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

Re-integration of Losers

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Perhaps the most important step towards successfully reintegrating losers into a society is to follow Fischer and Ury's advice to "separate the people from the problem". Victorious parties should emphasize that their past position was based on substantiative differences, which have been resolved, not upon personal hatred of the opponent (which would likely continue).  This will help the losers feel as if they will be accepted into the society and can transform their relationship with their opponents to a positive one.  Parties on both sides of the conflict should also understand that, in intense disputes, people say hurtful things that they would not normally have said (and very likely don't really believe), and that it is now time to forgive these statements and actions, and move beyond them to build positive relationships. (Some actions are so grievous that they cannot be forgiven, and must be prosecuted--but prosecution will not re-integrate the losers into the social fabric.)   Reintegration of losers is also assisted by the implementation of cooperative ventures which benefit both parties.

Also important are conciliatory gestures on the part of losers. They need to emphasize that they want to build the best possible future relationship and that they are willing to put the contentious issue aside for (at least the time being).

Links to Examples

Chester Crocker -- Lessons on Intervention
Nations should be more vigorous in their attempts to disarm and reintegrate former combatants into civil society, if further conflict is to be avoided, Crocker observers.
Roger Fisher and William Ury--Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
This is a link to the summary of Getting to Yes, which explains the principle of separating the people from the problem in more detail.

Links to Related Sections

Apology and Forgiveness

Coexistence and Tolerance

Face Saving

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