taylor referring to this
confrontation of values very productive (using a term coined by Hans-
Georg Gadamer - ‘fusion of horizons’). He says that in evaluating
other cultures we should move along a wider horizon where we reach
our judgments, which are outcome of partial transformation of our
starting standards. Genuine value judgments imply a fused horizon of
standards. They assumed that studying other cultures would not
make transformation. Hence we do not make our judgments only on
basis of own starting standards. In this regard, evaluation is open,
both towards and for the sake of change. Assuming values implies a
universe where diverse cultures add to one another by means of very
different types of contribution. This does not mean that everything is
equivalent, equal, or having equal contribution. Genuine evaluation
also includes perspective of civilization progress; and yet this is done
carefully, from a benchmark position of winning human freedom.

* * *
The debate in the camp of ‘the deconstructionists’, on the other
hand, took the line of defining the already said differentiated,
discerning citizenship (something close to J. Gray’s position), and
even beyond, to elaboration of a concept of democratization of

democracy by means of the so-called mirror representation and
deliberative democracy.77
An important component of this line is pointing out the limits
and risks in uncritical acceptance of the identity concept, in form of
the so-called rigid ethnic identities and their participation in the
distribution of power. It was done by pointing out other non-identity
communities, gender identities, and handicapped groups that are
today outside and remain outside in their marginalization and in
society with power divided among ‘the hard identities’. The
consequence of this was entire permeation of the character and
division of identities (criticism of identity logic); underlining the
importance of preservation of individual human rights within identity
communities (opening of identity); as well as further pluralization of
political actors by means of numerous non-identity communities and
handicapped groups.

Instrument ‘deconstructionists’ considered possible for

embedding this new plurality into democracy – is the cited new
participative, deliberative democracy and mirror representation.78
The problem we can point out as kind of criticism as well as a
fact to think about in context of all this review of theoretical
classifications and explanations of new plurality in the post-modern, is
in the fact that such type of explosion of pluralities of identity and non-

The concept, introduced by I. M. Young, developed another relationship towards identities,
drifting from the so-called hard identities, or nomoi. Namely, this author pointed out the
appearance of non-identity communities by means of criticizing the logic of the identity of gender-
based constellations and rights; and of handicapped communities and social groups that can
remain such even in context of division of power among the hard identity groups. Groups,
according to this viewpoint, should represent in politics according to their interests, attitude and
social perspective. Cf. Iris M. Young Polity and Group Difference : A Critique of the Idea of
Universal Citizenship, Ethics, 99/2, 1989, pp. 250-274.
There is interesting distinction, made by some of these authors (Jane Mansbridge) in support of
the deliberative democracy, between: the descriptive and substantial political representation. The
former represents, possibly, all or almost all, while the latter is classical example where the
biggest, most often territorially concentrated, identity groups only are represented. In case of the
former, the descriptive, the parliament is transformed into 'a circus tent' of great diversity of the
represented microcosms of local and interest-based communities. Cf.: J. Mansbridge ,
Descriptive Representation in Communicative Settings.. .. Kumlicka, Norman (ed.), 2000, pp. 99-
On the other hand, Charles Taylor presents a very interesting criticism against the
deconstructionists that he calls 'new followers of Nietzsche'. According to him, they have a cynical
attitude that produces a hypocritical chain thus failing to answer or respond to the question of
cultural pluralism and even distorting it into a question of power and strength. They prefer to not
seriously consider cultural pluralism and claim that all value judgments are based on standards
that are essentially imposed by power structures. They then claim that those standards further
base those power structures in reflexive manner. Cf. Multrikulturalizam, Evro-Balkan, 2004,
Skopje, pp. 58-59.

identity character is ASYMMETRIC from aspect of motivation power
for political action, and even more important to us, from aspect of
possibility to become violent and use force in solving own status and
perspective of accommodation. Possibility for violent conflict and
denial of social consensus by use of force – is by far greater in
context of ethno-religious diversities among groups, than it is with
Such hard identity variables as: civil wars; violence; secession;
federalism; closed consensual democracy; ethnic rights connected to
territory; ethnic cleansing (violent or ‘silent’); autonomous and yet
authoritarian minorities, have marked, imposed, and even ‘colonized’
the debate (have created epistemological ‘whirlpool’) in discourse of
social plurality in transition of multicultural societies, after the fall of
communism, as well as in traditional democracies.

This practice was connected to the ‘bad’ European history of

conflicts and civil wars; there was even an example in history of
decolonization and self-determination of nations. However, nothing
could compare with the astonishment in theory and practice
concerning resurrection of ethnic nationalism (when it was considered
‘resolved’) after the dissolution of the communist federations and
accommodation of ethnic communities in the transition countries of
Southeast Europe.

Hard variables of identity accommodation in democracy have

enhanced own theoretical presence also due to the increasingly
evident failure of the project of ‘integration’ of old and new
immigration minorities in European countries. This recent process is
very influential in theory since it had nothing to do with violentness of
transitional multicultural societies; on the contrary, it has evolved in
the peaceful, decadent, postmodern, and prosperous Europe. This
makes the problem of multiculture and accommodation of cultural
diversities even more universal and identifies the need in search of a
new liberal justice for plural postmodern societies.

5.2. Sources of confliction and conditions for democracy and

constitutionalism in these societies

5.2. Nevertheless, let us make attempt to sum up the debate in
the theory of multicultural citizenship and define out the end position
for the needs of further conflict research.

Namely, these debates singled out the so-called hard and soft
position on multicultural citizenship. The debates also showed
intervention in conflict prevention requires pragmatically political, and
on long-term, stabilizing conception basis, a justice concept that
identified the need for intervention and lays down foundations for
future political structure after a conflict.
Regardless of sometimes rather pessimistic theory on
possibility of a soft universalism of the human rights concept and
justice based on them, it is at least implicitly needed and present,
floating in esoteric manner around every social action for prevention
or settlement of conflicts.

Therefore, the discussions underlined the so-called hard

version of multiculturalism that advocates essential shift in our
understanding of the civil stratus. Identity groups should be given
extensive formal-legal and constitutional protections and positions so
that they would be able to govern their own members in accordance
with their own culture – nomos. Very often, this assumes various
forms of home rule, autonomy, and official inclusion in political
representation and public administration. Such tendency should be
able to reduce or even eliminate injustice among groups (this is
above all in interest of this viewpoint). This position also concentrates
on conflict resolution among identity groups or between identity group
members and the state, while neglecting conflict discourse inside of
every identity group.
Negative outcome of this overestimation is the syndrome of so-
called multicultural vulnerability. This represents a situation when due
to advantages given to group representation and neglecting of intra-
group relations, group elites are given autonomy to behave in
authoritarian and repressive manner within their own group for the
sake of preserving unity of a group. The paradox lies in the fact that
in the intention to have intergroup justice – accept is placed on
importance of group representation and protection of minority culture
in politics and public discourse; this in turn can have as consequence
increase in intra-group pressure, hierarchies, and intolerance of
individuals, at the expense of their own individual rights. In such case,

‘external protections’ (Kumlicka) stimulate ‘internal reactions’ of
illiberal type.

In the soft version of multiculturalism, this weakness has been

noticed; hence, multiculturalism is based on a more balanced
tendency for accommodation of identity groups simultaneously with
protection of individual civil rights. In this version, the genuine test for
multicultural citizenship is how minority rights or rights of cultural
diversity coexist with individual rights.79
This version has adopted perhaps the key position in the
multicultural ‘story’, such as coexistence, or relationship in
stabilization of identities with others in one social environment in one
This theory does recognize the tenacity and function of ‘the
historical identities; however, the theory also claims that moment of
accommodation of an identity group in wider society is never just an
act of recognition of a group by the state but also opening of a given
group to influence of values ‘from the outside’ aiming at its internal
relations and hierarchies. The state by ‘recognition of identity’ can
also finish an important function for an identity group; namely, to
decide which one of opposing, sometimes even conflictive
interpretations of identity of such group (that are made by its internal
factions) would be recognized and become dominant. The state can
prevent internal group discord (there is also risk that the state can
cause it), because ‘to be recognized’, to institutionalize your own
culture means patronage, power; it means that state recourses and
opportunities for socio-cultural communications would be aimed at

Of great importance is that such position of soft multiculturalism

in principle creates legitimacy of interference, intervention in intra-
group conflicts and so creates opportunity for optimism of post-
conflict solutions.
If we take for example the opposite viewpoint: that identity
groups are defined and closed entities, which negotiate or talks to the
outside world through controlled channels and ‘semiconductors’ –
then peace, evolution, and compromise are always only of political
Cf. W. Kumlicka, Multicultural Citizenship, ibid .

One could even perhaps accept the position of 'imagination' of identities or nations of B.

Anderson, or 'invention' or construction of traditions and identities of E. Hobsbawm. Cf. Eric

Hobsbawm, The Invention of Tradition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1983; Benedict
Anderson, Imagined Communities, Verso, London, 1991.

and temporary (never of permanent) character because they have no
future, they do not create new situation but only a status quo until the
next conflict and reaching new balance of power. Then it would be
impossible to have one multicultural society; this would only be a
phase of transition towards ‘settling the score’ among involved
identity groups and creating microcosms of ethnically ‘clean’
identities. This idea is not entirely paranoiac since it has been present
at least as hidden ideal and concept at many negotiations on conflict

Therefore, with regard to the question if it is possible in principle

to make intervention in intra-group identity relations for the sake of
conflict prevention or resolution – this author and this work are
inclined to accept possibility of intervention, with full responsibility for
such intervention and all reservations of a minimalist-valued and
strictly utilitarian concept of such intervention. Such concept would be
based on elimination of violence as method in politics in conflict
resolution and in protection of human rights and rights of cultural
diversity, within the framework of the so-called ‘soft universalism’ of
their importance and extension.

On the other hand, identity groups can respond to state policy

through several policies of their own: policy of assimilation; policy of
limited, restrictive culturalism; and policy of reactive culturalism.82 The
last two actualize multiculturalism.

Limited culturalism is said to exist when an identity group, in

addition to its own practice, makes such practice and even efforts to
integrate part of the outside culture and change itself more intensively
(in such case, emphasis on external protection is higher, while the
given group adapts its internal restrictions).

Reactive culturalism exists when a given group refuses the

aforementioned and insists on it own traditions that it considers
clearly distinctive from the rest of society. Such group makes use of
external protections and at the same time even enhances its own

Bosnia and the Dayton Accord are the most topical negotiations disasters of this kind. Part of
'the greater-nation concepts' of Serbs and Albanians in the Balkans are of the same kind. The
genocide in Rwanda is the most notorious slaughterhouse of the same concept.
Cf. Ayelet Shashar, Multicultural Jurisdiction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2001,
pp. 28-44.

internal restrictions. ‘Nomoi’ of such groups do not want to adapt
themselves and so make the consensus of wider society very critical.

* * *

If we were to construct a working model that is most probable to

us, closest to our conception viewpoints and is framework for
methodology of ‘intervention’ from aspect of its positions in conflict
negotiations – then it would consist of:
- Position of ‘soft universalism’ of human rights as general point
of departure;
- Possibility afterwards to reach position of limited culturalism;
this would imply departing from conformation of the state of reactive
culturalism and possibility to have change towards limited culturalism;
- Constructing such consensus meaning a constant process of
reaching agreement (at worse, only modus vivendi; and at better,
agreement on values) in overcoming violence as method of conflict
Therefore, our position/model would be multicultural society
where cultural diversities assume the character of ‘deep diversities’
that cannot and refuse to be melted into a common identity of the
nation, or to be assigned to equality of the civil status (at least not
entirely, insisting on precedence of justice for groups over equality of
human rights for individuals). However, in contrast to fatalism of this
dividing tendency, we still are of the opinion that there is chance of
group identity evolution (as concept, we do accept that it is
constructed regardless how it might seem rather ‘historical’ and firm
at a given moment), and that such evolution is relational, determined

This is very important point of the concept, a possibility of evolution towards limited culturalism.
Namely, this is a possibility that is evolving on long-term in the social accommodation of a cultural
group, and yet it is a possibility that is created in explosive manner and in conditions of stress
caused by conflict situation. What we have previously described as 'ripe moment' of a conflict
actually mean that – a group shifts from hard, extremist positions (reactive or even militant
culturalism) because of assessing the cost of continuing the conflict or of being exhausted from it,
to phase of preparedness for negotiations and evolving culturalism that an agreement would
certainly bring.
This is very important information or knowledge when a negotiator must have when he
approaches a moment of solving a conflict.
W. Kumlicka also notes about the possibility of evolution of a group cultural identity that there are
liberal traditions inside every culture and that they should be found, enhanced, supported, and
pulled out to the surface so that evolution of group identity and communications with others would
be possible. Ibid.

with interaction with other groups, wider society, the state, and
international intervention.84

However, it is important not to deceive ourselves with ‘cover

concepts’ in search of false harmony and consensus. Cultural
antagonisms are realistic and open. It is impossible to expect that
such antagonisms would be solved by means of Rawls’ recipe of
dividing into public and private spheres: public rationality – choosing
equity as the least harmful denominator, and, privately practicing
Justice – choosing good and bad in accordance with culture dogmas.
Such schizophrenic split into ‘a rational and into a naturally-
culturological’ personality of his behavior in one state is not likely to
Respect of the common consensus from aspect of John Gray,
on line of Hobbes’ ‘fear of harm’, would perhaps have some chances
to function. Namely, this requires culture groups to accept respecting
certain minimal rules of procedure and being tolerant due to fear of
own survival (or fear of serious harm) if they fail to behave so. This
would be a consensus, at the start as some kind of ‘modus vivendi’,
constantly unstable equilibrium that certainly needs strong
administration and monopoly of force, which would be guardian of the
consensus and punisher of violators, or in its worse form it would lean
on fear of retaliation.

