Conclusion: Emerging Patterns of Incompatibility Management in Southeast Asian Conflicts
This concluding chapter recapitulates the findings of the case studies of the previous chapters and from a comparative perspective looks for the common patterns of managing conflicts in a globalizing Southeast Asian. This task is performed by focusing on incompatibility management according to the three types of conflict: ethnic conflict, conflict over democracy and cross-border environmental or resource conflict. In ethnic conflict, the tactics of the elimination of ethnic parties and the imposition of the positions or goals of the state parties on the ethnic parties have been adopted frequently. When these tactics do not work well, a space may emerge in which the parties can manoeuvre around the incompatibilities and take time to adjust their own positions or goals. A key factor for the creation of such a space is to control the behaviour of the armed forces towards ethnic parties. An important deviation from such a pattern is the Khmer Krom conflict in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, where the soft elimination of the ethnic party seems to be functioning well. Thailand’s unique conflict over democracy has yet to find an effective way to address its fundamental incompatibilities, which the manoeuvring-around tactic cannot handle effectively. In cross-border environmental or resource conflict, the interstate part of the conflict tends to be handled with the manoeuvring-around tactic. As a result, the incompatibilities at the state level could be shifted to the local level, where they could be absorbed among people or even in the natural environment albeit with considerable costs. To effectively address them, it seems that the concept of good governance needs to be expanded so that the natural environment can also be considered as a significant factor to good governance.
KeywordsGlobalization Incompatibility management Manoeuvring-around Soft elimination of a party Incompatibilities absorbed by people and natural environment Good governance
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