Escalation refers to an increase in the intensity of a conflict. When a conflict escalates, the people involved (disputants) move from gently opposing positions to more forceful, confrontational tactics.

The number of parties involved may increase, and the number of issues under discussion may grow. Also, when a dispute escalates, the parties may want more than just to win-they may also want to hurt their opponent. Conflict can escalate quickly but may take much longer to calm down, or de-escalate.


Other /More definition:
Escalation is an increase in the intensity of a conflict. When a conflict escalates, the people involved/disputants move from gently opposing positions to more forceful, confrontational tactics. The number of parties involved may increase, and the number of issues under discussion may grow. Also, when a dispute escalates, the parties may want more than just to win-they may also want to hurt their opponent. Conflict can escalate quickly but may take much longer to calm down, or de-escalate.

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