The current failure to resolve conflicts worldwide, highlights the need for a different approach to conflict resolution.
The mission of IC4CR is to provide decision makers with an in-depth understanding of the negotiating positions of all parties and recommend implementation guidelines, based on preferences and priorities, to facilitate resolution of otherwise intractable conflicts.
We propose to implement this mission by:
- Conducting studies of diplomatic and corporate conflicts using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP);
- Building tradeoff models by:
- Eliciting preferences and priorities from the parties through the AHP to create a negotiation model which is measurement based;
- Using the priorities from the preferences to compute gain/loss ratios of tradeoffs from each party’s perspective;
- Identifying win-win, non-zero sum equitable tradeoffs that both parties can claim as a win; and
- Developing a road map to facilitate implementing a feasible solution.
- Conducting simulations on the models developed.
An example of what IC4CR can accomplish is the Pittsburgh Initiative that received over $600,000 of funding over a period of eight years. These funds were raised from private foundations by Dean Emeritus and Professor Jerry Zoffer. For over seven years, small groups of distinguished Israeli and Palestinian experts met under the auspices of conflict resolution researchers from the University of Pittsburgh. At the core of this privately-funded project is the application of an advanced “trade-off” model based on the (AHP) developed by the late University of Pittsburgh Distinguished Professor Thomas L. Saaty. The result was a preference-based-priority road map for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, made available to national leaders and decision makers.
A literature review shows the uniqueness of our approach in contrast to the traditional conflict resolution centers. Below are some examples of the vision and mission of existing centers [names withheld]:
- “[XYZ]’s mission is to bring people together to find lasting and effective solutions to conflict;”
- “[XYZ] is an innovative center committed to developing knowledge and practice to promote constructive conflict resolution, effective cooperation, and social justice. We partner with individuals, groups, organizations, and communities to create tools and environments through which conflicts can be resolved constructively and just and peaceful relationships can thrive;”
- “[XYZ] … is guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering. It seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health.”
IC4CR is different because it is based on the application of the AHP to the study and analysis of conflicts. It reduces uncertainty - between and among the parties - on the relative value of core issues as negotiators address the “trade-off/exchange” component of negotiations. It lessens emotion in negotiations and assesses more accurately the relative value that each group attaches to an issue. The AHP focuses on articulation and application of self-interest, in a paradigm emphasizing trade-offs, whereby both sides seek to “expand the pie” – and avoid zero-sum calculations that emphasize maximization of benefits for one side, to the detriment of the other side.