Study of the Papers Submitted to the 1st Union Peace Conference (UPC)—21st Century Panglong (Completed)

The project commissioned by the Peace Commission analyzed 72 position papers submitted by various stakeholders to the first Union Peace Conference—21st Century Panglong. MIPS produced a 66-page report that was accepted and endorsed by the Peace Commission for reference to support the political dialogue.

Analysis of Options on Federal Principles

Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC), an institution set up by the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), decided to explore common federal principles as the outcome of the second Union Peace Conference (UPC) —21st Century Panglong. Although the conference date is not set, some stakeholders have been working to have a potential negotiated outcome on federal principles. MIPS, in coordination with International IDEA, is currently crafting a list of negotiated options on federal principles to support negotiators at the UPC.

Paths to Peace in Complex Conflict Systems: Lessons from Global Data and an In-Depth Study of Myanmar (2017 to 2019)

The project studies processes by which several armed conflicts are terminated in one country, with emphasis on the impact of conflict terminations have on other conflicts in the same country. This has implications for theory. When one conflict ends, other armed groups will consider whether they shall seek a settlement, stay inactive or continue fighting. They may coordinate with each other, or splinter into factions. We aim to view all conflicts in a country as a system, using Myanmar as our main case to study. Uppsala University partners with MIPS to implement the project in Myanmar, (1) to update the UCDP Peace Agreement Dataset for 2012-2016, (2) to unable a statistical analysis of all developing countries with intrastate armed conflict, and (3) to produce an in-depth case study of how conflict terminations and onsets have influenced each other in Myanmar’s conflict system since 1989. On Myanmar side, MIPS will use its home-grown Township-based Conflict Monitoring System (TCMS) to synchronize data with the global database at Uppsala University.

Social Media and Armed Conflict (2018 to 2020)

In partnership with the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), this project investigates the impact of social media on the dynamics of armed conflict and peacebuilding in Myanmar. Our researchers will conduct interviews, collect data through a specially designed application, and monitor both social and traditional media sources to assess whether the rapid spread of social media leads to more or less violence. Myanmar is particularly suited for a study of the ICT-Conflict link given its long history of internal armed conflicts, rapid expansion of smartphone users since 2012, and ongoing conflicts. The research group at PRIO is headed by Stein Tønnesson, a full-time doctoral researcher with extensive experience in East Asian conflict and peace. The Myanmar team is led by Dr. Min Zaw Oo, Executive Director of MIPS. The project launched in February 2018 and will run for a duration of three years.