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

Changing Leaders or Negotiators

Opening Page | Glossary | Menu Shortcut Page

Once a conflict has been "personalized"--in other words, once the problem has been defined, at least in part, in terms of the personalities of the leaders or negotiators, de-escalation can often by encouraged by changing who these people are. Sometimes this happens automatically--a government will have an election and a new leader is selected.  This person may be able to make progress in de-escalating a conflict just by being new--by not being identified as resistant or unreasonable as his or her predecessor was. 

Alternatively, negotiators or group leaders may be changed without a vote.  If one person is seen to be ineffective because they have become too angry with the other side (or the other side is too angry with them to be able to negotiate effectively), changing spokespeople and/or negotiators can be very helpful in getting negotiations moving again.   By bringing in new people--who are not viewed as negatively as their predecessors--opportunities may become apparent that were invisible before.  In addition, fresh people may not be as firmly set in their ways of thinking as people who have been involved in a conflict for a long time.  They may be able to get out of the "ruts"--the old ways of thinking that earlier negotiators had been stuck in--and develop new approaches to problems that were not thought of before.  They may also be able to develop more effective personal relationships with their opponents than the people who came before.

Links to Related Approaches

Treating Escalation Problems - All

Negotiate With Legitimate Representative


Links to Related Problems

Escalation - All

Refusal to Negotiate


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