When we try to graphically present the correlation of the consensus or double loyalties of
individuals towards own cultural groups and wider society (especially in transitional, multicultural
societies), it looks thus:

In the first case, the correlation of loyalty towards the culture of own group and towards the state
are in blocking balance; in the second case, loyalty towards own group is by far greater; and in
the third case there is small but sufficient predominance of loyalty towards the state, maintaining
rather high level of loyalty towards the culture of own group. The third case is that case that would
be stabilizing and desirable in transitional multicultural societies and would lead towards
consolidation of constitutionalism and democracy in those societies.

The idea is to avoid falling in what Amartya Sen calls ‘plural
monoculturalism’ where dialog is conducted with the assumption to
confirm stereotypes and not to overcome or reduce their impact.
There is also the idea to create an opportunity (not to compel) for
multiculturalism that would open room for dialog with the assumption
of Charles Taylor and Gadamer: to start with own culture positions;
and yet to change the, in contact with other cultures and values;
finally, to draw conclusions through evolved own culture viewpoints,
viewpoints that include the feedback of making contacts with ‘the
others’. In other words, to provide opportunity for extended horizons
of Gadamer.

It is our opinion that even in case of radical cultural diversities, it

is possible to find what Kumlicka calls ‘liberal values’ in every culture
through constant dialog with other values that are not liberal; or are
illiberal. In this context, it is important for us not to be guided by the
method of having final solutions, but by insisting of the very
DIALOGUE as norm of exit strategy.
By such approach, it would be possible to have rather different
exit solutions of democratic systems in multicultural societies. Namely
such solutions could show to be complicated, slow, costly system of
procedural dialog. However, their value and functionality for a given
society must be evaluated in relation to the price and danger of
potential violent conflict, and in context of traditions of such society of
living together.
In a word, there are no models to recommend, although there
are basic lines to follow.
We think it is important to make emphasis in this approach as
well that, regardless how final solutions are open-ended, one of those
lines, some kind of liberal criterion of intervention and dialog
promotion still exists (at least some kind of ‘super soft universalism’ of
human rights).

In attempt to have closer definition of the position of

harmonization, or intervention in the culture sphere of identity groups,
I would like to propose THE THEORY OF COORDINATION, in place
of the imposing liberalism. This term has been borrowed from
coordination discourse between international law and national legal
systems of countries in law implementation in contemporary
international relations. International law has many analogous points
with law in these multicultural societies. According to John Gray,

coordination between different jurisdictions involving diverse cultural
segments resembles the relationship between international law and
national laws. The following offers the essence of the aforementioned
theory of coordination: principles of international law are basically
valid and may not be ignored (without grave implication); however,
the very manner of their implementation is left to happen in the
tradition of national legal systems. Some basic guidelines are
mentioned, in order to prevent misuse, deformation, and non-
observance of international norms; nevertheless manner and pace of
implementation is left to national systems. The institution of ‘margin of
appreciation’ (i.e., margin of allowed deviation in application of some
norm guided by traditions of a national law) is well-known even in
rendering decisions concerning cases brought before international

In our case, these international norms are analogous to the soft

universalism of human rights and fundamental principles of
democracy, while their implementation is left to cultural traditions
(with certain reservations and guidelines, they are of benefit to
protection of individual rights of man).
For such system to function, a very important condition is ‘the
openness’ of society to external arbitration or assessment of the
IMPLEMENTATION of agreements and actions made.
Paradoxical element in multicultural societies is the relationship
between the basic energies created by tensions and conflicts that
originate from localism, particularism, and closure of cultural identities
on one hand, and on the other hand the state of basic need to include
in conflict resolution globalizing elements, some type of international
soft arbitration! Very few conflicts were solved by remaining closed.
Most of conflict resolution was done by certain form of international
involvement and guarantees,
Because relations between identities is full of distrust and fear,
evaluation and opinion by ‘third’ party or arbiter offering good services
(in which all actors have some trust) is an important factor in internal

* * *

So, it remains to explain positions on CONSENSUS and its
making as process in multicultural societies.85
Culture-related facts represent epistemological objectivity that
is different from so-called ontological objectivity (provided it exists).
Namely, culture-related facts do exist and depend on agreements and
consents reached by men on and around them. Therefore,
consensus is in principle POSSIBLE.
However, consensus in multicultural societies cannot be the
same consensus found in homogeneous liberal
cultures/democracies. Consensus in multicultural societies is a
delicate combination made up of liberal values and individual
identities. Namely, such consensus cannot be GIVEN as CONDITION
upon which one state is constructed. One cannot APPEAL for such
consensuses to be accepted by all individuals and groups, because it
is not clear what it contains or should contain as set of values in
order to be accepted as basis for further work.
Consensus in multicultural societies cannot be attained by
appeals for unity and its moralization. It is more of a PROBLEM than
a condition. It is something like ambiguous frame that is WORTH
existing and building, to be filled with values it has (yet) to come to.
From such aspect, consensus is not position, but METAPOSITION.
Being metaposition, such consensus does not represent higher type
of value or higher type of consent on values; it is DIFFERENT type of
consent. Such consent resolves conflict ethics, or values of different
identities. Consensus of this type is not able to do it by imposing a
system pf presumed liberal values; this cane be done by constant
dialog among diversities and by citizens’ action in state of civil
Consensus in multicultural citizenship is competent, constant
working (management) with diversities or difference coming out of the
identities. These differences are sometimes hard debates on lack of
freedom, dependence, and fear and violence, and not only on human
rights and democracy as such.
Hence, we have said earlier that such consensus cannot be
granted as previous condition but only ASSIGNED or imposed as
problem, only with POSSIBLE outcome from organizing these
differences. Therefore, this means that such consensus should be
negotiated and it should be reached by civic action that happens in
state of freedom. Consensus is not a thing one has or possesses; it is
See interesting debate on this - in: Herman Van Gunsteren (1998), A Theory of Citizenship,

Westview Press, Oxford.

only an imperfect and incomplete exercise on consent among
The only two conditions for consensus are state of FREEDOM

* * *

In context of needs of our topic, conflict resolution, i.e.,

negotiation in identity conflicts, the segment that deals with
CONDITIONS for successful outcome of the project: institutional
building and successful functioning of democracy in multicultural
societies – is very important.
Second side of examination of conditions for success also
involves aggravating circumstances or factors, those about crisis and
failure of the same project.
We have intention to address exactly this issue in the last part
of this section of the book; this in turn would enable us enter the key
section relating to negotiation in identity conflicts in multicultural
Let us start with ‘repetition’ of pairs of different terms/values that
contain, in somewhat simplified manner, models of modernism and
postmodernism and are borrowed from Herman Van Gunsteren.
Therefore, Policy of national building, a front term of modernism
in politics, is opposed, replaced with (more of a tendency than a
standard) creolization in global structure in postmodernism;
emancipation politics (educational paradigm) is replaced with life style
politics; equality is replaced with differentiation and difference;
organization and hierarchy are replaced by reorganization and
‘networking’; rationality is replaced with rationalities; clear, fixed
identities are replaced with multiplied and overlapping identities;
indirect representation and indirect democracy are replaced with ad
hoc presentation and mirror, deliberative democracy; pragmatism in
politics is replaced by fundamentalism in politics (we mean here
failure to make comprising and synthetic identities at national level).

Out of the said series, let us single out transformation of

political representation from predominantly indirect (as standard in
liberal democracies) towards ‘mirror, inclusive, deliberative’
representation, because this shows the tendency of so-called RE-

DEMOCRATIZATION of democratic societies by inclusion of culture
Therefore, the tendency (if one could identify it in this manner)
is for the civil status (and national identity through it) to both include
all citizens – as equal before the law, and to accept and treat them as
equally valuable and legitimate members of the community.
The change that includes culture pluralism is not at all simple;
on the contrary, it is turbulent. Such change, because of its
symbolism and struggle of symbols of diverse cultures, mostly
involves the public sphere of political representativeness in said
struggles and then goes down institutionally to level of civil
networking and micro communities and life styles.
Thus, we come to the first CONDITION for success of
democratic politics in multicultural societies, being INCLUSIVE

The second condition is preservation of legal system and

preservation of society as ‘governable’. This is very important in the
first part of the intervention, because eventual downfall of these
societies in a more serious conflict would make then ungovernable
and fallen from within on longer term. Experience has shown that in
such cases ‘the starting situation’ becomes definitively lost and very
different methods of post-conflict management would be then
required. This ‘urgent’ plan/condition requires that at least two pillars
be set in advance (perhaps not elaborated in all details, but being
properly directed): the first pillar address design of a constitutional
frame that will protect and promote individual human rights and will
also provide inclusion and efficient representation of different groups;
the second pillar is equally important: protective mechanisms for
creating neutral and efficient administration.

The third condition would be clear and open orientation towards

political promotion of identities. This condition is closely related to the
first one – inclusiveness, and treats it very clearly and openly.
Namely, as we have mentioned just a while concerning ‘the
symbolism’ of struggles, it is important that an identity of a political
community be expressed in the political sphere and in the sphere of
institutional building, above all and more then in the civil sphere or
that of life styles, manner of life (semi-public, semi-private). If this
condition is met, then it will enable identities to ‘be relaxed’ from
convulsion and fear that they will be by-passed in distribution of

power; this in turn enables better chances for development and
multiple and overlapping identities. By this, chances are made to
construct a consensually based structure of authority and later in
perspective a symbiotic ‘national identity’.

The fourth condition would involve development of civic virtues,

especially tolerance and accepting others as being different and
equally valuable in atmosphere of freedom for communication
between cultural discourses.

The fifth condition implies participation in employment and

development of market economy, having share in resources and
social opportunities.

The sixth condition means that society be ‘kept open’ for

international soft arbitration (expert assistance or political stimulus) in
sensitive normative zones of regulating culture rights.

The seventh condition is international networking of such

countries in wider security and economic integration processes. This
condition can be shown to be vital to implementation prospects of any
agreement in a given such country, and can permanently solve
culture conflicts, or at least to pull them out of their violent stage.
With development prospects that are provided by wider
integration processes and their ‘soft power’ (power to make reforms
by offering assistance and examples, and not pressure and threats),
multicultural states have opportunities for longer stabilization and

Aggravating factors stand as counterpoint to conditions for

success, being as follows:
- existence of intensive feeling of security threat (disintegrated
former complex states; undefined borders, etc);
- weak states or lack of institutions with authority and power to
implement law or agreement;
- lack of any traditions of liberal and democratic conduct and
observance of procedures, or even existence of traditions of
authoritarian government and ‘destroyed human material’ on the long

- fallen economies, poverty, gray and criminal economy;
discriminatory and exclusive political institutions (exclusion of entire
culture groups);
- traditions of culture discrimination, bulling by the majority, and
problematic construction of history and historical memories of groups
(as antagonizing, enemy, retaliation, messianic, etc.);
- isolation of such state, its non-involvement in international
security and economic arrangements (states that are ungovernable,
criminaloid, which are split among the warlords, forgotten places,
black holes).

