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date: 18 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Conflict, defined as a perceived divergence of interests, goals, values or needs, can be both constructive and destructive (Curle, 1971; Deutsch, 1973; Rubin, Pruitt, & Kim, 1994). However, intractable conflicts become mires of human misery that trap parties in spirals of recrimination, dehumanization, and violence. What is needed to change this dynamic is intervention into the interaction itself, such that one can reperceive the other, reassess priorities and options, and design joint solutions. This chapter discusses interactive problem-solving as one method useful for creating both new intergroup attitudes and joint solutions. This social-psychologically informed approach is uniquely positioned to engage conflicting parties in both relational change and concrete solution building, with the added potential to impact structural injustices that anchor intractable conflicts.

Keywords: Intergroup conflict, conflict escalation, conflict resolution, problem-solving, diplomacy, peacebuilding, peace

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