Source: (2004) In, Kieran McEvoy and Tim Newburn,eds., Criminology, Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice. Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK and New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan. Pp. 83-100.

Rachel Murray begins this essay with the comment that a brief glance at Africa would suggest that conflict prevention methods have achieved little success. At the same time, she emphasizes that the causes of conflict are complex. One cannot take a narrow or simplistic view of conflict; one must take account of political, economic, and social factors to understand the causes and processes of conflict. With all of this in mind, Murray focuses in this chapter not on the management of conflict, but on the prevention of conflict. The reason for this is that it is more effective to contain conflicts than to deal with them once they have begun. She contends that a human rights approach to conflict offers an epistemological and practical basis for better understanding and preventing conflicts.