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Simon Wells, Paul J. Taylor and Ellen Giebels

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Ellen Giebels, Elze G. Ufkes and Kim J. P. M. van Erp

In this chapter we argue that an important dimension for understanding how conflict evolves is whether it concerns low- or high-stakes conflicts. As a point of departure, we introduce three recent research projects on high-stakes conflicts, subsequently focusing on: (1) conflicts in close relationships following an expatriation assignment for one of the partners; (2) third-party intervention in neighborhood conflicts by community mediators; and (3) crisis negotiations between the police and hostage takers. Our discussion highlights four key areas of attention: the importance of including notions of conflict asymmetry, incorporating a time horizon, alternative conflict management frameworks, and the connection with technological developments.