Values are the ideas we have about what is good and what is bad, and how things should be.

Overlay Problems

Overlay problems refer to dynamics such as communication problems or escalation which, while common, are usually extraneous parts of the conflict which confuse the core issues and make them more difficult to understand and deal with.

Game Theory

Game Theory consists of: (1) positive-sum games where everyone can win (also referred to as “win-win”); (2) negative sum games (also referred to as “lose-lose”); (3) zero-sum games, in which one side wins only if another side loses.


Gradual Reduction In Tension (GRIT) is a term invented by Charles Osgood to refer to a gradual de-escalation process, in which one side makes a unilateral, minor concession in the hopes that the other side will then be encouraged to do the same.


Scoping is the process of determining who else is involved in a conflict and what their interests, needs, and positions are.

Win-Win Approach

The approach to conflict taken by people who want to find a solution that satisfies all of the disputants. In “win-win” bargaining, the disputing parties try to cooperate to solve a joint problem in a way that allows both parties to win.

World View

A world view is a person’s fundamental image of the world; one’s set of core beliefs about how his or her social environment is put together.

Zero-sum Game

Zero-sum games or situations are situations in which the only way one side can get ahead (or get more of something) is if the other side gets less. This occurs when there is a finite amount of a resource to be distributed and together the parties want more than is available.

Identity Conflicts

Identity conflicts are conflicts that develop when a person or group feels that their sense of self (i.e. who one is) is threatened or denied legitimacy or respect: Religious, Ethnic and Racial conflicts.


A process in which a dispute resolution practitioner (the investigator) investigates the dispute and provides advice (but not a determination) on the facts of the dispute.


A process in which the participants to a dispute present arguments and evidence to a neutral who makes a determination as to the facts of the dispute, but who does not make any finding or recommendations as to outcomes for resolution.


Framing is the process of defining what a problem is about.


Force refers to any situation where either party to the dispute is made to do something against their will through threat or coercion.

Expert Appraisal

A process in which a dispute resolution practitioner, chosen on the basis of their expert knowledge of the subject matter, investigates the dispute. The expert appraiser then provides advice on the facts and possible outcomes.


Extremists are people who take extreme views - those which are much stronger, and often more fixed than other people’s views of the same situation.


Peace is a state of harmony characterized by the lack of violent conflict.


Peacekeeping is the prevention or ending of violence within or between nation-states through the intervention of an outside third party that keeps the warring parties apart.


Peacemaking is the term often used to refer to the process of negotiating the resolution of a conflict between people, groups, or nations.


Partnering is a process focused on the definition of mutual objectives, improved communication, the identification of likely problems and development of formal problem-solving and dispute resolution strategies.


Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is a process where a substantial part, or all, of the communication in the dispute resolution process takes place electronically, especially via e-mail.