SOME PSYCHOLOGICAL UNDERPINNINGS OF THE THIRD PARTY’S ROLE IN
RESOLUTION OF CONFLICTS ON THE SOCIETAL AND INTERNATIONAL LEVELS
Graduate School for Social Research, Polish Academy of
Abstract. This paper deals with the role of the third party in conflict resolutions. The contention is that the success of the third party is determined by satisfaction of psychological needs for stability and approval. Societal and international conflicts are set in focus. Regarding the former, the third party is to make sure that a just resolution is accepted, fair procedures are followed, and the losing party is not insulted. These measures guarantee that the resolution will be stable and enforceable. The effectiveness of justice appeals by the third party is explained through psychological motives of having one’s actions approved and avoiding making personal enemies. Regarding the latter, the third party is to appeal to calculations of actual strength. The same psychological motives drive people to fight for their nations instead of looking for just principles on the basis of which a possible resolution of the conflict might be feasible.
Keywords: conflict resolution, psychological motives, third party, justice, balance of power