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

Stable Peace

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In his book, Stable Peace, (written in the late 1970's at the height of the Cold War), Kenneth Boulding argued that peace does not require the resolution of the many conflicts which divide nations (and communities). Instead, he argued, peace merely requires the parties to recognize that violent confrontation, and threats of violent confrontations, are an expensive, dangerous, and ineffective way of pursuing one's interests. He believed that other strategies involving non-violent force, political and legal action, exchange, and the integrative system were far superior.

Boulding envisioned a continuum from stable peace to stable war with unstable peace and unstable war in the middle. Under conditions of stable war the parties assume that violent confrontation is the principal, if not the only, way to pursue their interests. By contrast, stable peace is a situation in which the parties do not seriously consider violent options when deciding how best to pursue their interests, even though they might be addressing quite serious conflicts. Boulding's stable peace characterizes the relationships which exists between the developed, industrial democracies of Western Europe, North America, and the Pacific Rim. His cold war goal, which is now being realized, was to see this region expand to include the countries of the former Soviet bloc.

Links to More Information About and Examples of Stable Peace

Kenneth Boulding --  Stable Peace
This is a summary of Boulding's book which introduced the concept of stable peace.
Joseph Nye Jr. -- International Conflicts After the Cold War
Although he doesn't use the term "stable peace," Nye describes a situation of stable peace as existing between the U.S., Europe, and Japan, due to shared values, interlocking institutions and stable expectations.

Links to Related Sections

Types of Power Other Than Force

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