Assessing Human Needs Theory: An Approach to Conflict Resolution

A. Azam, S. Rehman

Abstract


John Burton’s Human Needs Theory has been a cornerstone for conflict resolution, emphasizing that there are vital needs that all human beings have in common and if desecrated, may result in conflict. Indeed, unfulfilled needs are the root cause of a conflict hence; if human needs are denied or obstructed then conflict is inevitable.  John Burton’s Human Needs Theory may not present a comprehensive conflict resolution mechanism rather it focuses to provide basic understanding and identification of factors that are likely to cause conflict. Burton’s work may be regarded as baseline study of theory of conflict formation aimed at identifying causation of factors and levels contributing to conflict rather resolution specifically. However, in his subsequent writings Burton attempted to bridge the gap between Humans needs theory and conflict resolution by describing framework to resolve a conflict. Nonetheless, besides offering so much, assertion of Burton’s theory may be further argued and analyzed in the current milieu of international affairs. This paper seeks to understand the causes of conflict at the societal or state level through the prism of human needs theory.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Johan A. H. Maslow, “A Theory of Human Motivation,” Psychological Review, vol. 50, pp. 370-396, 1943.

John Burton, “The Theory of Conflict Resolution,” Current Research on Peace and Violence, vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 125-130, 1986.

Martin Griffiths, “John Burton Versus International Relations: The Costs of Criticism,” Australian Journal of International Affairs, Routledge, vol. 67, No. 1, pp. 55-70, 2013.

Nehginpao Kipgen, “Ethnic Conflicts in India: A Case Study of Kukis and Nagas in Manipur,” The Indian Journal of Political Sciences, vol. 22, No. 4, pp. 1043 – 1060, 2011.

David J. Dunn, “Articulating an Alternative: The Contribution of John Burton,” Review of International Studies, vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 197-208, 1995.

Carolyn M. Stephenson, “Reviewed Work(s): The Power of Human Needs in World Society by Roger A. Coate and Gerald A. Rosati,” The American Political Science Review, vol. 84, No. 3, pp. 1051-1053, 1990.

Amitai Etzioni, “Basic Human Needs, Alienation and Inauthenticity,” American Sociological Review, American Sociological Association, vol. 33, No. 6, pp. 870-885, 1968.

Richard E. Rubenstein, “Basic Human Needs: The Next Steps in Theory Development”, The International Journal of Peace Studies, vol. 6, No 1, pp. 51-58, 2001.

Laureen Park, “Opening The Black Box: Reconsidering Needs Theory Through Psychoanalysis and Critical Theory,” International Journal of Peace Studies, International Peace Research Association, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 1-27, 2010.

Christopher Mitchell, “Necessitous Man and Conflict Resolution: More Basic Questions About Basic Human Needs Theory”, Ed. John Burton “Conflict: Human Needs Theory,” The Macmillan Press, 1990, pp149 – 176.

Ramashray Roy, “Social Conflicts and Needs Theories: Some Observations,” ed John Burton “Conflict: Human Needs Theory,” The Macmillan Press, 1990, pp125 – 148.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.