Luc Reychler



One of the most important challenges facing the global community in the next decade, is the prevention of destructive conflicts. Listening to the discourse in the United Nations and other governmental and non governmental organizations this may sound like kicking in wide open doors (Bauwens and Reychler, 1994). But the failure of conflict prevention and the high number of conflict zones, indicates that we still have a long way to go. A global survey of contemporary conflicts counts 22 high-intensity and 39 lowerintensity conflicts, and 40 serious disputes (PIOOM, 1995). In 1995 five groups were victims of genocides or politicides. The risks of future victimization of 47 communities in different parts of the world is assessed as high of very high (PIOOM, 1995). The growth of nationalist feelings at the end of the Cold War is only the beginning of more suffering. More conflicts are expected, with old and new causes, such as the unequal or unfair trade balances between North and South, unemployment in the North, the environmental pollution, religious extremism, mass immigration and the growing number of failed states. These problems could hurt people so much that they would be prepared to fight for them.

Author Bio(s)

Luc Reychler received his PhD degree from Harvard in 1976 and is presently professor of International Relations and Peace Research at the University of Leuven, Belgium.


conflict prevention, field diplomacy, (re)construction and (re)conciliation

Publication Date






To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.