Fundamentals Seminar 2: Core Concepts

This seminar provides an explanation of some of the terms that are commonly used in the dispute/conflict resolution and peacebuilding fields.

  • Conflicts and Disputes -- This article explains the difference and why it matters--you can't address conflicts the same way you resolve disputes.
  • Interests, Positions, Needs, and Values -- An explanation of the meaning of each of these terms and why the difference matters. 
  • Settlement, Resolution, Management, and Transformation -- An examination of another important distinction. Each process is useful at different times. 
  • Conflict Transformation -- Many people believe that conflict happens for a reason and that it brings much-needed change. Therefore, to eliminate conflict would also be to eliminate conflict's dynamic power. In transformation, a conflict is changed into something constructive, rather being eliminated altogether.
  • Negotiation -- Negotiation is bargaining -- it is the process of discussion and give-and-take between two or more disputants, who seek to find a solution to a common problem. 
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) -- Refers to informal dispute resolution processes in which the parties meet with a professional third party who helps them resolve their dispute.
  • Mediation -- Mediation is a conflict resolution process in which a third party assists the disputants to communicate better, analyze their conflicts and their options and to develop a mutually satisfactory solution.
  • Arbitration -- Arbitration is a method of resolving a dispute in which the disputants present their case to an impartial third party, who then makes a decision for them which resolves the conflict. 
  • Peacekeeping -- Peacekeeping is the prevention or ending of violence within or between nation-states through the intervention of an outside third party that keeps the warring parties apart. 
  • Peacemaking -- Peacemaking is the term often used to refer to negotiating the resolution of a conflict between people, groups, or nations.
  • Peacebuilding -- Peacebuilding is a long-term process that occurs after violent conflict has stopped.It is the phase of the peace process that takes place after peacemaking and peacekeeping.
  • Reconciliation -- Reconciliation used to be a common conflict resolution goal. While it still may be for the peacebuilders, it isn't sought by disputants nearly as much.

Related Conflict Frontiers Posts

Related Knowledge Base Essays

  • Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) -- BATNA is a term invented by Roger Fisher and William Ury which stands for "best alternative to a negotiated agreement." Any negotiator should determine his or her BATNA before agreeing to any negotiated settlement.
  • Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA) -- The ZOPA is the common ground between two disputing parties. The ZOPA is critical to the successful outcome of negotiation, but it may take some time to determine whether a ZOPA exists.
  • Ripeness -- A conflict is said to be ripe once both parties realize they cannot win, and the conflict is costing them too much to continue. This tends to be a good time to open negotiations.
  • Frames, Framing and Reframing -- Frames are the way we see things and define what we see. Similar to the way a new frame can entirely change the way we view a photograph, reframing can change the way disputing parties understand and pursue their conflict.
  • Negotiation Theory -- This essay explains negotiation theories, examining the goals and strategies of a successful negotiator.
  • Negotiation Strategies -- Most literature on negotiation focuses on two strategies, cooperative bargaining versus competitive bargaining. This essay defines and compares these two bargaining styles.
  • Mediation Strategies - This is an entire section in the BI knowledge base examining different approaches to mediation.

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