Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
In a globalizing world, the questions of peace, security, and development become increasingly dependent on people's social trust. While political conflicts mainly concern the possession of government power or control over a certain territory, social conflicts are ultimately about questioning the legitimacy of the social order. However, which conflicts should be classified as the one or the other is often difficult to determine, and the boundaries between interstate conflict and intrastate (civil) war have also been blurred. Social conflicts involve an antagonism between different groups of people based on basic values, social status, political influence, or scarce resources. Because of perceived social inequalities, for example, on the basis of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, or any other identity group, the social order has lost part of its legitimacy. Every society is marked by social structures that determine which values and norms dominate, as well as how different resources are ...