ICLDS Approach

The ICLDS Approach: Why Conflict Analysis?

Violence, Terrorism and Conflict: There has been growing concern in the recent past that violent extremism and terrorism undermines peace, stability and development in Bangladesh. The macro environment, including socioeconomic conditions, governance challenges and democratic deficit, has been exploited by radical movements posing a threat to security. In studying the trends, causes and impacts of violence and terrorism, ICLDS considers security challenges faced by Bangladesh to be part of broader societal conflict manifested in the form of political, communal, economic and social strife.  Militant groups have benefited from the culture of impunity and weak rule of law underpinning conflict dynamics.

In this backdrop, Institute of Conflict, Law and Development Studies (ICLDS) was established in 2014 as an independent and non-political think-tank focusing on conflict analysis and resolution with a vision to develop secure and peaceful societies. The organization seeks to study violent extremism and terrorism within a prism of conflict, law and development for a more comprehensive understanding of cause, trends and impacts. This will include the study of political complicity, financial patronage and radical ideology impeding stability, cohesion and tolerance in society. In the case of Bangladesh, we have witnessed escalating violence by militant groups with political patronage. In fact, religious extremist groups have aligned themselves with one side of the political polarization.

ICLDS aims to be an international centre of excellence for esearch and advocacy on security issues to share knowledge, experience and expertise at the local, regional and international levels.

Conflict Analysis- ICLDS Approach: ICLDS will carry out systematic and methodical conflict analysis with sound methodology for qualitative and quantitative research.  Conflict analysis is the systematic study of the profile, causes, actors and dynamics of conflict.  It is an appraisal of the context, causes and consequences affecting factors and actors. In particular, we will look at four types of conflict:

•    Political
•    Communal
•    Economic
•    Social

In doing so, the ICLDS approach will examine not only violent conflict but also non-violent conflict with a view to early warning and prevention before non-violence translated to violence. In this respect, both violent and non-violent radicalization contributing to conflict will be analysed by our team of scholars, experts and researchers.  We aim to gain a comprehensive understanding of both ongoing and potential conflicts for studies focusing on the local, national, regional and international levels. In this respect, we are keen to examine how conflict occurs not only at each level in which societies operate, but also between levels e.g. local and national or national and regional or regional and international

The ICLDS approach will also look at various manifestations of conflict as a historically evolving process. We consider the current security challenges faced by Bangladesh and the region to be the result of both historical and contemporary factors. In this respect, we will be carrying out conflict analysis as a niche of the organization and carry it out as an ongoing process rather than a one-off exercise.

Moreover, conflict analysis will help identify not only the causes but also impacts. This will raise greater awareness of conflict dynamics, prompting responses by both the government and communities. We hope an awareness of conflict dynamics will improve community responses to countering violent extremism and terrorism, including better community and security force relationships.

The ICLDS approach will also entail gender analysis in order to understand gender dynamics in every level of conflict. This will focus not only on how women are impacted by conflict but also how women can play a role in preventing its occurrence.  Our broad focus recognizes conflict is multi-dimensional and multi-causal. The different aspects of conflict will be considered in the broader legal and development context underpinning society in order to develop redress measures.

Significance: Conflict analysis is critical as an initial stage of conflict resolution for an in-depth understanding of the trends and relationship between causes and actors. Such conflict analysis knowledge is vital for policymakers, security forces, civil society and other relevant stakeholders to formulate effective public policies, social interventions and community outreach for overall societal resilience against conflict, violence and terrorism. ICLDS considers conflict analysis to be the first step towards conflict prevention and resolution as well as building safe and peaceful socieities.

Moreover, conflict analysis findings are relevant for international community members to ensure the effectiveness of development interventions undertaken by bilateral and multilateral donor agencies. A nuanced and comprehensive understanding of conflict dynamics will be imperative for projects aiming to reduce strife as well as other areas of intervention ranging from improving governance to reducing poverty in violent contexts. In this respect, conflict analysis can help identify priorities for intervention. This is because conflict undermines overall societal capacity and potential.

Process: The ICLDS approach to conflict analysis employs proven methodological approaches and tools, including assessment of key conflict factors (root causes of conflict, including linkages and synergies examining both structural and proximate causes); context (political, economic, and social contexts, including demography and environment) actors (interests and capacity for violence and peace) and dynamics (triggers for violence, current and future scenarios, opportunities for conflict management and resolution).

The important question to ask is what is the relationship within and between the factors, context, actors and dynamics. We will carry out stakeholder analysis and actor mapping to identify positive and negative influences in the dynamics of conflict. In particular, we will identify the underlying factors contributing to violence and peace in society as well as various stakeholders and their motivations to positively or negatively influence peace.

A key focus would be what are the factors uniting and disuniting society that are exploited by positive and negative driving forces respectively? We will examine how Spirit of 71 emphasizing on national unity and positive non-violent philosophies can promote peace.Such research and analysis will allow us to reinforce the factors and actors supporting peace building process in communities.  We will also evaluate the capacity of existing conflict resolution  mechanism in society and provide recommendations to improve its efficacy.

As an independent think-tank, we are committed to understanding conflict from a wide range of views.  We hope to also serve as a platform for preventing conflict by bringing together differences voices in society, particularly civil society members, playing a positive role in building peace counteracting negative forces of conflict. Another key focus of the organization is to strengthen civil society in countering violent extremism and terrorism. The question is how to empower citizen groups in resilience to prevent and counter conflict?

Towards Secure and Peaceful Societies: ICLDS believes that a comprehensive understanding of conflict with proven research tools and methodology will help identify windows of opportunity for intervention by policymakers, security forces, civil society, media and international community to build more secure and peaceful socieities.

We will bridge the practitioner and policymaker as well practitioner and civil society graps for informed policies and advocacy to reduce conflict and empower different stakeholders to bring positive change. In this respect, ICLDS is unique and provides a niche in addressing security challenges from a cohesive framework of conflict, law and development. There is no alternative to accurate analysis to prevent violent conflict.

 

To know more about ICLDS, download ICLDS Brochure from here.

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