Conflict resolution, also known as reconciliation, is one of the methods designed to end a conflict between parties in a peaceable manner without fear of retribution on either side. Undertaking conflict resolution, parties committed to peace attempt to resolve the situation through both negotiations with each other and active communication within the group. Conflict resolution, as a term, can be interchangeable with dispute resolution.
There are several different theories and models within the field of conflict resolution. In practical terms, however, most conflict resolution efforts take place between warring parties. The long, complex, and frustrating negotiations between the United Kingdom and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) is one of the more notable, and successful instances of conflict resolution. After decades of fighting, the IRA was willing to sit down with the British government, renounce violence, and take part in a power-sharing agreement within the government of Northern Ireland. Apart from small bands of radical paramilitary hold-outs, the peace agreement negotiated in Northern Ireland continues to hold.
Many universities now offer courses of study in conflict resolution. George Mason University was the first to offer a Ph.D. program in the field. Pax Ludens, a non-profit group in the Netherlands, offers conflict resolution simulations where students can learn the intricacies of global conflict.