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

Tactical Escalation

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Often parties will escalate a conflict intentionally, in an effort to build support for their cause. Although heightening awareness of a problem is often necessary at early stages of a conflict, there are ways to do that which are less likely to lead to an uncontrolled escalation spiral. If controls or limits are not placed on potential escalation-provoking behaviors, and care taken to build bridges to the other side at the same time, escalation often gets out of control quickly and any benefits which might have been obtained through escalation will be lost.


Links to examples of Tactical Escalation:

Saadia Touval -- Case Study: Lessons of Preventative Diplomacy in Yugoslavia
In this analysis, Touval examines the reasons why preventive diplomacy failed to prevent the Yugoslavian war. One reason, he found was that economic hardships which resulted from political and economic reforms were exploited by faction leaders and used to fuel nationalistic fervor.
Dean Pruitt and Jeffery Rubin -- Escalation in the Cuban Missile Crisis
Pruitt and Rubin observe that both sides intentionally escalated the conflict in the Cuban Missile Crisis in order to produce a stalemate, which was then ripe for negotiation.
Homer Page - Constructive Demonstration Strategies
Page has been involved in advocacy activities for over 30 years. In this paper he discusses the importance of clearly defining the goals of one's activities,  how tactical escalation of a conflict can work to one's advantage, and how demonstrations relate to negotiation efforts.
Paul Wehr--Power Mixes in the US Civil Rights Conflict
This essay shows how nonviolent force was used at times to escalate the US civil rights conflict, though it was moderated with exchange and integrative power strategies as well.


Links to Possible Treatments of this Problem:

Escalation Training

Power Strategy Mix

Step-by-Step Application of Force with Negotiation Loop-backs


Links to Related Problems:


Personal Attacks

Sacrifice Trap


Out-Group/Enemy Image


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