The study and practice of conflict resolution has become a remarkable worldwide social movement in recent years. Legislation creating conflict resolution programs--writing into law new forms of resolving conflict fundamentally different from existing models century old--has been enacted in virtually every nation in the workd in the decade since the late 1980s. What is the reason for conflict resolution's unparalleled proliferation in the comparatively slow-moving field of law, cutting across so many national, cultural, racial, ethnic, and political lines? What exactly is conflict resolution? Why do so many different disciplines lay claim to it? Where did it originate? Whar are its implications for the future of handling social conflict? The author addresses these questions in the course of providing an introduction to the field, a review of conflict resolution in history, and a survey of contemporary legislation worldwide in an appendix to the article. Analysis of the conflict resolution movement reveals that its strength results from a steady dissemination of spiritual principles designed for the forging of world unity by Baha'u'llah, the prophet-founder of the Baha'i Faith, more than a century ago.
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Copyright © 1999 Steven Gonzales