Research themes

Conflict resolution consists of a set of methodologies that can be applied to virtually any strategic conflict that could arise over the entire spectrum of human activities. The main objectives of the Conflict Analysis Group include:

  • Development of new conflict resolution methodologies and the improvement of existing techniques;
  • Design and implementation of decision support systems for conflict resolution;
  • Application of conflict resolution methodologies and software to significant real world problems.

Specific activities include the development of:

1. General conflict resolution methodologies and related theoretical research:

  • Extension of the Graph Model for Conflict Resolution (GMCR);
  • Strategic models of environmental risk management;
  • Coalition analysis techniques;
  • Methods for tracing possible evolutions of a conflict;
  • Decision making under uncertainty;
  • Strength of preference;
  • Emotions in conflict;
  • Policy analysis;
  • Models, policies and procedures for effective environmental enforcement;
  • Equitable resource allocation.

2. Decision support systems for conflict resolution:

  • Development of decision support system GMCR II for implementing the Graph Model for Conflict Resolution;
  • Easy-to-use procedures for conflict model input;
  • Informative graphical displays for input and output;
  • Different kinds of sensitivity analyses;
  • Coalition analysis computer algorithms;
  • Guidelines for optimal decision making.

3. Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA):

  • Consideration of both quantitative and qualitative criteria when comparing alternative solutions to a problem;
  • Screening out inferior solutions from further analyses;
  • Modelling interdependencies among alternatives when considering combinations of alternatives as possible final choices;
  • Handling uncertainty using fuzzy set theory;
  • Classification of alternatives according to nominal categories;
  • MCDA-based bargaining and negotiation;
  • Sorting according to case-based reasoning;
  • Decision support systems in MCDA.

4. Applications:

  • Case studies to assess and demonstrate the validity of new methodologies and their implementation;
  • Studies in bargaining and negotiation in environmental engineering, labour-management relationships, international trade, privatization of public infrastructure, and other fields;
  • Practical policies for improving environmental enforcement;
  • Multiple criteria decision analysis in water supply, pollution clean-up, waste disposal, infrastructure privatizations, and other alternative-choice problems.