Guy and Heidi Burgess make a distinction between core conflict elements that explain what the conflict is "really about," and "overlay elements" which are factors that lie over the core elements, making them more difficult to see and resolve. This seminar introduces what some of those overlay elements are; much more detail is provided about each of these, however, in later seminars.
Essays in this Seminar Include:
- Core and Overlays Part 2 -- An examination of the Burgess's theory of core and overlaying factors which contribute to conflict intractability. This video focuses primarily on the overlay conflict elements.
- 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. (Note: also see Fundamentals Seminar 7, below.)
- Misunderstandings -- Normal conversations almost always involve miscommunication, but conflict seems to worsen the problem. Even if the misunderstandings do not cause conflict, they can escalate it rapidly once it starts. (Note: also see Fundamentals Seminar 8, below.)
- Factual Disputes -- Many conflicts involve disagreements over facts. This essay discusses the nature of factual disputes and how to deal with them. (Note: also see Fundamentals Seminar 9, below.)
- Procedural Disputes/Procedural Justice - These disputes occur when decision making procedures (as opposed to outcomes) are considered unfair.
- Destructive Escalation -- Escalation is an increase in the intensity of a conflict. The number of parties and issues tends to increase, tactics become heavier, malevolence increases, and overall destructiveness generally increases as well. (Note: also see Fundamentals Seminar 10, below.)
Related Conflict Frontiers Posts
- Identify the Overlay Issues -- This, too, shows why conflict mapping matters as it helps explain why simple, quick "solutions," never work in intractable conflicts. At the same time it explores what DOES need to happen to tackle such conflicts effectively.
- "Boys Will Be Boys" -- Are conflict and war inevitable? Is "compromise" bad? Common attitudes turn us into cynics and block learning.
- Meeting the Authoritarian Populism Challenge 2: “Hate Bait,” Framing, and Escalation - Learn about things small groups can do to push back against "hate bait," distraction-based propaganda, scapegoating, and other conflict problems.
- The "Blame Game" -- In conflict, we often blame the other. But then that person or group gets defensive, and the conflict often escalates.
- The Interplay of Reason and Emotion -- Can you be "rational" about conflict
- Counter Hate and Malevolence - Part 1 - Hate is a cause and consequence of escalation that almost always makes conflicts worse. Don't help it along!
- Counter Hate and Malevolence - Part 2 - The second of two videos, this focuses on how to respond constructively to people who (seem to) hate you.
- Promoting De-Escalation – Part 1: Conciliatory Gestures - Conciliatory gestures are a way to break down stereotypes and start de-escalating conflicts with surprise overtures of kindness.
Related Knowledge Base Essays
- Ethos of Conflict -- A community's ethos is its shared beliefs, goals and identity. Communities in an intractable conflict expand that ethos to explain their approach to the conflict. A community's ethos strongly affects how destructive the conflict becomes.
- Siege Mentality -- Many societies believe that other societies have negative intentions towards them. But with the "siege mentality," the situation is far more extreme. They believe that the entire world is hostile toward them.
- Framing - The BI Knowledge Base has a large section on framing, describing many different ways to frame a conflict, and how to reframe for conflict transformation or resolution.
- Escalation - More essays on different escalation and de-escalation strategies are available here.
Related Thing YOU Can Do to Help Posts
- Don't Take the "Hate Bait" - Hate begets hate, fear, anger, and eventually violence. Don't fall into the trap! And if you are in, climb out!
- Break Down Negative Stereotypes - Don’t assume a person you don’t know is just like you expect them to be. Give them a chance to surprise you!
- Listen To and Talk With (not to) the Other Side - Even if you think you know what the other side thinks, you likely don't--and they don't know you either.
- Treat EVERYONE With Respect - Respect is free to give, yet its payback is huge: breaking down stereotypes and often earning respect in return.
Related Beyond Intractability In Context Blog Posts
- Fox's midterm engagement strategy is telling its viewers that Democrats are coming to kill them-- Yet another example of actions that are driving the escalation spiral in terrifying ways. Is Fox really doing this?
- How Trump's Trade War Went from 18 Products to 10,000 -- Great graphic showing how escalation works in the context of Trump's trade war.
- The Antidote to Trump Is Decency -- An plan for ratcheting down rather than up the escalation spiral.
- On Saving the Far-Right Protestor -- An inspiring story of the kind of courage that blocking the violent escalation of political conflict requires.
- The GOP and Town Hall Anger-- Sensible suggestions for re-framing acrimonious town hall meetings in ways which produce constructive debate.
- How to Help Trump -- An explanation of why understanding the counter-intuitive implications of Lakoff's framing theory is so important.
- Why Mistranslation Matters -- Misunderstandings across language barriers--how mistranslation can change the course of history.
- What are Palestinians' Goals?--In considering Palestinian perspective, the Jewish Magazine Mosaic asks a hard question worth considering: Might Oslo’s failure stem from a misunderstanding of Palestinian goals?