In recent times, state apparatus in conjunction with international institutions have been working towards the prevention of wars and conflicts, thus promoting peace. In this essay, we discuss some of the factors that may promote both external and internal conflicts. We also discuss the role of international institutions in fostering peace around the globe.
Factors fuelling conflicts
People of different ethnicities have strived to co-exist and use their differences for mutual benefits over the centuries. However, today, ethnicity is seen a factor that contributes to violence and lack of peace among people of different ethnic backgrounds. Many ethnic-based clashes are as a result of disproportionate allocation of resources and underrepresentation of some ethnic groups in state affairs . When the state is unable to fully cater for the needs of each ethnic community, the latter are forced to act within their capacity to get what they want. In the process, such communities may end up offending members of another community, resulting in conflict.
The globe today continues to experience different religions, some authentic and others that are just coming up. Each religion has its own doctrines taught to its followers. The most predominant teachings in whatever religion cover the subject of peace and war . The only problem comes when some religions teach their faithful to participate in “holy wars” in the name of fighting for their religion.
The politicking of such wars leads to supremacy battles to determine the superior religion. In the end, people die, while others are permanently maimed all in the name of “holy wars”. Religious intolerance has been witnessed in countries such as Sri Lanka, Iran, Nigeria, and Northern Ireland. A typical example of the extent of religious violence is the Islamic led attacks on the Twin Towers in the U.S in September 2001. However, there are those religious actors, a majority of who believe in the supremacy of peace over war. Most religious leaders have been involved in conflict resolution processes, regardless of the faith they profess. Ideology and nationalism In some cases, conflicts occur among nation and individuals based on differences in ideologies. The cultural, economic, and political lives of citizens within a nation are governed by certain ideologies. When nations differ on what ideologies are superior to which, then the ensuing supremacy battles are bound to cause conflicts. Just like religion, some nations try to force others to embrace their ideologies3. Ideology and nationalism are two concepts that go together in as far as governance is concerned. In nationalism, citizens take up some national identities that differentiate them from other nationals. In some cases, clashes in national identities may lead to misunderstandings and conflicts. Supremacy battles based on ideologies and nationalistic feelings are, therefore, catalysts of conflicts. Role of international institutions in conflict resolution Compared to the past centuries, the 21st century has witnessed considerably fewer conflicts especially those resulting in war. However, this does not mean that the world has finally achieved peace, far from it. Most