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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Peacebuilding involves establishing normalized relations between ordinary citizens on both sides of a conflict. Although it can be done at any time, peacebuilding efforts usually follow peacekeeping (the enforced prevention of further violence) and peacemaking (the forging of an actual settlement agreement). Unlike peacekeeping which can be implemented relatively quickly, and peace-making, which can occur over a period of a few months, peacebuilding usually takes a number of years. John Paul Lederah, an expert on peacebuilding, has observed that it takes people at least as long to get out of a conflict as it does to get into one--and some of the conflicts he has been involved in have gone on for decades, or even centuries. So peacebuilding is a very long, slow process.
Peacebuilding usually involves efforts to increase "normal," cooperative contacts between opponents. Stephen Ryan explains that peacekeeping "builds barriers between warriors," while peacebuilding "builds bridges between the ordinary people." Efforts are made to open channels of communication, get people involved in joint projects, work with the media and the educational system to try to break down stereotypes and reduce prejudice and discrimination. The goal of all of these efforts is reconciliation--getting the people to accept each other as part of their own group or be reconciled to mutual co-existence and tolerance.
Often peacebuilding programs are carried out by nongovernmental organizations, but the United Nations and regional organizations such as the Organization of American States or the Organization for African Unity have engaged in peacebuilding efforts as well. Some examples of these are given below.
US Institute of Peace Special Report-The U.S. Contribution to Conflict Prevention, Management, and Resolution in Africa
U.S. Institute of Peace--Why Peace Agreements Succeed or Fail
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