Special problem are countries in transition that assume form of

‘illiberal democracies’. Such countries, in addition to the previously
cited negative tendencies, also have painful experiences with their
own political elites who, instead of leading the process towards
democracy thus mobilizing even minimal common basis for
consensus, easily slip into ethnic nationalism and populism. Instead
of understanding the specially underlined role of responsible
leadership towards democracy and constitutional state, the opposite
is very frequent – negative mobilization on grounds of ethnic
nationalism, connected to organized crime and endemic corruption.
Thus, the notorious bad equilibrium of transition is created. Given
such atmosphere, culture groups become closed or entrapped in
permanent antagonism, while interethnic conflict lives in collective
group narrations with realistic or imagined events and dynamics.



Actors or sides in conflict do create such conflict and they can

solve it. There is no hidden plot or historical determinism that drives
or prevents them in doing something to this end. Experts can analyze
and even develop theories on this, which might help or impede,
however the very sides are the ones solving such dispute/conflict.
This is the first starting assumption. The second one is that
there are no conceptional or practical reasons to treat use of violence
as necessity or inevitable thing in politics and especially in identity
Every attempt to employ prevention, mediation, or negotiation
for conflict resolution uses the said two presumptions as point of

6.1. Definition of negotiation

6.1. Definition of NEGOTIATION means that this is the final

stage in conflict resolution.
Negotiation is process of confrontation and discussion involving
all sides on their different and opposing interests and goals in formal
procedure, by which they try to reach jointly acceptable agreement.86

Negotiation is usually conducted in three global phases:

preliminary negotiations or pre-negotiations; argumentation,
contesting, confrontation, or, direct negotiation; and, implementation.
Yet, another, somewhat different approach would include the
following: pre-negotiation activities; conceiving possible agreement
and architecture of final agreement; and, discussion on all important
details that would enable having a final balance of the agreement.
Certainly, in this context a special phase would be considered in the

W. Zartman, Pruitt, Berman, Hopmann, Faure..., define negotiations in similar manner –
namely, like a process whereby involved sides combine and/or keep their own different positions
in a single way out... Or, at another place in the below cited work: negotiations includes exchange
of proposals for the purpose of reaching common solution starting with different positions, while
the process is guided by the thicks of reciprocity... See in: Escalation and Negotiation... cited
work, pp. 4, 11.

very implementation of the basic agreement; sometimes, a separate
agreement would be required for this.87

By means of such negotiation process, involved sides can

reach final conflict resolution, or could just try ceasing hostilities and
possible conflict escalation. Perhaps, another motive or outcome for
involved sides could be to have confirmation or recognizance of
asymmetric situation of forces in a given moment of their conflict,
and, afterwards, to gain advantage or capitalize such situation by
starting negotiations.
If we try to exhaust the list of possible reasons to be used by
involved sides in conflict in making decision to commence
negotiations for solving their conflict, then this list perhaps might
seem like this:

- the first reason is rather of cognitive-rational type: assessment

that own interests cannot be further realized by conflict and that a
situation of mutually hurting stalemates (Zartman) for involved sides
emerges in the field. Such stalemate situation would be overcome by
starting negotiations;
- fear of conflict escalation all the way up to endangering the
very existence of one or both sides in conflict;
- change of involved sides or change of political relations and
constellations inside involves sides, thus making possible for
moderate leaders to assume power or posts;
- change of attitude or positions of involved sides about the
other side, thus making possible for moderate viewpoints, new
prospects of cooperation, etc., to come to the foreground;
- tactical gaining time and room for ‘a break or rest” from
conflict, and then consolidation of forces and options;
-intervention or interference by the international community by
means of confidence-building measures and security measures;
- process of learning and promotion of mutual relations between
involved sides towards new, reconciliatory contexts and with new
development perspectives (most often this means an offer to get
integrated into wider economic and security arrangements, and so
on), etc.

At the outset of negotiations, involved sides can communicate

directly, by means of written communications or of a third side
Cf. International Negotiation, Kluwer Law International , London-The Hague, 7/3 , 2002 .

(intermediary; mediator; facilitator; moderator; a go-between
representative offering his good services).
Negotiation as such basically and most often is voluntary;
however, the consent of involved sides to come to the negotiating
table can be likewise obtained under ‘pressure’ from a third side,
mediator, or the international community in form of certain regional
organization, protective power, etc.

6.2. Pre-negotiation institutions

6.2. Before we go forward to detailed analysis of negotiation

process, it would be of further interest and for the sake of the subject
matter of this book, to explain institutions, or processes that very
often precede negotiations. These instruments also can be conducted
on their own, without arriving to a negotiation process. These
instruments often have a common name:conflict prevention activities.

Preventive activities can be of nature of STRUCTIURAL or

OPEARITVE prevention.
Structural prevention deals with change or exerting influence on
basic conditions, reasons and circumstances that could lead to
conflicts, thus assisting involved states by means of different projects
to get ready for integration into security and economic structures. The
given assessment is that those structures would contribute to definite
On the other hand, operative prevention is a system of
measures and activities that directly prevent appearance or
escalation of a conflict. Such measures would include inter alia:
freezing of financial assets owned by involved sides deposited in
foreign banks; arms embargo; economic embargo; rapid response
system in or around the conflict area; punishing involved sides for
their irresponsible or intolerable conduct by sue of other effective
sanctions; pressure towards creating institutions and procedures for
negotiation; internationalization of conflict in international
organizations and bodies and pressure from such aspect to reach
agreement; etc.
Briefly, preventive activities are aimed at prevention of
development or conflict situation and its escalation to destructive
proportions. This is done by means of direct pressure on such
destructive conduct, its resources and development of so-called

super-ordinate goals intended for involved sides to enable them a
way out without losing own dignity and feeling defeated.

In context of the predominant character of preventive activities,

such activities could be: political (diplomatic, including coercive
diplomacy as well); expert (analytical and data and information
gathering); and legal.88

- Preventive diplomacy
Preventive diplomacy is non-coercive collection or set of
diplomatic actions aimed at localizing a dispute or conflict before
reaching level or proportions of wider confrontations, and attempt to
guide involved sides towards dialog and agreement. Preventive
diplomacy has been promoted as special set of actions since 1960s
by the UN (Michale Lund, Dag Hammarksjold, 1960, UN; Thompson
and Gutlove, 1994).
We note that preventive diplomacy could be used in three
situations: for conflict prevention – when efforts are aimed at
prevention of outbreak of violence between involved sides regardless
of reasons or sources of dispute; prevention of escalation of already
existing conflict – when efforts are aimed at prevention of conflict
expansion by additional means, in further or wider territory and
additional actors; and post-conflict prevention – when efforts are
aimed at preventing renewal of hostilities when an agreement has
been already reached and its implementation has started.89
Like all other diplomatic measures, this also needs to be
supported by coercive diplomacy or diplomacy of threats as its
‘background’ in order to demonstrate real-life efficiency and
effectiveness. The UN and EU engagements in the Balkans by
means of such preventive diplomacy had clearly shown the need of
such connection.

- Early warning

Terms that are used in context of conflict prevention or conflict management are numerous. Out
of them, the following are more frequently seen: conflict control; conflict regulation; conflict
resolution. Terms that are used in the procedures of conflict management are: conflict avoidance;
conflict prevention; conflict settlement; conflict solving (conflict resolution, conflict solution – in
context not of a final act, but in context of a series of actions).
Cf. Breaking Cycles of Violence, cited work, p. 99.

Early warning is complex activity of gathering, analyzing, and
delivering information on and around a crisis region and involved
sides in order to have preparation of well-founded diplomatic and
other actions for conflict prevention. Intention of gathering data on
involved sides and circumstances of a conflict lies in preparation of
alarmed-based independent fact-finding and identification of crisis.90
It is considered that this institutions has been ‘devised’ in 1992
In the Report prepared by 28 member countries of the so-called
Brant Commission.
Contrary to intelligence services and their activities of similar
type, early warnings motivated by universal humanitarian, and not by
national interests. Some authors distinguish conflict early warning
(CEW), from humanitarian nearly warning (HEW). The latter is
concentrated on warning factors that might lead to violence, and if a
conflict has already emerged, concentrate on factors that lead to
ceasefire, truce and protection of peace-keeping forces in the field.
Therefore, contrary to national intelligence information, early
warning is not focused on threats that appear for a certain country,
but it is intended for improvement of conditions leading to effective
conflict management.
Early warning networks/constructions are built by independent
information sources and analytical experts/centers that analyze,
develop and interpret information – thus developing strategic
scenarios in short-term, mid-term and long-term reports.
Early warning needs to be made systematically and in ‘network’
of connection with other analytical centers and power centers, in
order to develop a system of efficient exchange of information and all
its parts to get chance to understand what goes on in other parts and
segments. This in turn would help detect ‘the great picture’ of conflict
factors, without taking in account only one of them.

Most frequent problems facing this exceptionally important

operation of early warning (EW) are of the following type:
- drowned or overwhelmed information. Supply of excessive
less important or even unimportant information, so the main point
gets lost and basic threat cannot be noticed;
- information crushed by other crises or false crises or alarms.
This makes real threat less visible or even almost unnoticeable; this
is usually described by the anecdote of bear hunting when hunters
get ‘dazed’ or attracted by different, smaller, unimportant animals that
Klaas Van Walraven,

come out of the bushes or cross the path of the hunters, and finally
the hunters lose track of the bear);
- information dead-ending; this usually happens when relevant
pieces of information get into the hands of irrelevant decision-makers
and so there is no effect or even feedback of what has been done
with such information.

All of the aforementioned point to the conclusion that early

warning is very important analytical operation; as such, it is basis of
every serious diplomatic action, humanitarian military action, or other
preventive operation, international monitoring or so-called peace-
keeping, peace-making process.

- Facilitation
Facilitation, facilitators, assistance, assistant – all of these in
conflict resolution mean: a process undertaken by a third side,
country(-ies) involving political and expert assistance to involved
sides to reach mutually acceptable solutions.
Assisting in conflict resolution process is less ambitious and
with less pressure inspired diplomatic activity then mediation is.

- Mediation
Mediation is international law institution involving peaceful
conflict resolution by a which a third side helps involved sides to
come to terms in order to solve given conflict.
In principle mediators do not create solution that is afterwards
imposed to involved sides; on the other hand, mediators are more
engaged in assisting involved sides to come to such solution by
themselves. However, given the very fact that mediators as such
indeed have the right to propose solutions to be given for further
consideration to involved sides, and also given the fact that a
mediator is very often an authoritative side that has influence on both
sides in conflict, his proposal has enough weight of a pressure to be
Such mediators, go-betweens, or intermediaries are chosen
among senior politicians, and reputable diplomats from countries that
have shown influence, strong integrity, experience and knowledge in
given area. They should provide or secure an atmosphere where
every involved side would feel respected, heard, and safe about its

Mediators should be discreet, unbiased, and salient.
However, mediators and mediation very often can represent ‘a
conservative action’; this happens when a mediator takes the
situation in the field and balance of power between involved sides as
something for granted (often this could be a very unbalanced and
unfair situation). Likewise, mediators could develop their own motive
for such mediation process and this could have an impact on the
conflict. Mediation includes its own paradox: in order to have
successful mediation, a mediator needs to be strong and influential;
however, this can be reflected by corresponding ‘underestimation’ of
involved sides, putting them in the background and compromising

- Arbitration
Arbitration is application of legal norms in solving a dispute or
part of it, along mediation activities. This is most easily done in
accordance with arbitration rules and procedures (that are
international law standard).

