Conflict resolution is a comparatively lesser known, but an extremely vast career option today. It refers to instances when two or more parties are in disagreement or facing a difference in opinion and a subsequent need for a solution to resolve the conflict and dissipate the associated tension is felt. The profile of those involved in conflict resolution essentially revolves around ensuring that all involved parties feel positive and satisfied with the outcome. That each gets the opportunity to hear the other party’s point of view in a neutral setting and even if they do not get everything they want they are accepting and agreeable to the final result.
Conflict resolution has been fast developing as a career opportunity and those with a flair for communication and negotiation can expect an exciting and challenging role in the same.
Some areas within conflict resolution include mediation negotiation and diplomacy.
Diplomacy and Peace making
Peace making is an interdisciplinary field of study that functions either at a micro (local) or macro (international) level. It delves into the causes of war, genocide and violence and tries to bring about corrective action. Peace and conflict resolution are interwoven with several aspects of study that include social political economic cultural, technological and religious structures.
There is no fixed career path in the field of diplomacy. One can start their careers with organizations such as The United Nations, Amnesty International Alliance for international conflict resolution center for War / Peace Studies Institute for World Affairs, Peace Brigades International etc to gain exposure. Opportunities also exist in organizations in the traditional sense. For example the World Bank has a Post Conflict Unit that is engaged in peace making and conflict resolution operations.
Even so, the United Nations is still the best known global peace keeping organization. It has a job network which specializes in politics peace and security.
Mumbai based political science student Ami Shah who spent six months interning with the United Nations at Geneva, is now looking to make a career in international diplomacy. Speaking of the internship she says. It was truly an enriching experience. It changed my world view entirely and made me a global citizen so to speak.
The experience was deeply satisfying. We are exposed to on field operations as well as desk work and logistical functions
The only UN mandated graduate school of peace studies – University of Peace in Costa Rica also a good option to explore for those who are very seriously considering career in international peacemaking.
This center of studies exists on the basis of a simple but courageous conviction: that is possible to educate for peace, it is possible to sue education to fight against war, violence and destruction. The courses offered at the university cover areas like international law and settlement of disputes environmental security and peace gender and peace building natural resources and peace etc.
The multicultural dimension of the University for Peace has changed my world view. It brings people of all cultures from around the world and unites them in one community thereby understanding, respecting and appreciating others cultures. These characteristics then help students become strong models for promoting pace amongst themselves and throughout the world at large.
There is no fixed qualification required for a career in peacemaking. A degree in a related subject such as international relations, or international law is helpful. Those interested in media and journalism can complete a master’s degree in media, peace and conflict studies.
They could then work as a communications officer in a development and peace keeping organization or with the government. This is a very dynamic and demanding field, where personal characteristics matter more than academic knowledge. We may hire the person even if the educational credentials do not exactly match.