Moving Beyond Intractability Action List -- Titles Only

Deal with Scale and Complexity – the Biggest Source of Intractability

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  • See the Complexity of Conflict 
  • Map the Basic Conflict Elements
  • Identify the Core Issues in Dispute
  • Identify the Complicating Issues
  • Identify Areas of Influence
  • Scale Up Influence

Develop a Broadly-Shared, 21st Century Democratic Vision 

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  • Promote Peace and End Violence
  • Determine the Truth about the Past
  • Establish and Protect the Rule of Law
  • Blend Justice, Apology and Forgiveness to Address Past Wrongs
  • Limit Retributive Justice
  • Provide Restorative Justice Options
  • Provide Distributive Justice 
  • Provide Procedural Justice
  • Provide Trauma-Healing Assistance
  • Use Narratives and Story-telling for Trauma Healing
  • Imagine a Realistic Future That We All Would Want to Live In 
  • Promote Diversity Amid Intolerable Differences
  • Contend Nonviolently
  • Plan for the Future and Protect Posterity
  • Balance Demands for Cultural Security and Cultural Freedom
  • Promote Distributional Equity

Resist “Divide-and-Conquer” Politics 

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  • Resist Divide-and-Conquer Provocateurs
  • Establish and Protect the Rule of Law
  • Contend Nonviolently 
  • Limit Negative, Outgroup-based Framing    
  • Resist Enemy Images
  • Defend Against Propaganda
  • Prevent Scapegoating
  • Limit the Concentration of Power
  • Resist the Revolution Trap 

Constructively Frame Conflicts and Relationships 

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  • Limit "Us Vs. Them" Language and Thinking
  • Be Careful of Absolute Good and Evil Thinking
  • Resist Dehumanization
  • Expose the False Promise of Decisive Victory
  • Understand the Limits of "Conversion"
  • Focus on Common Interests, Not Just Differences
  • Frame Goals Consistently with Societal Ideals
  • Focus on the Real Enemy: Destructive Conflict Dynamics
  • Recognize and Acknowledge Your Side's Contribution Conflicts
  • Balance Rights with Responsibilities
  • Focus on Individual, not Group, Responsibility
  • Think "Win-Win," not "Win-Lose"
  • Go Beyond Anger to Problem-Solving
  • Limit Worst-case Thinking

Correct Misunderstandings and Improve Communication 

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  • Open Communication Channels
  • Get Out of Our Bubbles!
  • Learn to Communicate Effectively Across Cultures
  • Empathically Listen to The Other Side
  • Provide Safe Spaces for Communication
  • See Ourselves as Others See Us
  • See Others as They Really Are
  • Employ Effective (and Ethical) Persuasion Strategies
  • Find Common Ground Amidst Differences
  • Scale Up Constructive Communication
  • Facilitate Group Learning
  • Correct Inaccurate Rumors Quickly
  • Employ Good Policy Analysis and Fair Marketing
  • Restore Vibrant Local News Coverage and Debate
  • Overcome "Narrowcasting"
  • Overcome the Problem of Feel-good Noise
  • Encourage and Participate in Dialogue Processes

Reverse the Escalation Spiral 

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  • Promote Escalation Awareness
  • Promote Constructive Mobilization 
  • Use the Power Strategy Mix to Limit Escalation Power
  • Ratchet Down Tensions
  • Treat Opponents (and Allies) with Respect
  • Voice Complaints Respectfully
  • Use "I-messages" to Soften Disapproval, Making It Easier to Receive
  • Counter Hate and Malevolence
  • Counteract Provocateurs
  • Delegitimize Conflict Profiteering
  • Utilize Peacekeepers to Control Violence
  • Provide Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration Programs
  • Prevent the "Good Fight" from Becoming an End in Itself
  • Honestly Examine Downside Costs
  • Find (and Act as) a Witness
  • Voice Complaints Respectfully
  • Encourage "Disarming" Steps
  • Establish Early Warning and Crisis Communication
  • Cultivate Face-saving Opportunities
  • Set Fair Limits on Competition

Obtain/Effectively Use "Real Facts" 

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  • Disentangle Facts and Values
  • Foster Credible Bipartisan Fact Checking
  • Be Aware of and Work to Counteract the Confirmation
  • Prioritize Information Flows
  • Promote Resistance to Propaganda and Disinformation
  • Assess Contradictory Experts
  • Pursue Joint Fact-finding
  • Decode Misleading Statistics
  • Re-establish the Town-Gown Partnership
  • Evaluate Impacts of Actions

Pursue Collaboration and the Power of Working Together 

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  • Find Common Ground Amidst Differences
  • Manage Distrust
  • Build Trust
  • Build Understanding and Trust Through Joint Projects
  • Demonstrate Collaborative Potential
  • Develop and Pursue "Back Channels"
  • Think "Win-Win", not "Win-Lose"
  • Improve Your Conflict-Handling Skills
  • Use Intermediaries: Mediators, Facilitators, Arbitrators, Adjudicators
  • Engage in a Collaborative Problem-Solving Process
  • Develop Verification Measures / Performance Guarantees
  • Guarantee Policy Recommendations

Promote Good Governance 

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  • Strengthen Civic Education
  • Provide Conflict Resolution and Peace Education
  • Protect Individual Rights
  • Assure Transparent, Ethical Government
  • Limit the Concentration of Wealth
  • Provide a Social Safety Net
  • Protect the Commons
  • Provide Support for the Common Infrastructure
  • Encourage Grassroots Interest Groups
  • Discourage "Free-Riding"
  • Prevent Fraud
  • Institutionalize Future Protections
  • Assure Meaningful Elections
  • Assure Expertise-based Governance –
  • Provide Governmental Oversight –
  • Consider How Safe Is "Too Safe" 

Develop a Positive Sum, Win-Win 

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  • Promote Socially-Responsible Businesses
  • Constructively Engage One Another in the Private Sector
  • Provide Quality Goods and Services to the Disadvantaged
  • Expand the Non-Exploitive Sharing Economy
  • Provide Consumers with Accurate Information
  • Require Business to Take Responsibility for their Public Harms