IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

A few more thoughts about “early warning”

Here is a very good overview of early warning in conflict resolution/prevention…and a few quotes to get you interested (hopefully):

“What is Early Warning?

“Effective preventive strategies rest on three principles: early reaction to signs of trouble; a comprehensive, balanced approach to alleviate the pressures, or risk factors, that trigger violent conflict; and an extended effort to resolve the underlying root causes of violence.”[2]

The goal of early warning is born from a hope to head off conflict before it becomes costly. ”


“A number of factors have been identified as potential early warning signs. They include:

  • sudden demographic changes and population displacement;
  • rising unemployment rates;
  • economic shocks or financial crises;
  • destruction or desecration of religious sites;
  • discrimination or legislation favoring one group over another;
  • government “clamp-downs”;
  • destabilizing referenda or elections;
  • a rise in “societal” intolerance and prejudice;
  • an increase in numbers of demonstrations or rallies;
  • foreign intervention;
  • contagion;
  • and an influx of  refugees.”

…in other words, fairly widespread human rights violations of various kinds.

This is very good stuff, and to me sort of points the direction we have to take, sooner or later.  As the article mentions there is great resistance to being proactive, but, put simply, the cost of deep seated, long lasting violent conflict is always too high.   The consequences just hang around forever:  parents pass on a thirst for vengeance to their children, the culture takes on an “us/them” mindset, there are songs glorifying killing the other and dying for the people, etc…What a  horrible mutation in human civilization!  So, why not just do what you need to do to stop “differences” from getting to this stage.  How hard can it be given what we know about conflict these days?

This is definitely worth thinking about (and acting on).

IGbarb says:   “Do it!”


May 20, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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