- Reconciliation
Reconciliation means a longer process of solving antagonisms
that were basis of certain culture identity conflict Some authors call
this institute ‘transforming’ (Lederach), or peacemaking (Curle).
Usually this process covers three elements of the solution: emotional
cognitive and behavioral.
This chart (borrowed from C. R. Mitchel, cited work, p. 297) is effective in showing positioning of
the best choice of a mediator in a given conflict, taking in due consideration the circumstances of
his strength, influence, and impartiality:

In its entirety, ‘reconciliation’ helps individuals and groups
create ways and go through a process of own self-recognition and
‘healing’ by accepting ‘the other’ as equally worth.
Reconciliation should ‘release’ victims of obsessive need to
retaliate that also results in pain and suffering: to create a safe zone
so that perpetrators of atrocities confess such crimes and discover all
others who know them so that that whole truth about sufferings see
the light of day, and when it is possible for such perpetrators to
express regrets and repentenance; and finally, reconciliation should
break the vicious circle of violence and mutual harm.
Very often Desmond Tutu, the Archbishop of South Africa, is
rightfully cited in context of the importance of reconciliation. He says
that reconciliation is not some nebulous and symbolic politics; it is
very pragmatic politics. Without forgiveness there is no future.
It is good when this procedure also develops institutions of
regular and lasting communications – interactions by individuals and
groups whereby they are faced (in initial stages) with suffering they
went through; later; such institutions can also serve for solving other
possible conflict situations. Important element of reconciliation
represents educational programs that ‘reconstruct’ history, collective
memory of groups and make them learn it again together.
This method again underlines importance of emotions in this
type of conflicts. Emotions can sometimes play key role and
understanding them has a role in the finish has well.

6.3. Diagnostic operation/situation

6.3. Let us go back to our major topic in this section –

negotiation as strategy in conflict resolution.92
Connecting to the definition of negotiation as process, in the
pre-negotiation phase such process starts with a DIAGNOSTIC

Diagnostic situation means a pre-phase in pre-negotiation when

involved sides, and mostly the third side, the arbiter or mediator,
makes analysis which factors in the future negotiation process are
most important, which factors have to be noticed in advance and to
On the other hand, a conflict can be terminated in the following ways: with confirmation a victory

by one involved side; with a long-term status quo, or with 'dying out' of such conflict; with
acceptance of a defeat-capitulation; and with series of strategies for conflict settlement by means
of negotiations.

prepare himself for them, and which factors can be left to be
developed during negotiation and then to take position and determine
method or technique of approach.

Certainly, it is most important for a mediator to understand –

and for us it is also important as expert aspect of the analysis – that
involved sides in negotiations, in order to enter all that process, must
make three different DECISIONS conditioned by three different
factors. The first one is to decide to have mutual negotiations; the
second is about manner and topics of negotiations, concerning
actually what negotiations would be all about; and the third is whether
negotiated or agreed things wold be implemented or delivered in

Every decision depends on series of separate factors. Only by

understanding this division and conditionally, we could be able to see
all decisive factors of the process and to project a negotiation
strategy and tactics.

Key questions to be solved by negotiator/mediator in this

diagnostic phase are:

- Who, or what SIDE, or which faction as part of an involved

side has capacity to make decision that shall be respected, and who
has capacity to act (who controls the field and the people). This
aspect deals with current situation in context of diving lines or
balance of power between involved sides and internally, within
involved sides that will sit on the negotiation table;

- What effect's would be produced by individual ACTIONS

undertaken by the mediator or by the involved sides before
commencement of negotiations? This aspect deals with
consequences of preparatory actions by the mediator, for example –
making certain extremist wings of involved sides come to the
negotiation table (whether negotiation would be stopped or would
continue in such case; what needs to be done in such situation, etc.).
This aspect also threats the question of an action undertaken in the
meantime in the field and its consequence. Also the attitude of
involved sides towards the question who and what kind of experts are
to be engaged in the team of the mediator, etc.;

- What are the main GOALS of negotiations In the concrete
case: ceasefire; democratic consolidation; establishment of
international norms in a given area, etc.;

What the main RESOURCES for the negotiations, and vice

versa are; the resources for the involved sides to continue the
conflict. This aspect has shown to be very important for the
successful outcome of negotiations, and even more as pressure on
the resources of the involved sides thus blocking their ability to go on
with the conflict; this in turn makes even higher chances for
successful negotiations.

- What the main OBSTACLES to successful negotiations are:

for example, lack of information or early warning analysis; lack of
means/resources; lack of interest and motivation with involved sides
or with the international community to make pressure to terminate the
conflict; lack of will to act, etc.;

- What are THE RIPE MOMENTS for making a turnabout In the

conflict towards negotiations; what are the windows of opportunity for
intervention and making pressure to commence negotiations;

- What are the prospects for IMPLEMENTATION of possible

agreement to finish the negotiations; who would be guarantors of the
implementation; what resources would be at disposal; what pace and
what agreement for implementation would be offered; etc.

- Diagnostic operation and analysis are part of PRE-

NEGOTIATIONS or the pre-negotiation phase. They are intended:93
to prepare all elements in a given or limited time and space that
would transform conflict conduct into negotiations.
They especially concentrate on creation of opportunities for
informal mutual ‘recognition of involved sides’ as side that are
legitimate to negotiate; their informal meetings are organized; testing
is made of the level of consent on certain key ideas to appear later at
the negotiation table, etc.
Pre-negotiations can supply political leaders of involved sides in
a conflict with certain essential information around the conflict, how
that conflict is seen from the outside, from important international
power centers. During pre-negotiations, political leaders can test the
See in: Karin Aggestam , Enhancing Ripness , cited work , pp. 271-292.

potential validity or acceptance of the so- called trial balloons of ideas
and solutions.
Pre-negotiations can also be transformed into a so-called two-
track diplomacy. Namely, even after start of formal negotiations when
pre-negotiations should end as such, a parallel line of check and
contacts between involved sides and mediator may still be
maintained that would not have same weight as that of formal
proposals and negotiations; this would serve to check acceptability of
some solutions that would appear later on the negotiation table. Such
‘two-track diplomacy’ is also a form of pressure for constructiveness
of involved sides in negotiations, and a technique for avoiding
proposals unacceptable to some involved side, thus blocking the
negotiation process.
Speaking about pre-negotiations, again one can see the
importance of the role of third sides, mediators and intermediaries, in
cultivation of that ripe moment that opens a negotiation process, for
technique in approaching involved sides, taking in account their
specific and cognitive, perceptive viewpoints on a conflict and their
own role in it.

6.4. Classification of types of negotiations

6.4. Negotiations can be classified into several types:

- DISTRIBUTIVE negotiations: these are negotiations that make

distribution of existing power, control of the field and requests
between involved sides, and between themselves by means of a draft
final agreement – excluding anything new as content and topic to
Such negotiations are focused on what can be drawn out of
existing situation and are framed in the effort to reach mutual
compromise. The question raised by this type of negotiations is how
to distribute the limited resources (distribution of ‘the booty’ or ‘the
war trophy’); the basic element of these negotiations is how one side
can present the other as narrow choice as possible (to the limit of
‘take or leave’ – a fait accompli).
This type of negotiations tries to NORMALIZE a conflict
situation by means of an agreement and very often is the first part of
a longer negotiations process. Such arrangement tries to implement a
ceasefire or some kind of cessation of open hostilities, of violent

strategies. However, this could remain only on solutions of this type of
Distributive negations have point of departure in the assumption
that a given conflict is ‘zero-sum game’ and distribution is always a
gain by one side at the expense of the other, and vice-versa. Such
type of negotiations, basically, were the Dayton Process and the
Dayton Agreement; probably the first part of the negotiations on
decentralization (i.e., territorial division) of Kosovo would be of this

- INTEGRATIVE negotiations: they are such form of

negotiations where in course of negotiating there is increase in
alternatives of solutions (‘the cake’ to be divided between the
involved sides is made bigger and bigger); a so-called creative
approach is used in solving problems. Namely, negotiators on their
own or a mediator try to increase the benefits that are at disposal to
involved sides; they try to add new sectors and topics for discussion
and possible new objects for distribution and cooperation. Such
negotiations have their point of departure that enlargement ‘of the
cake to be divided’ increase options for successful solution since now
involved sides have more room for maneuvering – make
compromise in one area and then have compensation in another.
Mention is also made in this context of post-conflict
arrangements also being part of ‘the cake’, originally part of the
agreement implementation phase; nevertheless, they can be offered
to involved sides even in course of negotiations as compensation for
made compromises. Elements of this involve very often packages
such as economic and financial assistance, integration in wider
security and economic integrative processes, and membership or
stable partnership in international organizations.
This type of negotiations requires a partnership relationship
from involved sides and a creative approach during negotiations,
which cannot be always accomplished. In this type of negotiations,
the skills of the third side come to the foreground to offer serious
guarantees and sponsorship for successful implementation of what is

Two types of negotiations – distributive and interactive –

certainly can be combined in order to have a better result. One of
combination formulas is the so-called ‘Pareto optimal’ or ‘Pareto
efficiency’ in the model of ‘zero-sum game’. This namely proves that

interrogative negotiations actually raise chances of successful
distributive outcomes.94
For example, Druckman (1999) cites 16 aspects through which
negotiations can be monitored and relate to such categories as:
involved sides; topics; process; conditions; or successful outcome of
According to the manner of conducting negotiations, authors
classify them negotiations modeled in sequences (Douglas,
Zartrman, Gulliver, Pruitt, Druckman…), or negotiations in cyclical
model (Coddington, Snyder and Diesing, Cross…).
Both approaches have central point in locating the turning point
during negotiations, after which the process turns towards finding
solution and way out.

Similar basis for classification of negotiations, but with

somewhat different names, are the following: negotiations on
normalization and innovative negotiations; or, security and functional

6.5. Characteristics of identity negotiations

6.5. As we have underlined several times, negotiations assume

their own specifics when we deal with groups that are in conflict and
yet they differ and the conflict relates to their cultural identity. Similarly
like in the literature on conflicts to date especially on the so-called
ideological conflicts that were considered even more difficult than
interest-related conflicts, identity conflicts make this difficult even
deeper in context of their resolution. Group identity (‘We vs. They’)
requires specific negotiation techniques and especially good choice
and preparation of the third side that mediates.

Most crucial problems in the pre-negotiation phase of such type

of negotiations that need to be resolved and faced are: identification
of involved sides; attracting them to come to negotiations; offering an
outcome that should seem attractive and serious to them; and finally
involved sides should be convinced in productive outcome, in finding

For this, see: Guy Oliver, Deadlocks in Negotiation Dynamics, in Escalation and Negotiation.. ..
(ed), W. Zartman, G. Oliver, Cambridge, 2005, pp. 23-53 .
For this, see also in: International Negotiation , A Journal of Theory and Practice, 7/3, 2002 The
Hague-London, pp. 332, 380.

solutions that should oppose risk of compromization, wasted time and

* * *

Perhaps the key moment in negotiations is choice of sides that

would be legitimate negotiators. This is called RECOGNITION of the
sides that will site on the negotiation table. A real drama can be
opened on this question.

A mediator should commence this operation by the method:

‘what is seen’, what is striking in a conflict. Namely, to make choice
out of those actors who are active in the field and represent a factor
in a conflict, and presumably would be present as such at its
This is the part dealing with the major or mostly involved actors
in a conflict. However, a mediator should also define the so-called
grass-root actors. Namely this can include the target groups of people
where a conflict takes place – people who are potential victims,
passive actors or semi-active factors in a conflict and yet they would
be important in the implementation of a conflict agreement in the field
when that agreement would be reached.
A mediator should create an atmosphere of mutual acceptance
of opposed sides (recognition of involved sides) and to make
consideration of possible conditioning of negotiations start. In doing
so, a mediator should assess whether conditions raised for
negotiations start are only ‘saving one’s honor and dignity’, a
rhetorical figure of speech intended for supporters and backers of one
involved side, for international media, etc., or nevertheless these
conditions are essential to genuine interests of involved sides.

Most important operation in this regard is overcoming ‘the

syndrome of weakling’.
Namely sometimes involved actors/sides in a conflict although
prepared to start negotiations are not able to do it formally because
they are afraid that such gesture would be interpreted by the other
sides as manifestation of weakness, thus hurting own position even
before the start of negotiations. Proposal for negotiations, understood
as weakness of the side stating it, could even cause increase military
actions by the other side and represent a reason for conflict

Hence the question is which side would propose negotiations.
The paradox of warring sides says this is not a simple job to do,
because of creates perception of weakness, defeat, or futile attempts
to avoid defeat; so involved sides are often reluctant to show this.
Therefore they might even go on with such conflict, although they are
objectively prepared for that.
In case of this type, the proposal made by the third
side/mediator represents the key in obtaining consent to start
negotiations. This could even be the key to unlock the deadlock:
which side will be the one making proposals for negotiations. Such
negotiations proposal could be reinforced by explaining the position
of the international community on the said conflict and and
impossibility of both sides to gain advantage by military means. Such
explanation given by a serious mediator can be used by any involved
side to convince its extremist wings why such negotiations should be
Briefly, a negotiations proposal made by a serous mediator can
be a way out for every involved side to commence negotiations
without showing any signs of weakness’ i.e., to solve ‘the syndrome
of weakling’.

