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

Crisis Communication

Opening Page | Glossary | Menu Shortcut Page

In crisis situations, the pace of the conflict accelerates dramatically. This means that the parties have to react very quickly to changing conditions or risk having their ability to protect their interests substantially reduced. Crises  are likely to be further complicated by the increased levels of fear, anger, and hostility which are likely to be present.  Often in crises, communication gets distorted or cut off entirely.  As a result, rumors often supplant real facts, and worst-case assumptions drive the escalation spiral.  In addition, parties often try to keep their real interests, strategies, and tactics secret, and use deceptive strategies to try to increase their relative power. 


Claude Rakisits -- The Gulf Crisis: Failure of Preventive Diplomacy
Ambiguous and misleading communication as the crisis was developing was one of the reasons preventive diplomacy failed in the case of the Gulf War.
Alexander George -- The Cuban Missile Crisis
Clear communication during this crisis is one of the factors that prevented a disaster.

Links to Possible Treatments

Crisis Communication Mechanisms

Opening Lines of Communication

Rumor Control Teams

Crisis Management

Links to Related Problems

Lack of Communication Channels/Avoided Communication

Secrecy and Deception

Inadequate Information Gathering/Time Constraints

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