Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The more we collaborate the more we come into conflict - an example at the top of the world?

An interesting 'slow-burn' of a conflict (potentially fuelled by collaboration) could be developing at the top of the world.

The Arctic Council, responsible for the preservation and managed exploitation of the Arctic territories (a difficult balancing act if ever there was one), consists of Arctic states with the power to make decisions, indigenous Arctic peoples with a right to permanent seats on the Council and, interestingly, a growing number of observer states and organisations with no power to make decisions, but the ability to influence the Council through making investments and providing specialist expertise.

Recently, a block of Asian states (China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and India) were admitted as observer states. At the moment, historical mistrust and grievances (especially between China and Japan), differing perceptions and competing and differing interests inhibit their effective collaboration with each other. (Indeed, India may well have a policy of impeding China's influence, especially where access to and control of energy reserves are at stake.)

However, if some catalyst were to appear which made collaboration between the Asian states attractive or essential, for example an urgent and pressing need for resources and guaranteed access to them, old grievances and lesser interests could be put aside. The separate Asian state observers could form into a powerful 'Asian Collaborative' that could use the combined leverage of its investments and expertise to gain influence and power within the Council and open up access to the resources it needs.

This would inevitably lead to even greater collaboration between the Arctic states and the indigenous peoples to counteract the Asian states growing influence. This would be a clear example of more collaboration leading to more conflict.

To see the full post click Here.

For more about collaboration go to: Sleeping-with-the-Enemy-Achieving-Collaborative-Success-2nd-Edition.

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