Actually this type of assessment of the ripeness of starting

negotiations or of the genuine THRESHOLDS of pushing in making
compromises and protection of interests of involved sides must be
done by a mediator in all phases of a negotiation process. They
create maneuvering space for a mediator to make pressure towards
compromise and outcome. Next operation of similar kind as the
previous one that a mediator must constantly make is called finding
the MCL – maximum level of concession with involved sides. This is a
very delicate and brave assessment of what are true and false
threshold of inflexibility of involved sides. Namely, this is the level or
moment after which an involved side supposedly is not ready any
more to continue conceding and negotiating, a thing publicly stated
by such side. This position should be identified and differentiated
from genuine thresholds of concession after which, if pressure
continues, one of involved sides will retire from negotiations or would
be cornered to accept (due to huge pressure) but eventually would
get compromised and discredited and would not be able to deliver

A successful negotiator manages ‘to play’ and come close to a
compromise by maneuvering between false and genuine levels of
concession by involved sides.

* * *

Special problem in choosing actors who will negotiate is

introduction in negotiations of so-called EXTREMIST OPTIONS or
extremist wings of involved sides.96 This is at the same time a need
and problem.
It represents a need because it raises conditions for success
that we would list afterwards. On the other hand, this could be
problem at the very outset for this reason: negotiations as such can
be made feasible by moderate, reasonable and political wings, as
opposed to resistance by extremist and military wings. And then
suddenly such extremists are ‘rewarded’ by being included in
negotiations. This can insult and be politically harmful to moderate,
reasonable options because their moderateness is not rewarded or
appreciated, at least not adequately, while use of force by extremists
and their obstructions to that moment suddenly are rewarded by
being included in negotiations. Hence moderate wings raise the
question: what is then motivation to be ‘moderate’? This question
could be very dangerous for negotiation process.
This operation is risky and can end up by moderate forces
leaving negotiations.
At the same time, after making assessment of such risk, a
mediator considers inviting extremists to negotiations; this is
undoubtedly useful for the following reasons: chances for successful
outcome become higher because all possible options for obstruction
of negotiations are included in these negotiations and are not left
outside, to be destructive for the result. Finally, all options about
demand making are closed; namely all important things are
processed at the negotiation table.
Paradoxically, but experience of history of negotiations often
shows that extremists having already come to the negotiation table
show themselves to be clearer and more prepared for a solution, thus
enabling effective closing of a dispute.
The power of groups as factor of their inclusion in given negotiations mostly depends on three
cumulative factors: capacity for violence and disintegration of negotiations; size of a given group
and organization; and connections and networks of allies of such groups and organizations.
Cf. Dean G. Pruitt, Negotiation Theory and Development of Identity, Institute for Conflict Analysis
and Resolution, George Mason University, Virginia, USA, 2001.

Analysis of their conduct at negotiations shows that ‘extremists’
know more clearly ‘what they want’, while moderates know better
‘what they do not want'. Hence, this creates or cements moderates in
a conservative position that has no clear viewpoint about a positive
list of solutions (since their political wing did not have any debate on
this); on the other hand, the agenda of military, extremist wings is a
list of clear demands and goals. They can be unacceptable at first
sight, and yet extremists may be well ready to make compromises
with them. If an essential part of their goals is realized, extremists
could abandon the rest.97 ‘Extremist’ military wings at the same time
have no or have less risk that someone more extremist than they are
would assault them for making compromises or concessions in
negotiations. The are, so to say, the last level after which there is no
one to challenge the agreement. Anyhow, this question of internal
split in one or both involved sides in a conflict is complex problem for
a mediator who has to consider it in phase of making choice of
negotiation sides.98 Usual recommendation for a mediator is ‘to wait’
for different parts of one involved side to reach a minimal joint
position and then to appoint their joint representatives. However,
when this is seemingly impossible or takes took long, then a mediator
can open options of pressure and sub-mediation towards a
provisional joint platform that would be modified or strengthened
depending on the course of negotiations.

Then we come to the next problem for a mediator in

negotiations: to secure equal negotiating position for opposing sides.
He has to see negotiations as debate between equal sides. However
such ideal is sometimes very hard to achieve. Actors can have
different power or influence, as an aggregate of several capacities
(ability to mobilize violence and destroy a negotiation process, control
of the field in context of people and territory, as well as support from
international factors and allies), that are difficult to equalize with
Similarly, see also in: C. Mitchell and Michael Banks, Conflict Resolution, cited work, p. 34 .
The extremist wings of NLA and their leader Ali Ahmeti were not directly present on the
negotiation table during the negotiations on the Ohrid Framework Agreement, following the 2001
conflict in the Republic of Macedonia; however it is be noted here that NLA was constantly
'consulted' and represented by the involved foreign mediators. On the other hand, direct
negotiators and signatories of the Agreement were the official political parties of the Albanians in
Macedonia; and yet, the demands of the extremist military wings were also 'introduced' in this
manner in the negotiations.
The end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict could be, however paradoxical it might seem, closer to a
solution when Hamas from the Palestinian side and Ariel Sharon and Likud (previously in power)
from the Israeli side definitely make decision to enter the peace negotiations in accordance with
'the road map'.

formal activities on negotiation table. Mediators, because of that fact
and own interest to be successful, very often have tendency to be
rather conservative. Namely, this means to take the position in the
field as the given position to be used as point of departure. However,
this does not have to be in accordance with principles of legality or
legitimacy in international law. Namely those who exercise actual
control by use of force did not necessarily acquire it by lawful means;
this does not have to mean that such people are fighting for legitimate
goals either. This might result in an absurd position for a mediator
who for the sake of being successful should be ‘unjust’ and should
even legalize injustice and violence?!
Certainly this ha been noticed as a problem. This is solved by
taking in due consideration the circumstances of every specific
mediation, in accordance with the general principles of the jus
cogens norms of international law – i.e., in accordance with protected
values; however it seems there is still much room for the realpolitik or
for embedding positions of power from the field into such international
frames. However, this needs additional asymmetrical pressure and
designing negations position towards global legality of involved
For example, very often there is pressure on ’the government
forces’ in order to enable formal equality of ‘the rebels’.100 One of
possible process solutions for such imbalance in the power of
involved sides in negotiations is to shift the debate towards common
contributions, creativity, and inventiveness of the negotiations
process and to defocus from fixation for power imbalance.

A legitimate mediator/mediation cannot politically and lawfully 'legalize' a position of an involved
side that, for example, commits ethnic cleansing or even a genocide; however, the position of EU
and the USA towards the regime of Milosevic in Serbia, during the Conference on former
Yugoslavia and the mediation of Lord Carrington relating to the dissolution of SFRY, was tolerated
for a long time in spite of such atrocities in Croatia and in Bosnia, until the very moment when it
was clearly seen that the Milosevic regime did not want at all any agreement on relatively
peaceful dissolution of former Yugoslavia. Since that moment in 1992, the position of the
international community changed and even turned against that regime. Had Milosevic accepted
peace in 1992, it is very likely that no international war tribunal like the one in the Hague would
have ever been established even for the atrocities committed previously.
Such was the case of the 2001 Ohrid Framework Agreement in Macedonia. The international
community exerted huge pressure on the Macedonian government security forces in the early
phase of the conflict to restrain and not escalate the situation so that the conflict could be quickly
modified on the negotiation table. At the same time, the international community 'transformed' its
vocabulary and so 'transformed' the agenda of 'the Albanian bandits and criminals' (attributes
used personally by the then NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson in early 2001, at the start of
the provocations at the Macedonia-Kosovo border) from ethno-nationalist and exclusive into an
agenda of minority rights. As such, it was acceptable for international mediation that resulted in
the 2001 Ohrid Framework Agreement.

* * *

Let us note here that the choice of ‘the third side’, mediator,
intermediary, or a go-between, is very important, sometimes even
very crucial for the negotiation process. In case of identity conflicts,
this is very often a central operation making other things dependent.
A mediator ideally should have an aggregate sum of several
important features, or predisposition for successful mediation.

The first group among them involves: personal credibility and

integrity (a.k.a. in literature as salience) together with the political
experience and potentials in this type of diplomacy make up the so-
called subjective nucleus of characteristics.
The second group of characteristics is ‘background support’,
contained in the position of states or international organizations in the
name of which a mediator acts upon. This factor has decisive
importance for the political capacity for pressure and convincing the
actors in all stages of the negotiating process and exceptional
importance for the agreement implementation.
The third factor is structural position of disinterest and
impartiality of a mediator towards the distributed positions of conflict
actors, combined at the same time with a strong motive and interest
in seeing a given conflict be resolved. At the same time, two energies
are shown: the one to be just and fair, and the one to show interest to
stop violence and solve the conflict. An important element in such
position, that was confirmed in series of experiences in mediation in
identity conflict in Africa and former communist countries of Southeast
Europe is that mediation is efficient if it its international support
involves real-life and effective ‘coercive diplomacy’.
Coercion, in case of supporting mediation, must be strictly
guided by principles of international law implementation which
defines: selectivity, proportionality, demonstration of used force, and
intention of elimination of the unwanted practice and not causing
extensive effects in interference of ‘the internal affairs’ of the state
where such conflict has emerged. In a word, this is a clear political
agenda that underlines the role of the international factors and
expresses their stated will to solve the conflict in question and to have
such military option.

The mediator is often chosen from third parties that sides in a

conflict have trust in or tradition of cooperation.

The mediator includes in the process of pre-negation and
negations many of his skills and potentials (relating to sociological
assessments, anthropology, international relations, history, etc.), and
his experiences in making contacts.
A mediator offers means of communications (provided involved
sides do not have direct communications) and resources for this. A
mediator should offer procedural solutions, draft measures and
facilitatory analysis and operations. A mediator can supply conflict
sides additional information they do not have or have not paid
attention to. That is to say, he enables a process to reach solutions.
A mediator provides political coverage and representativeness of the
process in the international media. A successful mediator makes
involved sides feel ‘safe and sound’, that nothing wood happen to
them from behind their back and that their interests would be
understood and respected.

It is always wise and methodologically good for a mediator to

reconsider his motives for participation in the negotiation process.
This is intended for him to show and control his eventual own
interests in a conflict and towards involved sides.

