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


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One of the fundamental assumptions of the constructive confrontation approach to intractable conflicts is that incremental improvements to the situation can often be made, even when the conflict overall cannot be resolved. This point is widely recognized in terms of negotiations. Many conflict professionals recognize the importance of separating negotiable from non-negotiable issues and resolving as many of the negotiable issues as possible. Yet incrementalism goes beyond the negotiation process to include force-based and integrative strategies, as well as strategies to limit the complicating factors such as communication problems, procedural problems, fact-finding problems, or escalation. Improvements in any of these areas will be unlikely to resolve the conflict, but they may reduce the negative effects to some extent, and make the benefits of conflict more apparent. If many incremental steps are taken sequentially, the amount the situation can be improved can often be substantial, even when the conflict as a whole is bound to continue.


Links to examples of incrementalism:

Tony Armstrong -- Principles of Icebreaking
Armstrong suggests that issues be "fractionated" for successful peaceful conflict resolution--which means, essentially, treating them incrementally.


Links to related approaches:

Identifying and Pursuing Negotiable Sub-Issues

Constructive Confrontation


Links to related problems:

Framing Conflict as the Problem

Attempting to Negotiate Non-negotiable Issues

All-or Nothing Problem


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