Fundamentals Seminar 2: Core Concepts


Seminar 2: Core Concepts

This seminar provides an explanation of some of the terms that are commonly used in the dispute/conflict resolution and peacebuilding fields.


While we originally conceived as each of our seminars being separate and having separate audiences, we have come to realize there is often a lot of overlap, and materials in other seminars and blogs are likely to be of interest to those seeking fundamental knowledge about each of the fundamental seminar topics.  For that reason, we have reformatted the fundamentals seminar to include such cross-ver material. 


Fundamentals Posts

  • Conflicts and Disputes -- This article explains the difference and why it matters--you can't address conflicts the same way you resolve disputes.
  • Interests, Positions, Needs, and Values -- An explanation of the meaning of each of these terms and why the difference matters. 
  • Settlement, Resolution, Management, and Transformation -- An examination of another important distinction. Each process is useful at different times. 
  • Conflict Transformation -- Many people believe that conflict happens for a reason and that it brings much-needed change. Therefore, to eliminate conflict would also be to eliminate conflict's dynamic power. In transformation, a conflict is changed into something constructive, rather being eliminated altogether.
  • Negotiation -- Negotiation is bargaining -- it is the process of discussion and give-and-take between two or more disputants, who seek to find a solution to a common problem. 
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) -- Refers to informal dispute resolution processes in which the parties meet with a professional third party who helps them resolve their dispute.
  • Mediation -- Mediation is a conflict resolution process in which a third party assists the disputants to communicate better, analyze their conflicts and their options and to develop a mutually satisfactory solution.
  • Arbitration -- Arbitration is a method of resolving a dispute in which the disputants present their case to an impartial third party, who then makes a decision for them which resolves the conflict. 
  • Peacekeeping -- Peacekeeping is the prevention or ending of violence within or between nation-states through the intervention of an outside third party that keeps the warring parties apart. 
  • Peacemaking -- Peacemaking is the term often used to refer to negotiating the resolution of a conflict between people, groups, or nations.
  • Peacebuilding -- Peacebuilding is a long-term process that occurs after violent conflict has stopped.It is the phase of the peace process that takes place after peacemaking and peacekeeping.
  • Reconciliation -- Reconciliation used to be a common conflict resolution goal. While it still may be for the peacebuilders, it isn't sought by disputants nearly as much.

Related Conflict Frontiers Posts

Related Knowledge Base Essays

  • Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) -- BATNA is a term invented by Roger Fisher and William Ury which stands for "best alternative to a negotiated agreement." Any negotiator should determine his or her BATNA before agreeing to any negotiated settlement.
  • Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA) -- The ZOPA is the common ground between two disputing parties. The ZOPA is critical to the successful outcome of negotiation, but it may take some time to determine whether a ZOPA exists.
  • Ripeness -- A conflict is said to be ripe once both parties realize they cannot win, and the conflict is costing them too much to continue. This tends to be a good time to open negotiations.
  • 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.
  • Negotiation Theory -- This essay explains negotiation theories, examining the goals and strategies of a successful negotiator.
  • Negotiation Strategies -- Most literature on negotiation focuses on two strategies, cooperative bargaining versus competitive bargaining. This essay defines and compares these two bargaining styles.
  • Conflict Styles - Related to negotiation strategies, everyone tends to prefer (and most often use) one of five conflict styles--even though other styles might better fit different situations. 
  • Mediation Strategies - This is an entire section in the BI knowledge base examining different approaches to mediation.

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