Mediation, as we have said, has own paradox. Namely, in order

to be effective, it should be directed by powerful and influential
person; and yet in order be equally successful it should enable
involved sides to implement their agreement and not to have a
mediator imposing himself to the sides and so dominate the process.
Mediation could be organized and monitored (provided involved
sides agree on this) by a parallel secondary diplomatic track for
‘exercising the solution of individual questions – Diplomacy 2’. This
diplomacy, by means of activities of lower diplomatic level, would
examine certain solutions and models by means of the so-called
decommiting formula.
A mediator has important role in identity conflicts when
everyone is stuck in situation when offered solutions in a given phase
of the negotiation process are acceptable in principle to
negotiators/involved sides; however, they are not prepared to accept
them in public since they are afraid of the possible response to such
acceptance that might be negative with their domestic public or with
rival political options of the same side. There can be even a media
reaction towards the negotiators being ‘traitors, compromisers,

incapable, etc.’ There can be even an outbreak of public protests and
staging demonstrations or riots on such occasion. The mediator has a
very important role in two directions in such moments: the first is to
convince involved sides/signatories that offered solutions are indeed
fair, standard, supported and confirmed by international law and
practice and to calm down their ‘trembling hand’ which prevents them
to sign the agreement. This is called ‘trembling hand syndrome’,
when a hand of a signatory person trembles before affixing his own
signature on a document. This not only happens because of
weaknesses or ignorance of conflict actors about the type of solutions
being offered, but also because of the character of the identity conflict
that represents confrontation of values, history and signs, and not
merely interests and solutions. Every side/signatory involved in such
conflict asks himself whether he is really that subject who is entitled
to historical right to finalize such request (for example, use of
language, symbols, religious freedom, political participation ,etc.) in
the name of its own people or group in a definite way in a given
agreement? Maybe future generations would condemn the signatory
and call him a traitor?
In such moments ‘the hand starts trembling'. This is the
description of circumstances of a situation that is frequent in identity
negotiations in moments of finding agreements and solutions. The
role of a mediator is decisive in this. He should reconcile such
connection of offered solutions with history, mythology and ideology
of the nation or of the ethnicity in question and to redirect the debate
towards concrete solutions. He should present the solution as fair,
good, or at least harmless to 'the cause’ of such group.
In such given situation, a mediator shows his true position in
relation to actors and his robustness to convince and make them
adhere to the procedure. 101
Likewise, these are moments when a mediator also shows his
position towards the media outlets that cover the negotiations, i.e.,
the manner that makes them part of negotiations. He should
establish measures for constant briefing that are not
counterproductive to the negotiations process and position of
The negotiations on the 2001 Framework Agreement in Ohrid, in the Republic of Macedonia,
were very characteristic in this context. The very strong and powerful team of international
mediators (EU represented by Leotard, and the USA by Pardew) assumed the role of de facto
representing the positions of the Albanian minority in Macedonia concerning the government
positions. They were solving the frequent appearances of 'the trembling hand syndrome' with the
Albanians on issues relating to the use of their language or the university instruction in Albanian
language; they did this vis-a-vis the Macedonians on issues relating to the unitary character of the
state and use of the Albanian language in the national parliament.

negotiators; however he should also meet the justified expectations
for information from media outlets that cover the negotiations. He
should even go further: create opinion and suggest viewpoint that
would assist the negotiations. As the position of the media and the
picture they create about the negations become of constitutive
meaning for manipulation or assistance to the negotiators, and the
international community and its public opinion, then the relationship
towards the media is not secondary but a crucial part of the
negotiations process. 102

The mediator should also establish contact with the domestic

groups that oppose the negotiators, to try to keep them informed, to
‘get them involved’ in manner that underlines the importance, and
international interest in solving the conflict and warns them of the
consequences in making irresponsible manipulation with the
negotiations for narrow, partisan interests.

Finally, the position of mediator can also involve elements of

coercion (most often informal). A strong position of the mediator
enables him to make informal but efficient threats for failing to deliver
promises and failing to observe procedures. Such position can make
failing to observe procedures politically costly and unattractive as
option for eventual obstruction.

6.6. Negotiations process and techniques

6.6. The negotiations in identity conflicts are conducted at

several levels simultaneously and among several entities of which all
are not formal negotiators. Inter alia, this fact accounts for their
complexity and high politicization.

The first level is negotiation between the formal participants, i.e.

the negotiating parties represented by their diplomats.
The second level constitutes of informal ‘negotiations’ between
the represented political actors and those that are not represented
In this context one could follow the intensity of interference by the European countries, for
instance, in the Bosnian conflict, during the process of dissolution of former Yugoslavia, directly
depending on the attitude of the European general public towards the images from the
battleground broadcast by the European media outlets and present every night in homes of the
European viewers.

and are an opposition to the negotiating party (in the same bloc). The
third level is between the represented political actors and their voters
or the political public they represent.

Graphically, it would look thus:

In this respect and on account of this complexity, the

negotiation process in identity conflicts demonstrates additional
fluctuation and has an upward-downward line at all levels
simultaneously: at the formal triangular structure (parties-mediator)
and, in certain manner, vertically, between the various informal

Nevertheless, the one that dominates and that sets topics is the
formal line of negotiation, but even it may sometimes give in before
media interpretations or political discussions on the line negotiating
party-political party-the public.103 Experience has confirmed that if
there is greater connection and trust between the negotiators and
their own bases, agreements are more easily reached and their
implementation is more stable.
Furthermore, in view of the referred relation, the mediator is
recommended to bring to the negotiating table the whole variety of
parties and movements of the negotiating parties, thus creating
condition for making the negotiation, though more complex, more
stable, unchallenged, and the outcome implemented.104

- Negotiations start
Technically, the negotiations start by informing the negotiating
parties about the time, the venue, and the formal participants.
Additionally, a draft agenda of the negotiation is distributed on
scheduled dates and potentially a series of working information and
‘non-papers’ for certain transitional technical negotiations.

The manner of distributing the invitations for start of

negotiations is not considered significant for detailed discussion,
although in literature attention is paid to the formal procedure of their
delivery. What is important is that the principle of equality of the
parties implies equal procedural approach in this act, as well.

The negotiations start with a stage of welcoming the

participants by the mediator or the host of the negotiation and of
expressing conviction that the procedures will be conducted in fair,
informal, confident manner and that they will lead to the root of the
problem (directly).
At this stage, the participants and the experts are introduced
(by the actors and the mediator), as well as the provisional agenda
for start of bargaining.105
For that reason, sometimes a soft or strict isolation of the negotiators is preferred to, as was
the case with Camp David, during the negotiations on Bosnia, or at the second stage of the
negotiations for the 2001 Ohrid Framework Agreement.
For this reason, in the negotiations on the status of Kosovo between Serbia and the
representatives of Kosovo Albanians, the international community endeavors that the party of the
‘Kosovars’ represent all of their relevant political entities.
In more formal negotiations, the participants exchange letters of authorization, which are
archived by the mediator together with his or her own accreditation and by which they are

The second stage starts when the mediator gives the floor to
the parties to present their views on the problem and its sources, as
well as their views on the main obstacle to its resolution. This stage
can last two or three days and sometimes even more if the parties
rejoin the views of the other party or delay the process from entering
the subsequent stages for tactical reasons.

The third stage is an invitation by the mediator to the parties to

present their positions on resolving the conflict in the form of draft
resolution with consequences.
This stage is principal, potentially very tense, and full of
reversals, standstills, and euphoria. The major proposals and
counter-proposals, possible resolutions or interruptions occur at this
stage. In addition, it is the first time at the negotiating table that the
actors realize the dimensions of the demands and the viewpoint of
the other party. In case they are ‘unacceptable’, the party faces a
stark choice of breaking off the negotiations and resume the conflict
as before or present their counter-proposals and resume the
negotiations in order to change the military course of the events.
When such dilemmas arise, the active role of the mediator and his
capability to assess the MLC (maximum level of concessions) of each
party are of great importance, as they enable him to press and
convince the parties to resume the negotiations.

Negotiating should not be expected to be an easy or enjoyable

process in which the parties develop friendship and reach joint
decisions in relaxed manner. In fact, it is precisely the opposite, but it
is important for the mediator to always bear in mind the need for the
negotiators to go through this procedural process and to maintain firm
control of the agenda of the process at all times. The parties need to
be aware of the fact that, in spite of the unpleasantness and the
clashes, this process does lead somewhere and that it is not a waste
of time, energy, and credibility.
It is also important that at this stage of explication be pointed
out what the mediator cannot expect from the parties, i.e. the actors,
and what the negotiations are not. That is, it cannot be expected that
the actors change their positions and main interests in the course of
the negotiations. Such occurrences may happen at intellectual
sessions, such as brainstorming or brain washing sessions, but not at
provided with the capacity to negotiate and mediate in the conflict, respectively.

negotiations. Negotiations should be conducted with the expectation
that the positions of the parties, while not changing in their essence,
will agree with each other, will be set at the level of realism and that
the parties will endeavor to make the best for their interests from that
position into a mutually acceptable resolution.

At the final part of this stage, a sub-stage, as it might be said, is

reached in which the vital hot points that constitute the basic dispute
about the final resolution are identified from the plethora of
contentious issues. In the remaining part of the negotiations, the
actors and the mediator focus on their resolution.

Usually, in the later stages of the negotiations the mediator

must take into consideration the ‘inclusion’ in the process of the so-
called ‘grass roots’ of the conflict, i.e. the people from the area where
the conflict takes place, the people who are its victims, who ‘pay’ the
highest price for its occurrence and who are important for the
realization of the agreement for its resolution.

Technically, negotiations are usually conducted in sessions of

six hours a day at the most, three hours in the morning and three in
the afternoon. Occasionally, when the isolation of and the pressure
on the particularly antagonized parties from the international
community is great, the schedule can be a means for increasing the
pressure and for an idiosyncratic ‘exhaustion’ of the parties, with
frequent informal meetings and discussions for resolutions.106
The optimal number of negotiators together with the mediator
around the negotiating table, according to certain experiences in this
area, is up to twelve people (four from each party and four from the
side of the mediator).

Strictly speaking, negotiation techniques can be the following:

- Face-to-face (tacit, bargaining) negotiations.

This technique enables direct verbal or written discussion of
the parties and their proposals. It implies reactions to the proposals
The negotiations on Bosnia in Dayton are a characteristic example of application of this

and remarks of the other party, making this technique tense by

- Fragmentation of the negotiations.

This technique implies such conduct of the negotiations where
the whole of the dispute is fragmented into smaller parts or issues,
which are approached and negotiated on separately. This technique
is also called step-by-step approach. In this approach, at the
beginning the minor issues or the issues on which the parties hold
closest positions are selected.107 The rationale behind this technique
is that it can be expected (and experience has confirmed) that the
process will be stimulated by ‘small’ successes and agreements on
minor issues at the beginning, thus enabling the process as a whole
to gain momentum and movement.
As a result of the potential initial agreement about the positions
on minor issues, it is expected that the representatives of the parties
will start addressing each other more freely, that some personal
‘chemistry’ will develop between the diplomats in light of the
expectation that resolution and success will be achieved. All
participants need these successes at the beginning. The
fragmentation makes them possible on the condition that the topics
for start of the negotiations are carefully selected, that a pragmatic
approach is adopted and that ideological issues and values are

- Technique of including so-called contingency clause.

In the Ohrid negotiations in Macedonia in 2001, the first issues that were selected were the
issues of ceasing the clashes, the position on the unity of the state (unitary principle), and later
the contentious issues were approached: dimensions of the use of the languages of the
minorities, police and army recruitment, and university level education.
In the negotiations on the status of Kosovo (Ahtisaari, 2006-7), the levels of protection of the
rights of the minorities and the issue of decentralization were approached first, followed by the
major issue of the status and the form of independence of that entity.
Naturally, there are counter-examples, as are the negotiations for the status of Kosovo. In spite
of the relative successes with the initial issues of decentralization (which were convenient for the
Serbs), the Serbian party entirely rejected the final formula for ‘conditional independence of
Kosovo’. Unsurprisingly, the diplomats and the analysts who are acquainted with the issue
expected this as the ‘technique’ which the Serbs have applied ever since the regime of Milosevic
for this type of negotiations (on issues they considered exclusively ‘theirs’): participation in the
negotiations for anything which is of Serbian interest, but by the point of final resolution, which
was always rejected on account of some ‘consistent’ positions, whether it was about the plan of
Lord Carrington for peaceful dissolution of SFRY at the 1992 Hague Conference on former
Yugoslavia, or about the negotiations for Kosovo. Only the Dayton negotiations were different
because the situation on the field, the isolation of the negotiators and the strong pressure from
the mediators prevented such maneuvers of the Serbs.

