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

Accepting Rather Than Challenging the Situation

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Many potential conflicts never really develop, because the one or more of the people or groups involved decides that the situation is not serious enough to confront the other side.  If one side believes that they have been wronged, or that they are not getting what they deserve or need, they can either chose to address the problem, or to let it go without confrontation.  Alternatively, they may try to remedy the situation themselves by getting what they need another way, or forgiving the wrong that has been done. 

This often occurs among low power groups when they do not feel they have the resources available to confront the opponent.  In some cases, they may not even define the situation as a problem  because they have come to define the situation in much the same way that the high-power group does--as if the status differential is appropriate, just, or normal (when an outside observer might say it is not).

Acceptance can also occur among high power groups, when they feel that the damage they could do to the situation or the relationship is greater than the potential pay-off is worth.  This is seen, for example, in many family conflicts, when one person withdraws from the conflict and accepts a less desirable outcome because they don't want to harm the relationship with the other family member(s).  This can happen even at the highest levels of international relations, when countries back down from a confrontation, rather than risking war.


Links to Examples of this Approach to Conflict

John Paul Lederach -- Central American Conflict Resolution
This is a description of the Central American approach to conflict resolution.  One of the first steps typically taken is asking whether the conflict is really worth confronting, or if acceptance is a better option.

Links to Related Approaches

Goal Clarification

Needs-Based Framing

Conflict Mapping

Links to Related Problems

Failing to Identify Available Options for Dealing with the Situation

Not My Problem

Framing Conflict as the Problem


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