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Theory

Theory and research on intractable conflict is still in its infancy, but important advances have occurred over the last decade (Coleman, 2004). One particularly promising approach to the study of intractability is through the lens of dynamical systems theory (DST). DST is an increasingly influential paradigm in many areas of science (cf. Johnson, 2001; Nowak and Vallacher, 1998; Strogatz, 2003), and offers an innovative set of ideas and methods for conceptualizing and addressing protracted conflict.

DST is oriented to the phenomenon of complex systems that evolve and change overtime, and thus is ideally suited to capture the complexity and volatile dynamics associated with protracted social conflict. This website presents the work of our interdisciplinary, internationally based team of scholars, practitioners and students who have begun to identify the foundational principles of what is arguably the most complex and dynamic of all social phenomena: protracted social conflict.