TLI and International Conflict Resolution Research
Conflict costs. Peace is a bargain.The twenty-year-old non-profit Conflict Resolution, Research, and Resource Institute (CRI) was officially terminated on June 30, 2009 by founder and Executive Director Bill Lincoln and the Board of Directors. Its former activities and credibility have been enveloped into The Lincoln Institute.
Since 1987, Bill Lincoln and his associates have been working to help people, organizations, and nations to resolve some of the most pressing conflicts of our time. Our primary areas of focus are international relations, human rights, and environmental/natural resource management issues.
TLI’s approach and methods have proven to be successful in teaching individuals and groups to develop durable agreements in diverse situations. Our pro-active approach helps prevent crises within and between communities, and are effective in enabling others to do the same. This is how we live our mission.
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TLI partnerships are integral to our success. Working relationships with colleagues, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions help us make the connections which create breadth and depth in our work.
Our partners help us identify arenas that will benefit from our involvement; help us establish appropriate points of entry; help us to ensure our approach is topically applicable and culturally pertinent; and most importantly, our partners add weight and impact to our work so that we will be of even greater assistance in whatever arenas we find ourselves.
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Conflictology is the study of conflict in various arenas including its causes, functions and dysfunctions, costs and consequences as well as the theories, processes, and skills for its prevention, management and resolution.
In addition to direct intervention and training services, TLI works to promote the field of conflictology through joint program development benefiting communities, organizations and countries in the prevention, management and resolution of conflict.
The first program was The Russian-American Program on Conflictology [R-APC] which has created community dispute resolution services and centers throughout the St. Petersburg region; developed skill building training programs for all sectors of society; and established a national standard of competency for mediators. Most recently, the Afghanistan-American Program for Peace and Progress [A-APPP] is under development in Kabul to assist Afghanistans to perform the same functions in their nation. TLI has provided similar program development services within the United States.
All of these joint programs have strategic partnerships with academic institutions. St. Petersburg State University and now 22 other Russian colleges have established conflictology as an accredited social science with undergraduate and graduate degree granting programs, thus strengthening the field’s knowledge base, skills bank and applications. In February, 2011, the Department of Conflictology at St. Petersburg State University in conjunction with R-APC received the 2010 Themis Award, the highest legal prize in Russia.
Education and training in conflictology works. Once learned, the practice of conflictology is most often in the form of negotiation and/or mediation – such as the functions of the practitioners serving community based resolution centers, managers and leaders of corporations, or diplomats of Foreign Affairs. For example, in Russian dispute resolution centers over 15,000 cases have been resolved with a recorded 85% settlement rate and 91% compliance.
TLI has also worked with organizations other than traditional academic institutions in establishing culturally and topically specific programs including the curricula, training of negotiators and mediators, and the training of future conflictology instructors. In Cuba, the Institute of International Affairs [ISRI] of the Foreign Ministry has institutionalized a course in international negotiations; TLI assisted in the development of course design and content, and provided training on how to teach (in accordance with US law, no compensation was received). The Warsaw based Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights has adopted a TLI training program for continuing education throughout Easter Europe as well as a required certification process for its human rights mediators. The National Center for Diplomatic Studies [NCDS] serves as the primary educational resource for the foreign service diplomatic corps of nine African Ministries of Foreign Affairs (Niger, Chad, Gambia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Central Africa Republic, Nigeria, and Comoros) and has requested that TLI develop customized curriculum and training program to provide the diplomats of these nations with strong and similar skills in negotiation and mediation.