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.
International Online Training Program On Intractable Conflict
Conflict Research Consortium, University of Colorado, USA
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One of the most common types of needs conflicts are conflicts over identity. These conflicts occur when a person or a group feels that his or her sense of self--who one is--is threatened, or denied legitimacy or respect. One's sense of self is so fundamental and so important, not only to one's self-esteem but also to how one interprets the rest of the world, that any threat to identity is likely to produce a strong response. Typically, this response is both aggressive and defensive, and can escalate quickly into an intractable conflict.
Identity is the primary issue in most racial and ethnic conflicts. It is also a key issue in many gender and family conflicts, when men and women disagree on the proper role or "place" of the other, or children disagree with their parents about who is in control of their lives and how they present themselves to the outside world.
Identity conflicts can be especially difficult to resolve. The opponent is often viewed as evil--even nonhuman--and their views and feelings not worthy of attention. In addition, sitting down with the opponent can be seen as a threat to one's own identity, so even beginning efforts at reconciliation can be extremely difficult. Nevertheless, identity conflicts can be moderated, or even reconciled if the parties want such an outcome and are willing to work for it over a long period of time.
Tarja Vayrynen Securitised Ethnic Identities and Communal Conflicts
Bent Jorgenson Ethnic Boundaries and the Margins of the Margin
United States Institute of Peace--Sino-Tibetan co-Existence: Creating Space for Tibetan Self-Direction
U.S. Institute of Peace--Religion, Nationalism, and Peace in Sudan
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