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Is conflict prevention a science, craft, or art? Moving beyond technocracy and wishful thinking

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Is conflict prevention a science, craft, or art? Moving beyond technocracy and wishful thinking. / Kurtz, Gerrit; Meyer, Christoph.

In: Global Affairs, 2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Kurtz, G & Meyer, C 2019, 'Is conflict prevention a science, craft, or art? Moving beyond technocracy and wishful thinking', Global Affairs. https://doi.org/10.1080/23340460.2018.1533387

APA

Kurtz, G., & Meyer, C. (2019). Is conflict prevention a science, craft, or art? Moving beyond technocracy and wishful thinking. Global Affairs. https://doi.org/10.1080/23340460.2018.1533387

Vancouver

Kurtz G, Meyer C. Is conflict prevention a science, craft, or art? Moving beyond technocracy and wishful thinking. Global Affairs. 2019. https://doi.org/10.1080/23340460.2018.1533387

Author

Kurtz, Gerrit ; Meyer, Christoph. / Is conflict prevention a science, craft, or art? Moving beyond technocracy and wishful thinking. In: Global Affairs. 2019.

Bibtex Download

@article{5f5f8a688ad74492bde954261db06224,
title = "Is conflict prevention a science, craft, or art?: Moving beyond technocracy and wishful thinking",
abstract = "Conflict prevention is currently experiencing a new wave of political interest, in the United Nations, the European Union and countries like Germany. By distinguishing and elaborating three ideal-type approaches to the study of conflict prevention as science, craft, or art, we argue that key lessons from 20 years of conflict prevention practice and research have not been learned yet. Official documents and parts of the literature are too often confined to a technocratic understanding of conflict prevention drawing on positivist conflict forecasting (science) and toolbox approaches to {\textquoteleft}what works{\textquoteright} when (craft). Moreover, wishful thinking affects the expected influence of external actors as well as warning response dynamics within organisations. Drawing on extensive research involving multiple cases and actors, we elaborate on how the {\textquoteleft}art{\textquoteright} dimension of conflict prevention is important to understanding and meeting conflict prevention challenge in three important fields: forecasting and early warning, organisational and decision-making structures, and diplomacy and engagement strategies. The paper argues for paying closer attention to informal, individual, and political dimensions of prevention and a more fine-grained understanding of how art, craft and science approaches can complement each other. ",
keywords = "Conflict prevention, warning, decision-making, diplomacy, United Nations, European Union, Germany",
author = "Gerrit Kurtz and Christoph Meyer",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1080/23340460.2018.1533387",
language = "English",
journal = "Global Affairs",
issn = "2334-0460",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Is conflict prevention a science, craft, or art?

T2 - Moving beyond technocracy and wishful thinking

AU - Kurtz, Gerrit

AU - Meyer, Christoph

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Conflict prevention is currently experiencing a new wave of political interest, in the United Nations, the European Union and countries like Germany. By distinguishing and elaborating three ideal-type approaches to the study of conflict prevention as science, craft, or art, we argue that key lessons from 20 years of conflict prevention practice and research have not been learned yet. Official documents and parts of the literature are too often confined to a technocratic understanding of conflict prevention drawing on positivist conflict forecasting (science) and toolbox approaches to ‘what works’ when (craft). Moreover, wishful thinking affects the expected influence of external actors as well as warning response dynamics within organisations. Drawing on extensive research involving multiple cases and actors, we elaborate on how the ‘art’ dimension of conflict prevention is important to understanding and meeting conflict prevention challenge in three important fields: forecasting and early warning, organisational and decision-making structures, and diplomacy and engagement strategies. The paper argues for paying closer attention to informal, individual, and political dimensions of prevention and a more fine-grained understanding of how art, craft and science approaches can complement each other.

AB - Conflict prevention is currently experiencing a new wave of political interest, in the United Nations, the European Union and countries like Germany. By distinguishing and elaborating three ideal-type approaches to the study of conflict prevention as science, craft, or art, we argue that key lessons from 20 years of conflict prevention practice and research have not been learned yet. Official documents and parts of the literature are too often confined to a technocratic understanding of conflict prevention drawing on positivist conflict forecasting (science) and toolbox approaches to ‘what works’ when (craft). Moreover, wishful thinking affects the expected influence of external actors as well as warning response dynamics within organisations. Drawing on extensive research involving multiple cases and actors, we elaborate on how the ‘art’ dimension of conflict prevention is important to understanding and meeting conflict prevention challenge in three important fields: forecasting and early warning, organisational and decision-making structures, and diplomacy and engagement strategies. The paper argues for paying closer attention to informal, individual, and political dimensions of prevention and a more fine-grained understanding of how art, craft and science approaches can complement each other.

KW - Conflict prevention

KW - warning

KW - decision-making

KW - diplomacy

KW - United Nations

KW - European Union

KW - Germany

U2 - 10.1080/23340460.2018.1533387

DO - 10.1080/23340460.2018.1533387

M3 - Article

JO - Global Affairs

JF - Global Affairs

SN - 2334-0460

ER -

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