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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Most interest groups have supporters who take an extreme view of the conflict. These extremists tend to favor outrageous and sometimes violent tactics. They are also likely to be very reluctant to accept any form of compromise. In their pursuit of complete victory, extremists often take aggressive actions which other members of the group oppose. Nevertheless, these extreme actions are often seen by the other side as representing the true feelings of the larger group. This tends to lead opponents to conclude that they must respond with extreme tactics of their own. This causes the conflict to escalate quickly, even when most of the people on both sides of the conflict are far more moderate in their views and desire much more moderate and conciliatory approaches to problem solving.
The provocative actions of extremists can also threaten broadly supported efforts to
de-escalate conflicts. Examples are the many violent acts in the Middle East which were
designed (and which often succeeded) in derailing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Even though most people on both sides of that conflict realize that the extremists are not
typical of most of the population on either side, their attacks are so threatening and
feared that the positions of many of the moderates on both sides of the conflict have
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