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 reason escalation occurs so quickly is that most people do not understand how or why it occurs or why it is so dangerous. They often even encourage escalation intentionally, in an effort to gain support for their own side. By teaching people about escalation, they are better able to make careful strategic choices. They can mobilize support for their cause in ways that do not unnecessarily antagonize the opposition; they can temper their language and make other efforts to avoid provocative or otherwise escalatory actions when they understand what those are and what their effects are likely to be. The easiest way to do this is to include a unit on escalation (and de-escalation) in standard conflict management training programs, as well as training programs on advocacy, community organizing, and similar empowerment strategies. Once people understand the dangers--as well as the benefits--of escalation, and understand what kinds of actions tend to cause unintentional escalation, they will be much more able to prevent escalation from occurring (or at least will be able to limit it) than the can if they do not understand what causes it or how it affects them.
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