Of all forms of social conflicts, international conflict is undoubtedly the most important. As a phenomenon which can manifest itself in behavior where the means employed can threaten the very existence of the international system, international conflict affects us all in a way no other conflict does. This, I believe, lends a sense of urgency to all those efforts - intellectual and practical - which seek to improve the quality of the parties’ conflict management interactions, or establish the conditions for the regulation, management, or resolution of international conflicts. With international conflict becoming increasingly more dangerous and costly, and most states showing an increased sensitivity to differences and decreased sensitivity to similarities, the dangers of an escalating conflict are all too apparent. If this process is not to drive us to extinction, we must understand its nature and develop a common interest in managing it effectively and changing its character.