Programme Head: Narendar Pani
The Conflict Resolution Programme aims to develop an inclusive knowledge base that would help effectively address the major conflicts that affect India or have the potential to do so. The conflicts that are addressed could be at any level from the local to the national, regional and global. They could also be of varying degrees of intensity, ranging from a full blown crisis to a potential problem. And the degree of complexity would tend to vary, from a relatively simple case of disagreements between two groups being clearly stated, to conflicts that involve multiple groups and dimensions.
The development of an inclusive knowledge base calls for an explicit recognition of the several dimensions of inclusiveness. At one level inclusiveness implies covering all those who are affected directly or indirectly by a specific conflict. At another, more conceptual, level inclusiveness implies covering as many of the factors that directly or indirectly affect a conflict, rather than being satisfied with a few core factors or with those factors that dominate the public discourse on that specific conflict. The development of such an inclusive approach requires conceptual innovations that build on the latest developments in the conceptualisation of conflict from across the world.
The programme tries to achieve its objectives by being sensitive to the interface between the understanding of individual conflicts and the larger conceptualisation of conflict. It studies individual conflicts in depth with the twin purpose of identifying elements that can be used to resolve them, as well as to further develop the overall understanding of conflicts and their resolution. The programme thus aims to build an inclusive knowledge base and then disseminate that knowledge in a way that influences both popular perceptions and policies aimed at conflict resolution. The breadth of the knowledge base is built through developing backgrounders on individual conflicts. The depth is provided by research both into individual conflicts and the conceptualisation of social conflict and its resolution. The dissemination will be carried out through short-term courses on conflict resolution, targeted at all who could have to deal with social conflicts, whether they are in industry, government or civil society.
1. “Vulnerabilities and Political Aspects of Civil Society: Vulnerabilities and Volunteerism”, funded by Department of Science and Technology, Government of India in collaboration with Disaster Research Unit, Freie University, Germany, Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena Germany, and Karnataka State Fire and Emergency Services (KSFES).
A major research study that the programme is carrying out is on the issue of ‘Vulnerabilities and Political Aspects of Civil Society: Vulnerabilities and Volunteerism’. Funded by the Department of Science and Technology, this is a collaborative study between the Conflict Resolution Programme of NIAS, Friedriech- Schiller University, Jena and Disaster Research Unit, University of Berlin, Germany. This study attempts to investigate an important aspect of conflict that has not been adequately understood in the Indian context: volunteerism. Volunteers can work both to reduce the pains of conflict as well as to enhance conflict. It is thus necessary to understand what prompts individuals to volunteer. In order to understand the aspects of vulnerability and volunteerism the programme has carried out survey in two distinct areas: one affected by extreme natural vulnerabilities, a village in the state of Uttarakhand and the second affected by low scale repeated natural vulnerabilities, a village in the state of Karnataka.
2. “Natural resources, Conflict, and Consciousness: Dissecting People's Movements in Odisha”, funded by Indian Council for Social Science Research
A Second major research project of the programme is on ‘Natural resources, Conflict, and Consciousness: Dissecting People's Movements in Odisha’. Funded by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), this project investigates the peoples’ movements in Odisha on the issue of natural resource distribution. So far we have conducted field surveys in three districts of Odisha and a research paper on ‘Local Movements under a Revolutionary Brand’ has been communicated for publication. The final report of the project is in the process of writing.
1. 'Proposal for China-Nepal-India Economic Corridor: Wishful Thinking or Regional Aspiration beyond Rhetoric', in an International Conference on 'China and South Asia', Organised by Shanghai University, 24-25 November 2018.
2. 'Political Inequality and Political Violence: The Maoist Violence and Indian State' in an International conference on 'Comparative perspectives on Growing Socio-Economic Inequalities in India and Europe', jointly organised by Netherlands Scientific Organization (NWO) and ICSSR, New Delhi at Bangalore, February 8-9, 2017.
3. 'Sustaining through Development: The Maoist Conflict and Development Measures in India' at an international conference on 'Development in Question', organised by Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University, October 6-8, 2016.
4. 'Democracy, Dialogue and Conflict: The Maoist conflict and Indian State', in an international conference on 'Democracy and Governance in India and Thailand', organised by Indian Council for Social Science Research and National Research Council of Thailand, at New Delhi, September 5-6, 2016.
5. 'Majoritarian Way to Democracy: Case of Bodoland Conflict in Assam' in an International Conference on Multitude and Democracy: Experiences from Myanmar and Northeast India organised by PRIO (Norway) and OKDISCD, Guwahati, February 19-20, 2016.
6. 'Looking at their Homes from Distance: The Displaced persons of kandhamal riot and their interactions with the Swamis, the Fathers and the Maoists' in an international conference on 'To Take Place: Culture, Religion and Home-Making in and Beyond South Asia, organised by Elon University and Madras University at Madras University, Chennai, July 27-28, 2016.
7. 'Naxal Conflict: A Critique of State's Response' in an international conference on 'Armed Conflict, Peace Audit & Early Warning' organised by ISSSP, NIAS, July 9-11, 2016.
8. 'Development Challenges to the Maoist Conflict in India' in a conference on Conflict & Economic Development, organised by Jindal University, September 26-27, 2016.
9. 'Emerging Trends in Terrorism' in a conference on 'Emerging Trends in Non-Traditional Security: Threats and Responses' organised by Department of International Studies, Christ University, September 2-3, 2016.
10. 'Power Structures, Conflict Resolution and Social Justice' organised by EU-India Social Science and Humanities Platform, Gurgaon, October 13-14, 2016.
11. 'Insurgency, Drugs and Small Arms in Myanmar', in an International Seminar on "Myanmar at the Crossroads: Current Realities, Challenges and Opportunities", Organised by ISSSP, NIAS, Bangalore, July 20-22, 2015.
12. 'Interrogating Governments' Policies in Dealing with Maoist Conflict in India' at Institute for Educational Research and Development, Bangalore on June 27, 2015.
13. 'Science and Technology Development and Social Conflict', NIAS-DST Training programme on Science & Technology: Global Developments and Perspectives, January 28, 2019.
14. 'India's Internal Security: Emerging Challenges', Centre for Security Studies, School of National Security Studies, Central University of Gujarat, February 26, 2019.
15. 'Internal Security Issues in India', National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) Training Programme, Bengaluru, December 10, 1980.
16. 'Emerging Trends in Terrorism: An Analysis', National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) Training Programme, Bengaluru, December 10, 1980.
17. Resistance at the Grassroot level and Success and Failure Narratives of Development), Kalahandi Dialogue, 28-30, September, 2018.
18. 'Social media has the potential for creating public disorder, and so the sedition law (section 124A of the Indian Penal Code) is a reasonable restriction on freedom of expression', on November 4, 2018, at Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival 2018, Bengaluru.
19. 'Vulnerabilities of Children in Armed Conflicts in India', on September 7, 2018, Madras Christian College, Chennai.
20. 'Urban Maoism in India: Rhetoric and Reality', on July 25, 2018, NIAS, Bengaluru
21. 'Development as a Source of Conflict: Sahukars, Displaced Persons and Maoists in Koraput', on November 26, 2014, at NIAS, Bengaluru
22. 'From Mao to Maoism: The Indian Path', May 25, 2016, at NIAS, Bengaluru
Lectures by Prof. Ashutosh Varshney
Speaking of Ethnic Conflict