Our first June workshop, titled “Social Conflict and Conflict Management” honored a guest speaker from Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP): Dr. Niklas Swanstrom – Director of the Institute. The topic had received huge attention from researchers and policy makers in Vietnam.
With renowned expertise in the area of governance and security, Dr. Swanstrom had offered an insightful look into the interplay between security and development in Asian countries. The study uses diverse experience in social conflict from different Asian nations including Myanmar, China, Nepal, Korea Peninsula and Vietnam to explore the topic from a wide range of perspectives. From the theoretical perspective, Dr. Swanstrom introduced how scholars defined “conflict”, the theoretical debate around its impacts, the model of conflict cycle as well as relevant actors and interests. This approach provides participants with an overall picture of research in conflict management. From the practical perspective through his experience in Asia, he analyzed multiple sources which could be potential sources of conflict, ranging from resource scarcity to cultural differences. These problems impose serious negative impact on human needs and interest. For the case of Vietnam, land conflict has been a critical and enduring issue. The presentation offered a number of conflict management tools such as conflict map, conflict mapping of relationships, qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis and applied and theoretical research.
Dr. Swanstrom discussed many different aspects of conflicts with participants and shared his personal insights about the life of a conflict negotiator. The discussion made participants come close together to contribute valuable information and assessments about conflict management and its application in Vietnam.