International Center for Conflict Resolution

Group of students presenting on a group project

Resolving Conflict on a Global Level

Mission Statement

The International Center for Conflict Resolution (IC4CR) provides decision makers with an in-depth understanding of the negotiating positions of all parties and recommends implementation guidelines, based on preferences and priorities, to facilitate resolution of otherwise intractable conflicts.

 

An Example of What the Center Can Accomplish:

The Pittsburgh Initiative

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 “Analytic Hierarchy Process” (AHP) developed by the late mathematics Professor Thomas L. Saaty. The Pittsburgh Initiative produced a preference-based-priority road map for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, made available to national leaders and decision makers.

The Foundation of the Center

The Center approach to conflict resolution is based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process. The tradeoff model is based on following seven ideas:

1. Each party identifies a set of concessions (trade-offs);

2. Each trade-off that a party gives away yields for that party a set of costs (not necessarily monetary) and a perceived set of benefits for the party receiving it;

3. Each trade-off that a party receives generates a set of benefits and a perceived set of losses for the party giving it away;

4. The benefits, costs, perceived benefits and perceived costs are prioritized using the AHP;

5. The trade-offs are evaluated according to the benefits, costs, perceived benefits, and perceived costs;

6. The trade-offs of the parties are paired to decide which pairs are acceptable. Acceptable means both parties benefit from the trade-off and that they receive more than they lose from the trade-off they give away. Acceptability of a pair of trade-offs is implemented using the gain-loss ratio. Gain-loss ratios are not symmetric for the parties. This is not a zero-sum game;

7. Acceptable pairs of trade-offs are identified with the additional condition that the gain-loss ratio of a pair of concessions is as close as possible to each other for the parties (i.e., within a small percentage of each other) yielding the desired for balanced agreement.

 

Leadership

H. Jerome Zoffer, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Business Administration, The Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh, Executive Director

Luis G. Vargas, Professor of Business Analytics and Operations, The Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh, Managing Director

Amos N. Guiora, Professor of Law, S. J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah, Distinguished Fellow and Counselor

Marcel C. Minutolo, Professor of Management, School of Business, Robert Morris University, Distinguished Fellow

Projects

  • Study of the Middle East conflict
  • Study of police-community relations
  • Study of desistance from crime

Publications

  • Saaty, T. L. and H. J. Zoffer (2011). “Negotiating the Israeli Palestinian Controversy from a New Perspective.” International Journal of Information Technology and Decision Making 10(1): 5-64.
  • Saaty, T. L. and H. J. Zoffer (2012). “A New Approach To The Middle East Conflict: The Analytic Hierarchy Process.” Journal of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis 19(5-6): 201-225.
  • Saaty, T. L. and H. J. Zoffer (2013). “Principles for Implementing a Potential Solution to the Middle East Conflict.” Notices of the American Mathematical Society 60(10): 1300-1322.
  • Saaty, T. L., L. G. Vargas and H. J. Zoffer (2015). “A structured scientific solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict: the analytic hierarchy process approach.” Decision Analytics 2(7) 1-53.
  • Guiora, Amos N.(2010). “Negotiating Implementation of a Peace Agreement: Lessons Learned from Five Years at the Negotiating Table.” Cardozo J. Conflict Resol., Vol. 11, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1538022
  • Guiora, Amos N. (2012). “Intervention in Libya, Yes; Intervention in Syria, No: Deciphering the Obama Administration” (January 27, 2012). University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 32. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1993322 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1993322
  • Guiora, Amos N. (2013). “Humanitarian Intervention and Sovereignty Under the Umbrella of Geo-Politics.” University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, Vol. 34, No. 2, 2013; University of Utah College of Law Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2273722
  • Guiora, Amos N. (2014). Modern Geopolitics and Security: Strategies for Unwinnable Conflicts, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Guiora, Amos N. (2018). “Disproportionate Force in Gaza? Context Matters.” Foreign Policy Research Institute, Program on the Middle East, May 23.
  • Amos N. Guiora. #70: Law, Ethics, Politics and Occupation. https://player.fm/series/peacecast/ep-70-law-ethics-politics-and-occupation

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

As a Professional MBA student, I enjoy being able to work with other part-time students with industry knowledge and expertise. I’m always learning something new, hearing a different perspective, or gaining insights from part-time students in other industries, companies, and corporate cultures.

Tyler Wilson

MBA '19

The Experienced-Based Learning courses provided a hands-on experience that helped me to develop leadership qualities, improve my communication abilities, and sharpen my critical thinking skills through real-world application.

Wenjia Huo

MBA '17