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.

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International Online Training Program On Intractable Conflict

Conflict Research Consortium, University of Colorado, USA

Pre-Negotiation/Negotiation of Process Issues

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Prenegotiation refers to the discussions that proceed formal negotiations. The topics usually include procedural questions: who will be involved, where and when the negotiations will take place, how they will be structured, what the agenda will be, and so on. Often these decisions are made before the parties actually sit down together at the table. The mediator will discuss the questions with each side individually, will make a proposal, and then will use shuttle diplomacy to reach agreements on process and structure before the parties sit down together.

At other times, especially in simpler situations involving individual disputants, or even in large scale consensus-building processes on public policy issues, the mediator or facilitator will help the parties negotiate the procedural and structural questions at the very beginning of the formal negotiation process. This has the advantage of giving the disputants a sense of success early on. When some of the parties are reluctant to participate in the process however, the procedural and structural questions usually need to be worked out ahead of time, in order to convince the reluctant party that participation is worth their time.


Links to Examples of Pre-negotiation:

Building Trust in an Environmental Conflict
This is a short description of a consensus-building process which decided procedural questions at the beginning of the negotiations.
Harold Saunders -- Prenegotiation and Circum-negotiation: Arenas of the Peace Process
This is an article explains how pre-negotiation can pave the way for latter successful official negotiation processes.
Harold Saunders -- We Need a Larger Theory Of Negotiation:  the Importance of Pre-Negotiation Phases
This article supplements the information given in the preceding article.
Jay Rothman -- Conflict Management Policy Analysis
This is a description of a dispute resolution process used for a boundary dispute between Israel and Egypt. Although an adversarial process was used, Rothman discusses more integrative alternatives that might have worked better, and suggests that pre-negotiation was one of several possible ways that such a process might have been achieved.
Curt Brown - Handling Confrontation: Negotiated Adaptive Management
This paper contracts the legal/regulatory model of environmental management with a more flexible, negotiation-based model for managing resources and making environmental decisions.

Links to Related Approaches:

Negotiation of Process Issues

Citizen Diplomacy

Treatments for Process Problems


Links to Related Problems:

Refusal to Negotiate

Poor Process or Structure

Copyright 1998 Conflict Research Consortium  -- Contact: crc@colorado.edu