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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In addition to failing to consider available force-based approaches, it is also common for the parties to fail to fully consider options for advancing their interests based upon integrative or exchange-based strategies. For example, the parties may conclude that there are no benefits to be gained from integrative strategies which would appeal to a common sense of community or common values because they do not think there are any such values. Or they may think that their opponent is so committed to the conflict or their own views that any attempt to change those views would be a waste of time. Similarly, parties may not consider negotiation as a way of pursuing opportunities for mutual gain, because they assume that that they have nothing to trade or that the other side would not be willing to talk. The result is that the parties often do not even try to overcome the obstacles to the successful use of these approaches. While such concerns are sometimes legitimate, often they are not. Exchange strategies and integrative strategies are often valuable to try in conjunction with force, or as a first alternative to force, because they are likely to improve the situation incrementally, even if they do not resolve the conflict as a whole.
In general this problem can be effectively treated by systematically identifying all possible force-based options (along with exchange-based and integrative approaches). In addition it is also important that the relative advantages and disadvantages of each option be assessed. Finally, the parties must be sure to examine their opponents' options.
Intermediaries would approach this problem from a somewhat different perspective. Instead of trying to assess their power and the power of their opponents, intermediaries might focus on helping the parties understand their force-based options and the options of their opponents.
For more information about integrative approaches click here; for information about exchange-based approaches click here.
Links to More Information About and Examples of This Problem:
Analysis of Similar Conflicts
Identify Strategic Options and Costing
Identify Sources of Power / Power Strategy Mix
Overly Competitive Approaches to a Conflict
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