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.
International Online Training Program On Intractable Conflict
Conflict Research Consortium, University of Colorado, USA
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De-escalation is the reduction in the intensity of a conflict. Sometimes this occurs quickly, when a conflict escalates rapidly to the point where the parties fear that further escalation will be catastrophic, and they back off. (This occurred in the Cuban Missile Crisis between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. which escalated, and then de-escalated rapidly, since both sides feared further escalation would cause nuclear war.) More often, however, de-escalation does not occur until the parties have reached a prolonged "hurting stalemate"--a term developed by Saadia Touval and William Zartman to refer to a situation in which neither side can prevail, but both sides are being harmed by continuing the confrontation. Once both sides realize this is the case, they are much more likely to be willing to negotiate at least a temporary settlement of the conflict. But as long as at least one side thinks it can win, de-escalation is harder to achieve.
Unlike escalation, which often occurs rapidly and unintentionally, de-escalation tends to be slow and only happens intentionally through much effort. A variety of approaches are possible: the gradual reciprocal reduction in tension approach (GRIT), cooling off periods, media management, changing communication strategies and patterns, and others. More details are given below in the individual de-escalation write ups.
Treating Escalation Problems - All
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