Chapter 3 Cycles of violent conflicts and peace in a dynamic model of the global system

Peace Science: Theory and Cases

ISBN: 978-1-84855-200-5, eISBN: 978-1-84855-201-2

ISSN: 1572-8323

Publication date: 29 July 2009


Violent conflicts and peace are the flip sides of the same coin of our societies. In many societies, sometimes conflicts of violent nature paralyse our collective senses, which result in an appalling destruction of economic and social assets and abysmal loss of human lives. In similar societies, a peaceful resolution of serious conflicts takes place. Even many societies seem to traverse from conflicts to peace and to costly conflicts again. The goal of this chapter is to examine the foundation of cyclical fluctuations in the level of conflicts. One can ponder that a low level of conflict is a peaceful composure, while a high-level conflict represents a lack of peace. However, admittedly, it is impossible to pin down a level of conflict as a threshold between peace and violent conflicts. There is no science that we are to apply to define this threshold, or boundary, and we will rather depend on the common sense. Our simple definition of peace is somewhat tautological: peace is an absence of an unacceptable level of violent conflicts. What is an acceptable level of conflict in a society? It is important to note that it is virtually impossible to banish violence and conflicts from a society – especially at its current stage. We will thus externally impose a cut-off point for conflicts below which a society is taken as peaceful and beyond which the society descends into a conflictual crisis. Our intention is to explore whether the system has its own internal dynamics to fluctuate between peace and violent conflicts.


Gangopadhyay, P. and Chatterji, M. (2009), "Chapter 3 Cycles of violent conflicts and peace in a dynamic model of the global system", Gangopadhyay, P. and Chatterji, M. (Ed.) Peace Science: Theory and Cases (Contributions to Conflict Management, Peace Economics and Development, Vol. 11), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 107-122.

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