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Radical settlements to conflict: Conflict management and its implications for institutional change

  • Wesley S. Helms (a1) and Christine Oliver (a2)


This paper theorizes that conflict management strategies influence radical settlements in institutional fields. Radical settlements are truces to conflict reached between field constituents that significantly change constituents’ relations and their institutional context. We develop theory on the concept of radical settlements by introducing a typology of conflict management strategies that predicts variance in the likelihood of a radical settlement in institutional fields. We ground this typology within a framework of two key antecedents – ideological salience and field polarization – proposed to influence conflict management strategies. Our paper provides new insights to the literature on conflict and institutional change by shedding new light on the counter-intuitive phenomenon of conflict settlement or cessation as a catalyst for change within institutional fields.


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