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

Develop Interdependence

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When two people, groups, or nation-states are dependent on each other for important needs, the cost of severe conflict is much higher than it is if they are not. (This is because conflict will cause the loss of whatever is provided by the other party.) For this reason, people, groups, or nations which are interdependent are much less able to risk a serious conflict which would completely sever cooperative relationships. In addition, interdependence tends to foster cooperative relationships, since it takes cooperation to get the parties' needs met. Development of interdependence is therefore a conflict-prevention strategy.

Developing interdependence is also a de-escalating strategy, which encourages cooperation and peacebuilding to replace competition and conflict escalation. The development of trade relationships between hostile nations, for example, increases each nation's dependence on the other and reduces the likelihood of war. This was done between the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, for example, as well as between the U.S. and China. In both cases the result has been a warming of relations--in the case of the Soviet Union, trade with the West was one of many factors that encouraged them to change their entire economic and political system.


Links to examples of Interdependence

Joseph Nye Jr. -- International Conflicts After the Cold War
Nye explores the nature and causes of global, regional and communal conflicts and evaluates various approaches to conflict prevention. The development of interdependence is one such approach.
Pamela Aall -- Nongovernmental Organizations and Peacemaking
This article explores the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in peacemaking. One role they can play is to re-establish communication and economic ties between fighting groups.

Links to Outside Sources of Information

Links to related approaches

Establish Personal Relationships

Joint projects

Establishment of Civil Society


Links to related problems

Escalation Problems


Overly Competitive Approaches to a Conflict


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