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 Research Consortium, University
of Colorado, USA
Opening Page | Glossary | Menu Shortcut
One common problems in deep-rooted, intractable conflicts is that the disputants tend
to de-humanize each other, viewing the other side as less than human and thus deserving
One of the keys for conflict transformation is to humanize people on the other side--to
get people on both sides to realize that the opponent is, indeed, human, that they share
the same values, the same emotions, the same feelings that their own side does. If mothers
can be brought together to talk about their children, if men can be brought together to
talk about their families or their jobs, people will quickly find out how much they have
in common with people on the other side, and how surprisingly "human" the other
side seems. Once this is discovered, it becomes much harder to inflict violence on the
people who have, in a sense, become friends.
Links to examples of humanization efforts:
This is a story about a conflict between the police and an extremist group in the
U.S. One of the factors that led to the tragic end to this story is the
dehumanization that took place on both sides. Had efforts been made to humanize each
sides' view of the other, Heimburg suggests, a very different outcome might have occurred.
- Ruth Heimburg -- Extremists versus Police -- A
Tragedy for All
Saunders describes four stages of the peacebuilding process. All involve efforts at
humanizing the opponent, replacing negative stereotypes with more accurate understandings
of the opposing group, and searching for common values between groups.
David Brubaker -- Reconciliation in Rwanda:
The Art of the Possible
One of the main causes of the tragedy in Rwanda was the dehumanization of each side
by the other. In this article, Brubaker reflects on the need to reverse this trend
and to humanize each side in the eyes of the other.
Christopher Young--The Role of Media in
Just as the media can escalate a conflict, it can also assist in de-escalating
conflicts by showing stories that humanize all the disputants, emphasizing their good
qualities and commonalties with each other.
- Harold Saunders--Prenegotiation and
Circum-negotiation: Arenas of the Peace Process
Links to Outside Information on Humanization:
Institute of Peace--Sino-Tibetan co-Existence: Creating Space for Tibetan
U.S. Institute of
Peace--Religion, Nationalism, and Peace in Sudan
Links to related approaches:
Links to related problems:
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