• Graph Model for Conflict Resolution;
  • conflict analysis;
  • decision support system;
  • First Nations;
  • fisheries;
  • planning;
  • sustainability;
  • emotion

Abstract: A systematic technique is proposed for assisting in the design and implementation of policy and addressing the need to minimize or resolve disputes that may arise in the enforcement of regulations. The Graph Model for Conflict Resolution is a methodology that facilitates the modeling and analysis of interactive multiple participant-multiple objective decision problems. In the problems considered here, decision makers and policy planners engaged in capacity building typically have different viewpoints over appropriate ways of developing options and enforcing policy choices. Incompatible understandings of resource potentials and limits, and disparities in utilization of these resources, exasperate stakeholders and make the capacity building process counterproductive and even conducive to conflict. A systematic conflict resolution technique is invaluable to policy makers and practitioners in defusing confrontations and reaching out for consensus among participants. In support of current approaches to policy planning and regulation, the Graph Model provides accurate predictions and strategic insights into shortand long-term opportunities in multiple participant-multiple objective decision situations. A conflict among the government of Canada, the Mi'kmaq First Nation, and commercial fishermen over the sharing of a natural resource in New Brunswick, Canada, is used to illustrate the advantages of this technique in practical problems.