This technique implies that the agreement includes a clause by
which certain sections or even the entire agreement may be opened
for revision after a certain period. This technique intends to
incorporate an element of temporariness, impermanence in the
agreements with hope that the parties will accept the agreement
more readily. The starting point is the experience that the parties are
‘closed’ to accepting provisions that permanently resolve a certain
issue. This increases their responsibility and causes the ‘trembling
hand syndrome’, which is discussed above. It is possible that the
pressure from the grass-root level and rival parties increases until it
becomes intolerable to the negotiating party, resulting in its
withdrawal from the negotiations. Such situations are countered with
the inclusion of a contingency clause, which relieves, in a certain
manner, the situation of an atmosphere of ‘fatality’, of once and
forever made decisions, and provides a possibility for the parties to
address certain issues or the entire agreement, after the period
envisaged by the clause, on their own initiative or through the

- Shuttle diplomacy
Technique of so-called shuttle diplomacy. This technique
implies robust and strong role of the third party – the mediator in the
negotiations. It exerts active and strong pressure on the parties to
reach an agreement by submitting series of proposals, insisting on
regular contacts and persisting that the parties present their views on
the proposals, thus progressing one step at a time. This may be
combined, at a certain point ('the ripe moment' of the negotiation
process), with a proposal of a package of overall resolution to the
dispute by the mediator and renewed pressure on the parties to
accept the package on the grounds of ‘take it or leave it’, without
negotiations for the details of the package.
This technique can be combined with temporary isolation of the
negotiating parties at a suitable site for conducting negotiations and
with strong safeguards for the parties if they accept the agreement.
This technique implies a powerful third party, which possesses
Such clause is included in the Accord regarding the name dispute between Macedonia and
Greece and it envisages a period of 7 years; such clause, which envisages a period of 10 years,
was included in the last proposal of the mediator M. Nimitz for compromise on the resolution of
the dispute submitted in 2006.

instruments for coercive diplomacy or diplomacy of coercion and
capacity to offer safeguards and rewards for constructiveness.110

- Bypassing
Bypassing, or circumventing, is a technique with which when
the negotiators or the mediator encounter an issue which is
particularly complex and conflicting for the actors or when they
anticipate that a certain issue is such before it is put forward for
discussion, they suggest, formally or informally, that it be bypassed
(postponed) or resolved by means of bypassing resolutions or
proposals. For example, if they encounter the issue of territorial
demarcation of a certain disputed area, they can propose to postpone
its resolution, and in the meantime a referendum of the local
population conducted under international monitoring or a similar
measure that will determine the future demarcation of the dispute
area can be agreed. In similar manner, for the issues of the overall
constitutional, status position of an entity, the direct denomination of
the status can be bypassed by listing a series of prerogatives.
Occasionally, although non-ambiguity of agreements is
recommended, keeping the resolutions ambiguous and subject to
different interpretations is a necessity that can provide an answer to
or way out from critically conflicting stages. This approach takes into
consideration that a period of time under close international
monitoring will facilitate the explanation and clarification of the issue
resolutions in the agreement, which have been left ambiguous or
have been bypassed.
The risk of this approach is, naturally, that the ambiguous or
bypassed resolutions can be permanent source of disagreement and
new conflicts. However, basically the break-out of new conflicts or
renewal of old hostilities primarily do not depend on the ambiguity of
resolution but in the general climate and will to settle or resume the
conflict (by the actors) and on the power and authority of the
international mediators. The latter should press for ending the conflict
and prepare a plan for implementation that will engage and duly
reward the constructive actors. Thus, the motives for renewal of the
disputed ambiguous parts will diminish and disappear.

Classic examples for this method are the Oslo talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis,

Dayton, the Ohrid Agreement in its second stage.

- ‘Double interpretation’
Technique of leaving intentional ‘double interpretation’, different
reading, or interpretation of certain provisions of the agreement.
This technique provides for deliberately leaving certain parts or
provisions of the agreement open to partial different interpretation by
each actor. With this technique, rather than bypassing the disputed
issue is legally resolved but the resolution is later interpreted
differently and each party can present it according to their political
needs and their voters. For example, the same provisions for the
status of the municipalities in a given entity whose structure is
negotiated can be interpreted by one party only as decentralization,
while the other party can interpret them as special status of the
municipalities similar to cantonization or cultural autonomy.
This allows the actors to present the same provisions as ‘their
success’ in the negotiations. This can be useful, especially in the part
of the negotiations called ‘marketing of the agreement’.

Naturally, the scope of the different interpretations must not

reach a level of different legal interpretation of the provision
concerned, which is guaranteed by the mediators and their experts.111

- 'Logrolling'
'Logrolling' (tit-for-tat) or trade-off. This technique of exchange
of concessions is based on the endeavor to trade one concession of
one party with a similar one of the other party. This can be
accomplished within one topic or for a concession from a different
area of the whole of the dispute. It is important that the parties have
a feeling of fair ‘exchange’, which would enable the agreement to
The restraining framework of this exchange, which largely
depends on the will of the parties and feeling of balance, lies in what
is called ‘international standards in the area’. The mediator should be
An illustrative example for this is the provisions for the use of the languages of the ethnic
communities of the 2001 Ohrid Framework Agreement in Macedonia. There, the same provisions,
later regulated in the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia on basis of this Agreement, allow
for the Macedonians to define the use as restrictive and classified-by-name official use of another
language beside the official Macedonian language (which is exclusively used in international
relations), and whereas the Albanians can interpret the same provision (Article 7 of the
Constitution) as ‘official use of the Albanian language'.
Such solution is applied in the document on Kosovo proposed by the mediator Ahtisaari, where
the Albanians interpret the status of the Serbian municipalities only as expanded decentralization,
while the Serbs interpret it as de facto cantonization, special autonomy, asymmetric
decentralization etc (in order to avoid partition of Kosovo).

fully acquainted with the situation of the international norms and
standards as well as the international practice in the area and be fully
aware and responsible when proposing resolutions by exchange of
concessions that they comply with the standards. The reason for this
is that the set ‘breakthroughs’ can cause negative reactions from the
international community when the agreement is published because
they provide unwelcome precedent that could be used in other similar
conflicts. Such overcoming exchanges can cause a reaction of
additional withdrawal of the parties when the negotiating process
settles down and when they see from distance what they have
accepted and where it leads them.

6.7. PROBLEMS or OBSTACLES during the negotiations

- Re-entry problem;
- Impasse, deadlock;
- 'Trembling hand syndrome'

There are numerous problems, which can arise in the course of

the negotiations. Naturally, they depend on the difficulties related to
the basic matter of negotiation, but some of them can be classified
into ‘typical’ obstacles or problems that occur as ‘regularity’ in
different stages of the negotiations.
Some of them are:
- Re-addressing an already resolved issue ( re-entry problem);
- Impasse, deadlock, standstill, blockade;
- Trembling hand syndrome, or hesitation, uncertainty and lack
of readiness to take responsibility for signing the agreement or a
crucial resolution.

Practically, all of the above-mentioned have been explained in

the context of situations in the course of the negotiation process but
the situation of deadlock or impasse will be discussed further since it
is frequent, has several dimensions, and poses a number of
dilemmas, especially to the mediator in the negotiations.
According to a series of definitions, the deadlock or impasse is
a situation in the negotiations when the two parties (or at least one of
them) exhaust all possibilities for further leniencies and concessions,
still maintaining considerable differences in the positions from the

other party. In such situation, it seems that further bringing closer of
the positions of the parties is not possible and the negotiations come
to a standstill.112
Therefore, impasse is a standstill in the dynamics of making
concessions and reaching compromises in the negotiation process. It
should be distinguished from the similar term ‘stalemate’, i.e. status
quo, which is defined as standstill in the dynamics of the conflict on
the field where military clashes take place.

In a situation of a deadlock, each party realizes its own

limitations to the demands of the other party and reacts to them. The
deadlock is a situation in which the process of making concessions is
strained to its limits.
It is then that the parties and the mediator realize the true
dimensions of the opposing interests and positions.113
According to some conflict resolution authors, the deadlock is a
predictable and useful part of the negotiations when the negotiators
realize the true dimensions of the different interests and test the
actual limits of the mutual leniencies. Only in these situations can the
mediator realize the actual MLC (maximum level of concessions) of
the two opposing parties. Without deadlock, according to these views,
the negotiations are not ‘real’ and the parties have not explored the
absolute limits of neither themselves nor the other party.114

For the purpose of breaking the deadlock with new dynamics of


The use of deadlock by the parties as tactical means should be

distinguished from the ‘real’ deadlock, where they are actually facing
a dilemma about further concessions and as a consequence of which
See also: Escalation and Negotiation in International Conflicts, W. Zartman, G. Olivier, pp 26-
32, quoted work.
Unlike impasse, as standstill in negotiations, in the quoted work, G. Olivier distinguishes the
situation of ‘stalemate’, which refers to the situation of status quo in military actions, i.e.
impossibility for further escalation of the clashes.
The deadlock is recognized by a series of conspicuous actions by the parties, such as: the
meetings are fruitless and the important issues are not discussed; the answers are complicated
and vague and no serious conclusions area achieved; the same arguments are presented
repeatedly while being indifferent to the ones of the other party; one of the parties states that it
does not have mandate for further negotiations etc.
Theory classifies the reasons for the deadlock into: cognitive, personal, contextual, structural, and
process-behavioral. See Escalation and Negotiation ... op.cit., p.31.
According to G.O. Faure in the quoted work, the deadlock is a situation, which presumes
equality of the parties from the aspect of division of power. Otherwise, without deadlock one of
the parties can impose its will on the other party. p. 27.

the negotiation process becomes paralyzed. One of the parties can
construct, simulate a tactical deadlock if it considers that the
negotiations progress ‘too fast’, that the parties do not have enough
time to realize where the agreed resolutions lead them and that they
need a break in order to evaluate all dimensions of the hitherto
accepted agreements. There can also be reactions from the ‘bases’
of the parties that the negotiations are ‘suspicious’, or a media
reaction for the harmfulness of the negotiations aimed negatively at
the negotiating parties etc. In such cases, the parties may conclude
that a tactical deadlock can be a temporary exit serving the purpose
of gaining time and consolidating their positions.

In situation of deadlock, the parties have several options for

action: to withdraw from further negotiations; toughen their demands
and positions; issue threats to the other party and submit new
counter-demands; enter (track 2 diplomacy) subsidiary negotiations
only with the mediator for braking the deadlock.
The strategies for breaking the deadlock usually rely on the
ability of the mediator, as well on a combination of contextual
circumstances. Some of these strategies are the following:

- Modification of the context of the problems that are

negotiated, above all through creating a new agreement formula. It
consists primarily of issue aggregation and inclusion of new
information important for the negotiations, as well as adding new
dimensions and possibilities for maneuvering aimed at breaking the
- Defocusing of the deadlock through the introduction of other
‘important’ issues for negotiation. Shift of the focal point, bypassing
the deadlock issue. Creating new focal points that shift the process
from its fixation for certain issues.
This is performed together with the indication to the mutual
loses of both sides from continuing the deadlock (mutually hurting
stalemate, W. Zartman);
- Increasing the external pressure from a powerful third party
(one that supports the mediator, as well as another party, which has
influence over the parties) and indicating the possibility of
international isolation of the parties if the deadlock is not broken;
- Indicating the devastating consequences to the interests of
the parties from the prolongation of the deadlock and potential

expansion of the crisis resulting in undesirable human and material

An important factor to the efficiency of these strategies is the

cognitive aspect of the breaking the deadlock, which we shall call
‘saving face’. In other words, even when the parties are prepared to
break the situation of deadlock, they may find themselves in a
situation of not being able to ‘resume the negotiations’ without
assistance from the mediator. They are worried not to leave an
impression of weakness and hesitation, of yielding or bowing to the
pressure from the other party or from outside.115 Therefore, even if
they are prepared to break the deadlock, it will not take place unless
a third party takes the initiative and presents an exit ‘platform’.
In this situation, the breaking of the deadlock is conducted by
the mediator via a combination of strategies. This is usually carried
out with a technique of separate negotiations with each side and
creating a NON-PAPER – an informal draft of possible resolutions by
which the process is unlocked and progress is attained.

6.8 Summary of negotiation procedures in a case of

negotiations, from the aspect of the mediator

6.8. This is a draft exercise illustrating an invented case of

negotiations in a brief and condensed form. What would be the
activities undertaken by the parties and by the mediator and the
dynamics of the process as a whole?

The mediator in the negotiations, selected in accordance with a

proposed system (see diagram on corresponding page) from a ‘third
party’, which is politically and diplomatically powerful, and influential
with the conflict actors, but at the same time personally uninterested
and neutral, i.e. which is a sufficiently respectable mediator with
experience in the field, starts the pre-negotiations.
Initially, the mediator needs to convince the actors that the
negotiations will be successful (that they will not bring them
incrimination) and that their postponement poses risk.

According to Lockett M, Culture and Problem of Chinese Management, Organizations, Studies,


1988, pp. 474-495. In societies with predominant group-oriented culture, the informal social credit
which is received with actions of ‘preserving, saving and losing honor’ is of vital importance.

