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

Recognizing Related Disputes

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Many intractable conflicts not only have a history, but they also are sufficiently involved and complex that they are related to other external situations--often to other disputes.  For example, a dispute between two countries may start over a minor incident involving a foreign national in the other country, but can quickly escalate because many other issues--even involving other countries--are involved.  Just as biologists explain that the entire world is linked into one great ecosystem, and you cannot change one thing without affecting other parts of the system, so too is the social system inter-related.  Thus it is important to recognize what other situations and disputes are related to the immediate situation you are involved in and how those other situations are likely to affect you and your own conflict.


Mary Anderson -- Humanitarian NGOs in Conflict Intervention
Anderson suggests that NGOs sometimes do not recognize the scope of the situation they are involved in, who else is doing what, and how they may be contributing to the conflict rather than helping to moderate it.
John Prendergast --  Nested Conflict  : The Case of Ethiopia
This article presents a case study of Lederach's theory of nested conflicts.  This theory reflects the notion that many intractable conflicts are really many different conflicts and disputes which are interrelated.
Louis Kreisberg -- Factors Prompting De-escalation in the Middle East
In this case related disputes prevented de-escalation of the conflict in the Middle East.  Not until the Cold War subsided was significant progress made in that region.

Links to Related Approaches

Conflict Mapping

Understanding Historical Context


Links to Related Problems

Ignoring the Conflict History or Current Related Disputes

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