Contemporary conflict management frequently includes but is not limited to the use of force. Conflict resolution is a highly complex venture that demands a combination of military and civilian efforts and interaction among a variety of actors, including those party to the conflict, non-combatant civilians and a large number of external third-party participants ranging from military organizations to NGOs. The frequent use of catchwords such as ‘comprehensive approach’, ‘hearts and minds’, ‘state building’ and ‘gender’ indicates that actors in security management have become increasingly aware of the need for ever more elaborate approaches going far beyond the traditional notion of military victory in the field as the main goal of political action. The activities undertaken are complicated and conflict management practices must deal with the dynamics of modern-day society. We position contemporary conflict management in a security governance context and highlight challenges and opportunities in the field. This chapter is structured along a definition of governance that moves beyond state-centrism and allows for a multifaceted analysis of governance; according to Webber et al. (2004: 4) ‘governance involves the coordinated management and regulation of issues by multiple and separate authorities, the interventions of both public and private actors (depending upon the issue), formal and informal arrangements, in turn structured by discourse and norms, and purposefully directed toward particular policy outcomes’.
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