From Crude Law to Civil Relations: The Dynamics and Potential Resolution of Intractable Conflict
28 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2009
Date Written: June 15, 2009
A formal model that captures the basic processes at work in the development and transformation of intractable conflict is presented. The formal model translates the insights of the Crude Law, which distills the principles underlying a highly diverse set of ideas and research finding into parameters that can be instantiated in computer simulations. The results of the simulations show emergent consequences that were not anticipated in the verbal version. Local mechanisms are found to be crucial for global dynamics of conflict. Conflicts grow exponentially in places of the highest incompatibility of interests and diffuse from these places. Conflicts escalate to intractability by changing social orientations in areas of its highest intensity. Disrupt ion of locality (e.g. globalization) can paradoxically reduce the conflict. Simulations also suggest that seemingly intractable conflicts can be transformed by creating a fast growing positive process in the vicinity of their center.
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