Chapter The Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations
Although peace education encompasses a variety of activities and programs, its eventual goal is to reduce intergroup con ict and to promote more harmonious intergroup relations. Central to the social psychology of con ict resolution is the idea that intergroup con icts have distinct psychological components, such as threatened social identities, that can contribute to a continuation of the con ict even after the initial, objective causes have become irrelevant (Tajfel & Turner, 1979). The aim of this chapter is to present an overview of the social-psychological foundations of intergroup con ict and to illustrate how an understanding of these can inform con ict resolution and peace education. The chapter unfolds in three main parts. First, we lay out the basic processes of social categorization and identi cation and discuss the main social-psychological theories which underline the role of threat in intergroup con ict. Second, we provide an overview of social-psychological approaches to reduce intergroup con ict that have been developed on the basis of these principles. Finally, we summarize the implications of social-psychological work for peace education and acknowledge the limitations of social-psychological approaches to con ict resolution.