Conflict Information Consortium

CIC Logo

The University of Colorado Conflict Information Consortium, directed by Guy and Heidi Burgess, was founded in 1988 as a multi-disciplinary center for research and teaching about conflict and its transformation. (It was originally named the Conflict Resolution Consortium.) The mission of the Consortium reflects the convergence of two long-standing streams of work. The first is an interest in conflict resolution education, particularly, the exploitation of the unique abilities of Web-based information systems to speed the flow of conflict-related information among those working in the field and the general public. The second is an investigation of strategies for more constructively addressing intractable conflict problems — those difficult situations which seem to resist any and all attempts to resolve them.

While much of our work is applicable to small-scale, tractable disputes, our primary focus is on large-scale conflicts which divide organizations, communities, societies, and nations. We believe that the enormous complexities and destructiveness associated with these conflicts requires a new approach — one which adapts and applies existing insights to new situations, and involves intermediaries and adversaries at all levels of society. Therefore, a key part of our mission is making basic conflict information available to as many people as possible, helping them become aware that there are options available that are far superior to the continuation of destructive and often violent confrontations.  Given these two interests, most of our work has entailed the creation, maintenance, and growth of a number of large online knowledge-bases.

 

CRInfo Logo

 The first was CRInfo: The Conflict Resolution Information Source.  Started in the late 1990s--in the very early days of the Internet-- this site originally sought to bring all the online information about conflict and its resolution together in one place.  That is no longer possible, of course, but CRInfo still exists and is widely used as a source of a great deal of good information about conflicts and their resolution at all levels from interpersonal (family, workplace) to international, both tractable (i.e. resolvable) and intractable. 

 

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The second, started in the early 2000s, is Beyond Intractability, the website of the Intractable Conflict Knowledge Base Project, or BI.  This project has over 1000 resources--encyclopedia-type essays on particularly conflict topics, case studies, book and article summaries, interviews, peacebuilder profiles contributed by over 400 different authors--all conflict resolution scholars and practitioners with a particular expertise in difficult and intractable conflict. 

 

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Beyond Intractability is now being upgraded and supplemented with a third large online project called the Moving Beyond Intractability Massive Open Online Seminar (MBI-MOOS).  This website is actually going to contain several online seminars, one on "Conflict Fundamentals," and another on the "Conflict Frontier" -- issues at the frontier of the peace and conflict resolution field that is leading to the continuation, and in some cases worsening, of many intractable conflicts around the world.

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Civil Rights Mediation Logo

Other smaller Consortium projects have included an online tutorial on interpersonal conflict called "Stop Fighting," the Civil Rights Mediation Oral History Project which contains the transcripts of 100s of hours of interviews with Community Relations Service mediators who have mediated civil rights conflicts since 1964 under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Justice,the International Online Training Program on Intractable Conflict, the Environmental Framing Consortium on Intractable Conflict, and the Conflict Frontiers Project, a forerunner, in a sense, to the current MOOS. 

The Consortium is housed at the University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.  Contact information is found in the footer of every website page.