Quick Start Guide

Note: In March of 2019 we switched to a new homepage design. The old homepage design is, however, still available.

A Quick Overview of the Many Resources Available on Beyond Intractability

This site focuses on conflict, conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and more constructive ways of addressing (from both advocacy and intermediary perspectives) today's big conflict problems.  Available materials address the full range of conflict issues from small-group interpersonal interactions to large-scale community, society-wide, and even international conflict. We address relatively tractable disputes and, especially, those intractable conflicts that tend to defy the best-available conflict resolution strategies.

The pink box at the top of the home page introduces what's new.  Right now, that is the joint disccussion on hyper-polarization and the challenge it poses for the conflict resolution field.  This discussion is based on a July 2022 article by the Burgesses and Sanda Kaufman that was published in the Conflict Resolution Quarterly.The latest posts in this discussion are shown in the right column of the home page.

Immediately below the "what's new" pink box is a gray box which introduces all of BI's initiatives, learning materials, and the knowledge base, and explairs, more than we do here, how they all fit together.  The Intractable Conflict Challenge Statement, directly below that is a further understanding of the assumptions on which BI and all of our work is based.

Then the home page breaks into three columns, the left and the center ones containing short descriptions of and links to the various BI and MBI (Moving Beyond Intractability) sections.  These are described briefly below, explaining the intended audience for each. 

BI/MBI Sections

For those with limited time, and little conflict resolution background:
The Things You Can Do to Help Blog contains short articles describing simple but effective steps that we all can take to better handle interpersonal and community conflicts and disputes. 

For those from any background, who are concerned about the destructive way in which current political conflicts are being pursued

The Constructive Conflict Initiative is a precursor to our current hyper-polarization discussion, but it lays out much of the reasoning behind the newer initiative and helps people see where they might "fit" in the effort to challenge hyper-polarization and other destructive conflict dynamics.

For those with more interest in "big conflicts" and a few hours:
The Intractable Conflict Challenge & Frontiers Seminar #1 give an overview of why the intractable conflict problem is so important and the how a complexity-oriented approach to conflict dynamics, advocacy, and conflict transformation can help.

For those interested in learning conflict resolution “basics:”
The Conflict Fundamentals Seminars offer succinct explanations of the conflict field's big (though often underutilized) ideas -- ideas that will help you more constructively engage in interpersonal conflicts as well as broader civic issues. 

For those wanting to explore today's really tough conflict problems:
The Other Conflict Frontiers Seminars  explore and discuss strategies for more constructively addressing the many unmet challenges posed by the complex, large-scale, intractable conflicts that so threaten contemporary society.

The series (which includes materials from other BI sections) examines intriguing, but still tentative, ideas at the frontier of the conflict field including Massively Parallel Peacebuilding, Massively Parallel Peacebuilding Logoour strategy for better dealing with scale, complexity, and intractability and Constructive Confrontation, which applies the field's insights from the perspective of advocates, not intermediaries. Also available is an examination of Authoritarian Populism and its many associated conflict problems.

For those looking for more information on conflict -related topics:
The BI/CRInfo Knowledge Base contains an extensive collection of resources covering the destructive dynamics of "regular" and intractable conflicts, strategies for limiting those dynamics, and techniques for more wisely and equitably resolving disputes.

For those interested in seeing what we're reading:
The BI in Context is a blog highlighting readable news and opinion articles, "infographics" and reports that help us better understand the nature of the conflict problem and work of those who are pioneering more constructive approaches.

For those interested in seeing what our colleagues are doing:
Colleague Activities Blog is place to find out about the intractable conflict-related work that others in the peace and conflict field are doing and to tell us about your work.

Participation Options

There are several ways to participate in BI and MBI.

  1. You can simply come the site and read what interests you.  Search and browse functions can help you find what you need.
  2. Your can subscribe to our newsletter, to get weekly to monthly updates about new materials (we alter the timing depending on how many new materials have been posted recently. We are hoping soon to start publishing newsletters much more frequently--perhaps even twice a week.
  3. You can participate in our hyper polarization discussion.