Using the analysis of options technique to analyze a community conflict

University of California LA
United States
Department of Systems Design
University of Waterloo

Publication date: Jun, 1971

Journal: Journal of Conflict Resolution
Vol.: 15- Issue: 2- Pages: 133-144

Abstract: Perhaps one of the greatest needs in dealing with social and political conflict is to develop methods that spell out and analyze in detail who the participants in a conflict are, what their options are, and how they are expected to act given their own set of preferences. In general we need to sort out the various ramifications of the problem in a systematic manner. This process of rigorization is not so much a contraction or a simplification of the problem as it is a clarification of the ideas and issues involved. By requiring that one examine, at least in theory, all the possible outcomes, the process expedites convergence on the relevant outcomes. In assigning prefer- ences to the parties, one needs to consult the parties themselves. If they prove unwilling to divulge their preferences (for parties in a negotiation would seldom want their opponent to know how they intend to act under various alternatives), the analysts advising a decision-maker must make the best use of available information and special talent to surmise the other parties’ preferences. Central to the analysis is the identification of outcomes that would be stable and hence merit attention.

Keywords: Social conflict, Political conflict