Research

Basic Dynamics of Constructive Conflict Resolution

Overview

What determines whether conflicts move in a
constructive or destructive direction?

Conflict is a naturally occurring process that has both constructive and destructive potential, depending on how it is managed. Engaging in conflict tends to generate anxiety in many people who associate it with negative or violent outcomes, which leads to fight or flight responses. In fact, conflict can provide a uniquely human opportunity to learn about ourselves and others, to motivate necessary changes in the status quo, to challenge obsolete ways of thinking, relating, working, and to innovate.

This fundamental area of ICCCR research, which began with Morton Deutsch’s groundbreaking research on cooperation and competition, builds on this and other classic studies of conflict motivation and employs dynamical-experimental and computer simulation methods to investigate the temporal and nonlinear dynamics of some of the more fundamental motives identified as drivers and mitigators of conflict. We are particularly interested in how optimal ratios of motives – the balance between cooperative and competitive motives, or between motives to prevent harm and promote peace – operate together and lead to more constructive conflict processes and outcomes.

Ultimately, we are interested in exploring the role of CCR in decreasing the probabilities of destructive conflict and increasing the probabilities of constructive conflict resolution across different levels: from our homes and communities to our own countries and the world.

Theory

Current Research

Practice

Publications

The Resolution of Conflict: Constructive and Destructive Processes
By Morton Deutsch (1973)
The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice, 2nd Edition
By Peter T. Coleman, Morton Deutsch & Eric Marcus (Eds.)
Conflict, Justice, and Interdependence: The Legacy of Morton Deutsch
By Peter T. Coleman (Ed., 2012)
The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice, 3rd Edition
By Peter T. Coleman, Morton Deutsch & Eric Marcus (Eds.) (forthcoming)
The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice (Arabic version)
By Peter T. Coleman, Morton Deutsch & Eric Marcus (Eds.) (forthcoming)

Education

Communications

Network

 

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