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


Conflict Management, Settlement, and Resolution

Just as conflict scholars often distinguish between short-term conflicts (or disputes) and long term conflicts, many also distinguish between "dispute settlement," "conflict management," and "conflict resolution." Disputes are usually settled permanently by working out a mutually-satisfactory agreement through negotiation or mediation, or by adjudication in which an expert (a judge, a jury, or an arbitrator) decides that one side was right, and the other was wrong. In both situations, the dispute is settled--that is, it is ended.

When long-term conflicts are ended, scholars say they are "resolved." By this they mean that a relatively stable solution has been found by identifying and dealing with the underlying sources of the conflict. This is more difficult to do than simple "dispute settlement," because resolution means going beyond negotiating interests to meeting all sides' basic needs, and finding a way to respect their underlying values and identity. This often requires making significant socio-economic or political changes that restructure society in a more just or inclusive way.

"Conflict management" involves the control, but not resolution, of a long-term or deep-rooted conflict. This is the approach of choice when complete resolution seems to be impossible. In this case, a conflict can be managed to make it more constructive and less destructive--thus making the results of the ongoing conflict more beneficial and less damaging to all sides.

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