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meta- +‎ conflict


metaconflict (countable and uncountable, plural metaconflicts)

  1. Conflict over whether or how to engage in a conflict.
    • 1985, Joyce L. Hocker, William W. Wilmot, Interpersonal conflict
      You face this choice repeatedly throughout a conflict; it is so fundamental that parties often get stuck in cycles of metaconflict — conflicting over whether they will engage one another in the conflict.
    • 1992, Donald L. Horowitz, A Democratic South Africa? (page 27)
      First, the metaconflict places severe constraints on political discourse. Second, it contracts the range of acceptable innovations and future arrangements.