Fundamentals Seminar Blog
Constructive Confrontation Initiative Spring 2018 Posts to Date
See Syllabus for additional background posts and planned, future posts (many of which are now accessible).
Other Blogs: MOOS Conflict Frontiers | BI in Context | Colleague Activities
Posts ordered from most recent to earliest.
Conflicts and Disputes
Distinguishing between conflicts and disputes is essential for successful engagement in each.
Complex Adaptive Systems
Successfully working with complex system requires us to challenge many of our assumptions and understand the limits of rational planning.
Channels of Communication
When channels of communication between hostile actors close, risks of destructive conflict raise substantially.
An overview of the many kinds of disputes over facts that arise in conflicts--and what to do about them. Although getting worse, this problem isn't new!
Even if the misunderstandings do not cause conflict, they can escalate it rapidly once it starts.
We take it for granted, but so much can go wrong with our communication. In conflict, care is essential!
Cognitive dissonance can escalate or de-escalate conflict depending on how it is used.
Victimhood has a dual nature—people can be both ashamed and proud of their victim status at the same time.
Delegitimization drives escalation and violence—but how is it reversed?
North Korea's siege mentality is particularly dangerous as the US is exhibiting a siege mentality too!
Ethos of Conflict
Since the conflict ethos feeds continuation of the conflict, that needs to change for conflicts to be resolved.
Psychological Dynamics of Intractable Conflicts
In intractable conflicts, entire societies can get tangled up in destructive psychological dynamics.
Limits of Rationality in Decision Making
Emotions cannot be ignored in intractable conflicts--they are the elephant that a rider only tenuously controls.
Cultural and Worldview Frames
Worldview frames go a long way in explaining why the US is becoming increasingly polarized.
Stereotypes / Characterization Frames
Genocides start with negative stereotyping--is this where we want to go?
Identity frames shape who we are...and what we believe and do as well.
Competitive and Cooperative Approaches to Conflict
Self-fulfilling prophecies keep us stuck in destructive conflict styles.
Your process frame is a blinder that lets you see a solution...or forces it away.
Evelin Lindner calls humiliation the "atom bomb of emotions" because it does such profound damage to relationships.
If power were one-dimensional, we could agree who has more and who has less. But we are often surprised at how power struggles come out.
Rich / Poor Conflicts
Conflicts between the rich and the poor are intractable in many contexts.
Social status is intrinsically linked with ideas of power, humiliation, dignity and hierarchy--all of which drive conflict.
Frames, Framing and Reframing
Frames determine what we believe is true. When we frame things differently, conflict resolution is a challenge!
High-Stakes Distributional Issues
When conflicts over who gets what really matter--they are high stakes--they drive intractability.
Dealing with Extremists
Violent extremism is one of the most difficult challenges of our time. We MUST design better ways of preventing it.