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