OTPIC Officially Retired

As of December 2, 2005, the Online Training Program on Intractable Conflict (OTPIC) has been officially retired, and is no longer open to new registrations.

The successor to OTPIC is a course called Dealing Constructively with Intractable Conflicts (DCIC). The new curriculum is built around one of our major projects, Beyond Intractability, and offers a much more extensive and informative set of learning materials than that available through OTPIC.

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International Online Training Program On Intractable Conflict

Conflict Research Consortium, University of Colorado, USA

Ignoring Conflict History or Current Related Disputes

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Often disputes which appear to be "new" are actually repeat situations or continuations of an underlying conflict or problem which has being going on for a long time. When the parties involved are the same, the relationship to past similar disputes is usually fairly obvious. However, individual parties may change, or particular circumstances or precipitating events may change, leading the disputants to believe theirs is a new or unique situation when it is actually not.

When disputes are part of a long-running conflict, they are often more complex, and more deep-rooted than disputes which really are arising for the first time. For this reason it is important to be aware of the conflict history, and realize the impact that history has on the current situation and the parties' interpretation of that situation. Understanding who was involved, what they old issues were, and how the conflict was handled in the past is key to being able to confront the conflict effectively in the present. Without such knowledge, disputants are likely to misinterpret what is currently going on, and may well try to implement solutions that won't work or will make the situation worse, not better.

The same thing is true if disputants ignore current, related disputes or conflicts. Sometimes several related disputes are going on at once with overlapping parties or issues. Sometimes broader political, economic, or social trends impact on a smaller-scale dispute. If the impact of the related disputes or ongoing political, economic, or social dynamics are ignored, the changes of responding to the immediate dispute situation effectively is greatly reduced.

Links to Possible Treatments of This Problem:

Conflict Mapping

Links to Related Problems:

Inadequate Information Gathering

All or Nothing Approach


Copyright 1998 Conflict Research Consortium  -- Contact: crc@colorado.edu