Using Beyond Intractability As a Textbook

Low-Cost Textbooks

We ask educators who use Beyond Intractability as a major part of their courses or training programs to ask their students / trainees to donate roughly half of the cost of a comparable textbook. (For example, we ask our students to donate $5-$30 depending upon the amount of material used.)

The Beyond Intractability system contains an enormous amount of information on the full range of peace and conflict-related topics. In fact, we think that carefully working through all of the materials and doing a series of projects based on those materials would be roughly comparable to a Masters program.

In our teaching, we have used this system to assemble a variety of customized primary and secondary texts that we have used in classes ranging from a sophomore level, Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies to graduate level courses focused on frontier of the field topics like strategies for dealing with scale, complexity, and intractability. 

A great many students have also found that the BI system (which can easily be searched) is an extensive and quite useful reference source that can support a wide range of peace and conflict-related research and practice projects.

Educators can easily use the system to create customized text using pretty much any web-based learning system (e.g. Blackboard, Desire to Learn, Canvas). Since all of these materials are copyrighted by either the Conflict Information Consortium or Guy and Heidi Burgess personally (depending on what you use), we do ask that students pay a small royalty fee if you are assigning 10 or more of our readings.  (See box above, or contact us for more details.)

For educators interested in putting together such a text, BI has a number of pages that make this easier. Our Moving Beyond Intractability Massive Open Online Seminars are an excellent place to start. Both the Conflict Fundamentals Seminar/Blog and the Conflict Frontiers Seminar are built around a syllabus which organizes the material and includes links to BI articles, online lecture videos, and links to helpful outside resources. This material is the most up-to-date and most focused on today's big conflict problems.

Educators can look for materials on specific topics by searching either the entire BI system or the BI system plus External Additional Resources (which includes over 4000 links to outside resources that we have identified as being especially useful).You can also browse the many types of information included in the core BI knowledge base: Encyclopedic Essays on conflict resolution and peacebuilding theory and practice, CRInfo Core Knowledge OverviewsCase StudiesInterviewsPeacebuilder ProfilesPeacebuilder ReflectionsBook Summaries, and Article Summaries, plus Other Education & Training and Teaching Materials.

An extensive collection of up-to-date, conflict-related,"current events" articles can be found in our Beyond Intractability in Context Blog.  (Since these are links to outside materials written by others, we wouldn't expect you to consider them in deciding how much of a donation it would be appropriate for students to give.  Still, of course, you are free to use them.)

Finally, we have also posted the syllabus from the online version of our Senior Seminar in Peace and Conflict Studies.

If you're interested in exploring this further, let us know using our Contact Form (which emails us immediately) and would be happy to talk further