Intractable Conflict

We believe that society's chronic inability to constructively handle intractable conflict constitutes a threat to human welfare that is at least as serious as that posed by climate change, infectious disease, or any of today's other big political, social, economic, and environmental challenges.   In fact, it is our inability to constructively deal with intractable conflict that is making it so difficult for us to effectively meet these other challenges.  

This section contains two essays.

  • The first is called the Intractable Conflict Challenge. It continues and explores the ideas expressed above, and explains why we believe this situation is so perilous and important;
  • The other is called A Complexity-Oriented Approach that explains what that term means, and how such an approach is both different from "business-as-usual" for most conflict participants (disputants and conflict resolution professionals, such as mediators) and critical to effectively handling intractable conflicts.