Brussels, novembre 2007
The conflict intervention discussion is a rather recent phenomenon(1), which rapidly grew after the end of the East-West-confrontation in 1989, though of course intervention in conflict is something that has always taken place. Intervention is “Any influencing of a system of rule from the outside, no matter if the influencing is done by nonviolent or by violent means”(2) .
The term ‘conflict intervention’ will be used for such involvements that are undertaken to influence a conflict in another ‘system of rule’. This definition leaves the means (military, diplomacy etc.), the type of conflict, the interveners (states, international state organisations, NGOs etc.) and the purpose/objectives of the intervention open.
(1) : What is new in the last ten or fifteen years is a heightened awareness of the need of conflict resolution/conflict transformation and the different means available to contribute to them. Special attention has been given to military “humanitarian” intervention on the one hand, and to the methods of civil conflict transformation (mediation, multi-track diplomacy, sending peace teams etc.) on the other hand.
(2) : “Unter Intervention ist jede Beeinflussung eines Herrschaftssystems von außen zu verstehen, egal ob sie gewaltfrei oder gewaltsam vorgenommen wird.” (Czempiel 1994:402)