From Crude Law to Civil Relations: The Dynamics and Potential Resolution of Intractable Conflict

Andrzej Nowak , Morton Deutsch , Wiesław Bartkowski , Sorin Solomon


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 Deutsch's Crude Law of Social Relations, which distills the principles underlying a highly diverse set of research findings into parameters that can be explored through computer simulations. The results of the simulations show emergent consequences that were not anticipated in the verbal version of the law. Local mechanisms are found to be crucial for determining global dynamics of conflict. Conflicts grow exponentially in places with the highest incompatibility of interests, and spread from these places. Conflicts escalate to intractability by altering social orientations in areas of its highest intensity. Disruption of local constraints (e.g., movement through free travel) 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.
Author Andrzej Nowak (Wydział Psychologii)
Andrzej Nowak,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, Morton Deutsch
Morton Deutsch,,
, Wiesław Bartkowski (Wydział Psychologii)
Wiesław Bartkowski,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, Sorin Solomon
Sorin Solomon,,
Journal seriesPeace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, (0 pkt)
Issue year2010
Publication size in sheets0
Languageen angielski
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Score (nominal)4
Citation count*18 (2020-10-16)
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