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Chung, Yun Ho
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
KDI Policy Study 2003-02
This paper talks about the 'art and science' of nuancing conflict situations. The word 'art' is used to designate non-scientific factors, and the term 'art and science' is employed to introduce the use of non-economic factors, for example diplomatic know-how and negotiation skill, that are intertwined with factors which emanate from a rigorous scientific analysis of a conflict. To do so, this paper discusses a theoretic framework using a diagrammatic analysis of a conflict management procedure, and an application on IMF aid package negotiation process with Indonesia. The theoretic framework introduces a mechanism in which a small concession from each of conflict involved parties is incorporated, as a third dimension, into main action spaces, and it would result in a more effective negotiation process in the conflict situation. In a more conventional conflict setting, the involved parties do have their own action space where each of the parties would lock themselves in to mobilize their policy action. This strategy only leads the parties to a deadlock situation when possible compromises within the action spaces are exhausted. However, instead of starting the negotiation process from action spaces, specifying the objectives and starting from it would provide both parties more chances to devise a more effective negotiation scheme. This paper proposes this simple idea diagrammatically in a theoretic framework. Based on the theoretic approach introduced, an application study on the conflict between the IMF and Indonesia is conducted. The nature of conflict is arisen from disagreement on how IMF aid package on Indonesia's sustainable development is effectively used. Both the IMF and Indonesia would agree on using the aid package for economic program. But the policy action that the IMF proposes would not meet the condition that Indonesia has in mind. Examining the objectives that the IMF and Indonesia perceive on Indonesia's sustainable development, a proposal on an environmental program can be formulated. The proposal would satisfy the objectives perceived by both the IMF and Indonesia, and possibly break the stalemate that dealing mainly with action spaces would only result in. This paper concludes with emphasis on dialogue, discussion in a conflict situation that might lead to concessions which possibly bring about realizing mutual improvement in less important policy areas. Once such is realized, more trust, more friendliness and willingness to discuss other conflictual issues of greater import can be taken up and hopefully more successfully dealt with.
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Research Report

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