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3 J. Conflict Resol. 1 (1959)

handle is hein.journals/jcfltr3 and id is 1 raw text is: 







Toward an international program of research

on   the   handling of conflicts: introduction




ERIK  RINDE   AND STEIN  ROKKAN
Institute for Social Research, Oslo, Norway, Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen, Norway


  The  papers  assembled in this issue are,
some  directly, others indirectly, products
of a  Seminar  on  Conflict Research or-
ganized during 1957-58  through a joint ar-
rangement  between  the Institute for Social
Research and  the Institute of Philosophy at
the University of Oslo.
  This  seminar grew out of an  established
tradition of co-operation between   United
States and Norwegian  social scientists. For
a  decade now,  United  States social psy-
chologists and  sociologists have taken an
active part in the planning and conducting
of empirical and  experimental research in
Oslo.
  A  great variety of studies has been dis-
cussed and  carried out during these years,
and  it would  be difficult to identify one
dominant  trend in these efforts. It is safe
to say, however, that no theme has recurred
so frequently in these deliberations as the
concern for the dynamics of intergroup con-
flicts: the concern to reach theoretical in-
sights into the  relationships between  in-
groups and  out-groups, into the forces mak-
ing for disruption, violence, and aggression
as against the forces making for integration,
toleration, and co-operation.
   This concern has manifested itself in the
planning and  conduct of a number  of con-
crete projects of empirical research: (1) a
survey  of nationalist-internationalist atti-
tudes  in an Oslo  population  (1); (2)  a


set of projective tests administered to ca-
dets to measure reactions to ego-referred
versus nation-referred threat (2); (3) a
seven-nation survey of teachers' orientations
to international threats (7); (4) an analysis
of existing survey data on contacts and co-
operative attitudes among the Scandinavian
peoples  (5); and  (5) a  program  of elec-
tional studies focusing on factors making
for the acceptance versus the avoidance of
intergroup conflicts (8, 9).
  This, however,  is only part of the story.
The   discussions between  Americans   and
Norwegians  have also been heavily marked
by a long-term concern with the clarification
of problems of research strategy in this area
of intergroup conflict: What lines of study
should be given priority? What criteria can
be used in decisions on such priorities? How
can different types of methodology and de-
sign be  integrated in broad  programs  of
research on these basic problems of human
survival? A first outcome  of these discus-
sions was the Institute Prize Contest for the
best paper on The  Relevance  of Research
to the Problems of Peace. This contest met
with a great deal of interest among scholars
of many  countries, and an impressive num-
ber  of manuscripts was  received for con-
sideration. The winning essays, the one by
Quincy  Wright, the other by Fred  Cottrell,
were  printed in the  volume  Research  for
Peace  in 1954  (10). An  attempt was  also

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