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 approach to de-escalation is GRIT, an approach developed by Charles Osgood. In his original writing he said it stood for "graduated and reciprocated initiatives in tension reduction; later he simplified this to gradual reduction in tension. The basic idea is that disputant can initiate de-escalation by making a small, unilateral (one-sided) concession to the other side, and at the same time, communicating a desire or even an expectation that this gesture will be matched with an equal response from the opponent. If the opponent does respond positively, the first party can make a second concession, and a "peace spiral" is begun. If the first initiative is ignored, Osgood suggests that it be followed by a second--or even a third--attempt. These concessions should be designed to build trust, but should not be terribly costly (materially or strategically), nor should they suggest weakness. However, they should indicate a willingness to transform the conflict to a more cooperative and less adversarial approach.
Anwar Sadat's trip to Jerusalem in 1977 was one example of GRIT at work. Before his trip, hostility and suspicion between Egypt and Israel was very high, and several wars had already occurred. In 1977, Sadat announced that he wanted to visit Jerusalem to increase trust and to diminish tensions between the two nations. The trip cost him very little, while it greatly improved his image in Israel and with its allies, and led to the historic Camp David Accords a year later.
Treating Escalation Problems (all)
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