This article addresses two main issues. The first of these issues is the ongoing conflation of conflict with violence, and the lack of recognition of conflict as a potentially positive force. The second of
these issues is the continued push by donors in the region towards the reconstruction of the state in a stronger form, despite recognition that the structures of the state have played a critical role in the emergence of the recent and ongoing violence in the region. In addressing these issues the article first explores the differentiation between the concepts of conflict and violence, before then engaging in a discussion of the ways in which conflict can not only be a positive force but may actually be constitutive of society itself. The article then looks at ways in which the state has acted to both catalyse and intensify destructive forms of conflict. Once these two issues have been addressed the article then moves on to explore the ways in which an awareness of these issues can be harnessed, by both donors and local communities working together in a form of constructive engagement, in the creation of more durable and effective forms of governance in the region.
Barcham, M. (2005). Conflict, violence and development in the Southwest Pacific: Taking the indigenous context seriously. (CIGAD Working Paper Series 4/2005). Palmerston North, N.Z.: Massey University. Centre for Indigenous Governance and Development.