Then, the mediator needs to approach the key operation of
identifying the negotiating PARTIES from the numerous actors
involved in the conflict. The most important question at this stage is to
compose a single negotiating party from the political and the radical
military wings and actors of each conflict party. This can pose a
particularly difficult problem since, as we have mentioned, the political
wings may feel ‘punished’ for their moderation with the act of bringing
radical wings to the same negotiating side. On the other hand, the
radical wings are pushed to compromise by the same act of sitting to
negotiate (with the ‘enemy’), which is good and important for the
mediator. At the same time, this is also important for the mediator
from the aspect of having all options from each side around the same
negotiating table.
The mediator needs to be especially convincing in order to
compose a single negotiating party from such different and
sometimes warring actors on one side of the table. The mediator will
possibly not be able to assemble a single negotiating team from such
actors, but then he needs make a decision which of the actors will be
defined as a party and which will be maintained in the gravitation of
the negotiation process, being regularly informed and consulted, in an
informal position of ‘shadow actor’. This control and consultation
serves the purpose of ensuring that the negotiation process
significantly represents all options and that the agreement will not be
threatened eventually by someone that was not included in the
Subsequently, the mediator must decide which of the so-called
grass-roots actors – the population in whose territory the conflict
takes place and who are essentially its greatest victims – will be
included in the process and at which stage.
Finally, the mediator must carefully choose his expert support.
The experts assist the mediator, especially in drafting resolutions and
the legal outline of the agreement.
The role of the experts and the mediator in proposing
resolutions is particularly important as it creates a matrix for the
concrete and a precedent for future resolution of similar conflicts.
Therefore, the experts must be well acquainted with the international
standards in the field together with the traditions and the balance of
forces in the dispute in question.

Upon assembling negotiating parties and expert support, the
mediator enters the nest stage of defining the procedure for
conducting the process.
Usually, the work should be divided into ‘plenary’ meeting
sessions – all actors at one meeting – working (face-to-face)
meetings with each side. The optimal timing is usually two separate
sessions of three hours every day.

The mediator must maintain control of the agenda at each

stage of the process. If it is not possible to fully control the topics
imposed in the course of the negotiation, the mediator should be able
to set the angle from which they are approached.
At the initial ‘plenary’, the meeting attended by both parties in
full composition, the experts and the mediator, the latter opens the
negotiations by welcoming the parties and the actors. Afterward, the
parties are given the floor to present their own views on the essence
of the dispute and its possible resolutions.
The control of the agenda at this stage primarily refers to the
potential aggravation of tone between the parties since this may well
be the first occasion they directly face the viewpoint, argumentation,
and demands of the other party. Historical digressions and rhetoric for
historical justice and injustice between the parties are fairly common.
Without violating the right to presentation, the mediator should lead
this part of the discussion towards effective conclusion without
considerable aggravation of the atmosphere.116
In the continuation of the negotiations, the mediator holds
meetings with each party and opens the stage of actual proposals for
resolution of parts of the dispute by a non-paper prepared in
cooperation with the experts.
At this stage, the approaches of addressing the minor issues
prior to the major ones are used: ‘step by step’ and ‘bypassing’ of
specifically difficult issues, breaking impasses, setting focal points
There is an entire series of studies dedicated to the interpretation of gestures in negotiations
both of the parties and the mediator. For our purposes, this aspect is less interesting, but for
those who might be interested follows a list of related literature:
Charles B. Craver, Effective Legal Negotiation and Settlement, Michie Co. Virginia, 1986; Cuff
and Villere, Games Negotiators Play, Business Horizons 70, 1976; H. Cohen, You Can Negotiate
Anything, Lyle Stuart 1980; D. Drukman, Negotiations, Sage, 1977; C. Karrass, The Negotiating
Game, Crowell, 1970; E. Levin, Negotiating Tactics, Fawcett, 1980; Lowental, A General Theory
of Negotiation Process, Strategy and Behavior, Kansas Law Review, 69, 1982; G. Nierenberg,
The Art of Negotiation, Cornerstone, 1968; A. Rich, Interracial Communication, Harper and Row
1974; Rubin J. and Brown B. The Social Psychology of Bargaining and Negotiation, Academic
Press, 1975 etc.

etc., all for the purpose of attaining initial, small but successful

If the negotiations on parts of the dispute are successful and if

consent is reached on the resolutions proposed in the non-papers,
the mediator should endeavor to coordinate and strengthen the
resolutions at a plenary meeting by formal consent and ‘draft’
A major problem that should be avoided at this stage is re-
addressing issues whose resolutions have been coordinated.
The mediator needs to maintain the pace of the negotiations by
the so-called ‘bicycle theory’ of regular proposals and counter-
proposals, offering advantages and requesting concessions from both
parties alternatively. When an agreement, which should keep the
parties in form by the final signing, is reached, the agreement is
actively ‘marketed’ as a particularly successful outcome of the
constructiveness of all actors involved in the negotiation.

In agreement with the parties, the mediator should undertake

the presentation of the negotiation to the media. Maintaining
elements of ‘secrecy’ in the part of resolutions, which are agreed on
with the parties, the mediator should present the spirit of
constructiveness and support for the negotiations. The mediator
should naturally undertake the holding of regular briefings and
indirect consultations with the conflict actors that are not at the
negotiating table.

Finally, at a particular stage of the negotiations the mediator

involves the grass-roots actors, the representatives of the population
that suffers most from the conflict. Their participation is especially
important at the final stage of the negotiations, when the
compensations for suffered consequences and the implementation of
the agreement are discussed.

The general form of the ‘non-paper’ is actually an unofficial document in which a resolution is
drafted. This form does not bring reaction by the potentially unsatisfied party as it is unofficial and
can be withdrawn as if it never existed; but it is a good instrument to explore and define a
possible resolution that can afterward be officially proposed.

6.9. IMPLEMENTATION of the agreement

6.9. The implementation of the agreement is the final stage of

the process of conflict negotiation and settlement. This stage is of
interest to us not only as a special stage of the negotiations by itself,
in all details, but from the aspect of its retroactive influence on the
previous negotiation stages.
This is performed primarily through the continuation of the role
of the mediator, the third party, the guarantors as a kind of ‘appeal
instance’ if the agreement is not implemented as agreed; or through
the importance of the implementation for full pacification of the
conflict; or on the contrary, the failure to implement as a factor for
active renewal of hostilities.
Therefore, negotiation experience has suggested that the stage
of implementation be negotiated as a separate part.

Initially, the implementation should resolve the problem of

frequent greater expectations from the agreement than it can actually
achieve. This idiosyncratic ‘disappointment’ over the agreement
when it is finally published ‘urbi et orbi’ may be shared by the parties
and the international community alike. At this stage, it most efficient
that the mediator should assume the duty of ‘marketing’ the
agreement as reasonable success. Nevertheless, this is a task for
each party to fulfill in their part of the grass-root level.
Subsequently, the mediator undertakes a role of moderator for
fulfillment of the safeguards and the promises given by third parties in
the course of the negotiations, and which have become a
constitutional part of the success of the agreement itself.

According to the data from specialized literature, between 1940

and 1992, negotiations on conflict settlement were started for only
half of the domestic armed clashes, and only half of those
negotiations were successfully implemented. The remainder are
agreements that reached a standstill somewhere in the
implementation or became subject to disappointments and new
For example, full-fledged pacification was reached in the clashes in: Laos, China, the
Philippines, Angola, Afghanistan, Chad, Uganda, Somalia, Liberia, Rwanda, partly in Bosnia
before Dayton, but in each of these cases one or both actors decided later in the implementation
stage to not comply with their obligations under the agreement. None of these cases can be

This supports the thesis presented at the beginning of this text
that the negotiators actually make a special political decision
(separated from the ones to start negotiations) that concerns the
determination to implement the agreed.

The implementation stage distinguishes a sequence of activities

(as a sub-stage) called post-conflict prevention.
It consists of a more active role of the third party and the
mediator, including coercive threat in order to prevent renewal of
disputes and conflict behavior by the opponents to the agreement or
factions of the parties to the agreement.119 It is a part that is especially
active before the implementation of the agreement starts paying
dividends that are more serious.
Just as every agreement that is intended to last, these
agreements frequently contain parts that ‘lustrate’ or remedy the
committed injustices and war crimes, parts that ‘render justice’. Those
parts are particularly difficult for implementation. Namely, with these
parts each side faces itself, its factions and base, since it needs to
bring its people to justice.
The forms of lustration vary from forming ad hoc courts for war
crimes and genocide through forms of reconciliation by forgiveness
(Desmond Tutu) to revealing the truth to the world and the families of
the victims (confrontation of hangmen and victims through cathartic
communication of grief and forgiveness).
The determination and the closing of this stage at the beginning
of the implementation is of great importance as it will enable the
opening of its more long-lasting sub-stages called reconciliation or
structural conciliation. This involves part concerning the change of
educational matrices, public communication, and media, and the

proclaimed successful in the negotiation.

For further details, see: Peter Wallensteen, Understanding Conflict Resolution, Sage, London
quoted work p. 135; Uppsala Conflict Data Project, SIPRI Yearbook 1998; World Armaments and
Disarmaments, London, Oxford University Press; Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly
Conflict, 1997; World Military and Social Expenditures 1996, World Priorities, Washington, DC
USA Ruth Leger Sivard; Barbara F. Walter, in International Negotiation, V.7, No 3, 2002, Kluwer
Law International, London pp. 301-303; Stabilizing Peace After Civil War, C. Hartzell, M. Hoddie,
D. Rothschild, in International Organizations, V. 55, No. 1, 2001, pp. 192-199, California
University Press, San Diego, USA.
Of 38 civil wars and related reached agreements, after the unsuccessful implementation only
14 (37 %) returned to the position of complete renewal of conflict and hostilities.
Five years after the signing of the agreement, 68% of the agreements, in which there were strong
external safeguards from a third party, persisted, compared to the 32% in which there were no
such safeguards.
Taken from: International Organizations, quoted work, p. 195.

change towards social conditions of togetherness and healing of the
wounds from the conflicts.

The most important part of the implementation, the part called

integrative content of the agreement, is the operative plan for
assistance in the revitalization and restoration of order (legal and
political relations) and the economic activity of the conflict parties.
In this context, hitherto experience teaches two important lines:
the first is that the assistance should be well-timed, well-planned in
terms of quality and quantity, and aimed at actual segments of the
system; and the second is that it should be monitored and assessed
in accordance with the results.
The greatest and most frequent problems that need to be
resolved in this stage are: the absence of partner in the form of
functional administration system of the contracting parties that will
manage the assistance towards successes; and corruption.
Those who wage war are poor administrators and managers.
However, those who wage war and consider themselves crucial for
the success do not easily give place to other managerial elite that
needs to conduct sustainable government and attain results from the
It does not suffice only to patch what was demolished. What is
important is to lay the foundations of a system that is self-sustainable
and will continue to function.
Theoretically, this is divided into two separate strategies:
institutional building and capacity building for implementation of laws
and assistance.120
The system should persist and develop into a regular, neutral,
and efficient administrative service of the citizens.
Corruption is a serious problem in the implementation of
agreements, especially of the agreements that envisage larger and
longer-serving international forces on the territories of the parties that
were in conflict.
According to UN reports on their positions in the Balkan region,
for example, the new officers start showing signs of corruption and
‘adaptation’ to the environment in which they work after a period of
six months.
Hitherto experience suggests that the assistance in the implementation is shared between the
third parties (the guarantors), for example: the Americans and NATO perform the 'hardware' side
of the implementation (the exercise of pressure, forming courts, demarcation forces etc.), while
the European Union assumes the part of economic assistance, transfer of knowledge in building
sustainable society, i.e. the 'software' side.

The corruption of the elites of the parties that were in conflict is
an endemic problem (they consider that they should reward
themselves for their ‘success’ from the assistance from the
guarantors). If these two types of corruption deteriorate, the
implementation faces its most serious obstacle to success.
There is no cure-all for corruption, but an efficient system of
monitoring the facilitation of assistance (by the guarantors) that will
include coercive diplomacy and coercive threats for the manner in
which it is conducted (if there are corruptive occurrences) is
absolutely necessary.
A second means are the training programs for the
administration at all levels that provide education in management and
administrative skills for normal utilization of assistance, as well as
functioning of the system as a whole.

In order to have time for all this to be achieved and

accomplished, the implementation must have an integrated early-
warning system for the items to which the agreements are always
most sensitive: human and minority rights, division of power and
disarmament, displaced persons, refugees, the particularly vulnerable
parts of the population etc.

This all goes to show that the stage of implementation of

agreements is a complex and delicate process, and how much the
overall spent material and energy for the entire previous negotiation
in effect depend on it. It must be taken into consideration when
promises and safeguards are given in the course of the negotiations,
and it necessitates conducting special negotiation and formulating
detailed plans.

Author: Dr. Ljubomir Danailov Frčkoski

In Skopje, on the very day of 25 April 2007.