Conflict and Cooperation

Conflict is a normal part of human behaviour. It tends to arise when individuals or groups find themselves in competition with other individuals or groups. This may be over their share of scarce resources or because they want to protect their own interests at the expense of the interests of others. It may be because they want to acquire more territory or resist those who seek to occupy their land. It may be because they fear the other’s plans and intentions towards them. Or it may just be because they feel threatened in some way by other people: their different way of life, their different beliefs and values, their friends and allies. If conflict is a normal part of human behaviour then so too is cooperation. There are many things we cannot do or achieve without the help of others. We need peace, security and order. Without this it is difficult to get things done. Security and order depend on rules and people will not agree about the rules to live by without cooperation.