Intractable Conflict as an Attractor: Presenting a Dynamical Model of Conflict, Escalation, and Intractability

42 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2005

See all articles by Peter T. Coleman

Peter T. Coleman

Columbia University - Teachers' College

Robin Vallacher

Florida Atlantic University

Andrzej Nowak

University of Warsaw - Institute for Social Studies

Lan Bue Ngoc

Warsaw School of Advanced Social Psychology

Date Written: June 1, 2005

Abstract

Decades of research on social conflict has contributed to our understanding of a variety of key psychological, social, and community-based aspects of conflict escalation and intractability. However, the field has yet to put forth a formal theoretical model that links these components to the basic underlying mechanisms that account for intractability and transformation. This paper presents such a model: a dynamical-systems model of intractable conflict. We propose that it is particularly useful to conceptualize ongoing, destructive patterns of intractable conflict as strong attractors: a particular form of self-organization of multiple elements of conflict systems, including psychological, social, and community-level factors. Our dynamical model of conflict intractability is specified, and some preliminary implications of this approach for conflict de-escalation are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Coleman, Peter T. and Vallacher, Robin and Nowak, Andrzej and Bue Ngoc, Lan, Intractable Conflict as an Attractor: Presenting a Dynamical Model of Conflict, Escalation, and Intractability (June 1, 2005). IACM 18th Annual Conference. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=734963 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.734963

Peter T. Coleman (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Teachers' College ( email )

525 W. 120th St.
New York, NY 10027
United States

Robin Vallacher

Florida Atlantic University ( email )

Boca Raton, FL 33431
United States

Andrzej Nowak

University of Warsaw - Institute for Social Studies ( email )

Stawki 5/7
Warsaw, 00 183
Poland

Lan Bue Ngoc

Warsaw School of Advanced Social Psychology ( email )

19/31 Chodakowska Street
Warsaw, 03-815
Poland

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