Political scientists at the University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) recently published a study on the relations of rival nations, finding that resolving border disputes is the best way to move the nations towards peace.
“We looked at how you move from a situation
where states are rivals with each other and very hostile, ideally to where
they’re friends,” UT Dallas Ashbel Smith Professor of Political Science Dr. Paul Diehl, one of the lead authors of the study, said. “Or, even if they’re not friends, how do you get to the point
where they’re not enemies?”
Published online in Conflict Management and
Peace Science, the study contends that rival nations who settle border
conflicts are 122 percent more likely to move from rival status to no military
conflict, or negative peace. Additionally, ending military hostilities has a
“Most countries are not fighting a war, but
there are ways to improve relations that don’t get a lot of attention,” Diehl
said. “Avoiding war is good, but it shouldn’t be the end point. We’re looking
at how you can move in a more peaceful direction. If you move away from being
enemies, you open up some possibilities to ultimately being friends.”
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