Praesentation Conflict Siam 2

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  • 1. Convention “Overcoming the Conflicts in Thai Society” Held by Siam Intelligence Unit and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Dr. Rainer Adam (Regional Director of Friedrich Naumann Foundation) Bangkok, Thailand
  • 2. The human condition
    • It seems to be a global phenomenon that humans value harmony and peace over dispute and conflict
    • Therefore various institutions to maintain peace and human security were developed in human history
    • However, when we look a bit closer, we find that the aversion against conflict is actually the rejection of violence much more than conflict per se
  • 3. Is conflict a bad thing?
    • One source of progress in human society is conflict
    • In fact conflict is the main source of innovation and technology development in the modern world
    • Conflict also drives humans when it comes to questions related to the future of society
  • 4. Questions dividing society
    • Some examples:
    • Progressive taxes, high-low taxes, property taxes?
    • Shall we invest in public schools and technology development?
    • Shall we support with taxpayers money the modernization of our armed forces?
    • Shall we built infrastructure in remote rural regions?
    • Shall agriculture be subsidized?
  • 5. How do we manage conflicts?
    • Politically speaking, democratic governance or democracy is nothing than a system to manage conflicts in society where power is controlled and changes of power built in the system
    • For this we have the usual institutions, the constitution, the division of powers, the checks and balances, in short “liberal democracy” based on the rule of law where everybody is equal before the law
    • The majority vote decides, the minority accepts the decisions and develops alternatives solutions to gain power at the ballot box in order to implement their blueprint for development
    • Minorities are protected by law and enjoy equal treatment than anybody else, civic rights are guaranteed by the constitution, they include the freedom of association, opinion and peaceful public protest
  • 6. Human reality
    • How humans deal with conflict has also a cultural dimension
    • The articulation of dissent varies among societies
    • The tolerance of conflict also varies, the answers vary from ignoring it to denying it up to violent suppression
    • Violence is often seen as legitimate means to conflict management
  • 7. German experience
    • As you know the Germans are latecomers to modernity in terms of the acceptance of democracy
    • Within a hundred years they started three wars, two of them with a world wide dimension which left 50 to 70 million people dead (among them 40-52 million civilians) in World War II
    • The extreme nationalism of the Nazi dictatorship and the intolerance and denial of human rights this degenerated type of nationalism brings with it destroyed our German civilization and annihilated Germans of Jewish faith and other German minorities
  • 8. German minorities in the past
    • Under the Nazi regime and its anti-Semitic ideology and policies, the German Jewish community was severely persecuted
    • German citizen of Jewish faith among them doctors, shop owners and lawyers were first boycotted and later…
    • … .deported to the newly formed concentration camps or were forced to leave the country
    • The Nazi persecution of the Jews culminated in the Holocaust, in which millions of European Jews were deported and murdered during World War II
  • 9. German experience after 1949
    • Only after total defeat and with the help of the USA the Germans were able to establish a decent democratic order
    • This new order, based on the German Grundgesetz or Basic Law , the German Constitution (23 May 1949) provided a stable order for society
    • Ever since political conflicts were articulated and solved in a peaceful manner
    • The German voters choose mainly coalition governments and cabinets in order to balance power, and they champion compromise as the dominant solution to conflicts
  • 10. Who is competing? Purple Black Red Yellow Green
  • 11. Election Results
  • 12. Back to 1949…?
  • 13. History of coalition governments in Germany since 1949
    • 1949 – 1953 CDU/CSU, FDP , DP
    • 1953 – 1956 CDU/CSU, FDP , DP and BHE
    • 1956 – 1957 CDU/CSU, FVP, DP
    • 1957 – 1961 CDU/CSU, DP
    • 1961 – 1965 CDU/CSU, FDP
    • 1965 – 1966 CDU/CSU, FDP
    • 1966 – 1969 CDU/CSU, SPD “Grand Coalition”
    • 1969 – 1972 SPD , FDP
    • 1972 – 1976 SPD , FDP
    • 1976 – 1980 SPD , FDP
    • 1980 – 1982 SPD , FDP
    • 1982 – 1983 CDU/CSU, FDP
    • 1983 – 1987 CDU/CSU, FDP
    • 1987 – 1990 CDU/CSU, FDP
    • 1990 – 1994 CDU/CSU, FDP
    • 1994 – 1998 CDU/CSU, FDP
    • 1998 – 2002 SPD , Grüne
    • 2002 – 2005 SPD , Grüne
    • 2005 - 2009 CDU/CSU, SPD “Grand Coalition”
    • 2009 - CDU/CSU, FDP
  • 14. Geographic distribution
  • 15. Seat allocation
  • 16. German minorities today
    • Upheavals of European history have shown that the protection of national minorities is essential to stability, democratic security and peace
    • Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities on European Level and the “ Grundgesetz” (Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany) on German level
    • A pluralist and genuinely democratic society should not only respect the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of each person belonging to a national minority, but also create appropriate conditions enabling them to express, preserve and develop this identity
    • Creation of a climate of tolerance and dialogue is necessary to enable cultural diversity to be a source and a factor, not of division, but of enrichment of society
  • 17. Ethnic Minorities in Germany
  • 18. Actions taken in Germany (Sorb People)
    • Sorb People (Brandenburg and Saxony)
    • Around 60,000 Sorbs live in Germany, of which about 20,000 (Lower Sorbs) are living in the Brandenburg area, and 40,000 (Upper Sorbs) living in the Saxon region.
    • Their rights are protected specifically by the Saxon constitution.
    • In March 1999, the Saxon Landtag ratified the law about the rights of the Sorbs in the Free State of Saxony. The Sorbs are of course German citizens with all associated rights and duties.
    • The Saxon constitution protects the Sorbs with clearly defined basic rights.
    • From the first grade right up to leaving cert level, all Sorb children and pupils at primary, middle and grammar schools in Bautzen are taught in Sorb language. All Sorb primary schools are bilingual.
    • Financed by the federal government and the states Saxony and Brandenburg.
  • 19. Actions taken in Germany (Danish minority)
    • The Danish ethnic minority is located in Southern Schleswig, Germany
    • The Danish minority is represented by the South Schleswig Voter Federation (SSW) in the “Landtag” of Schleswig Holstein with reserved seats.
    • The SSW is not subject to the general requirement of passing a 5% vote threshold in order to receive proportional seats in the state parliament. In the most recent 2009 election, the SSW received 4.3% of the vote and four seats.
    • The SSW is also represented in several municipal parliaments.
  • 20. Religious minorities in Germany: Muslims
    • Across Europe, politicians try to be culturally sensitive to Muslim citizens, who total 16 million, or 3 percent, of the 495 million people in the 27-member European Union
    • Muslims in Europe come from diverse ethnic and national backgrounds
    • It is estimated that there are 3-4 million Muslims living in Germany
    • Former Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble of Germany has proposed that Islam be taught in schools with Christianity and Judaism
    • In Germany there is respect, discretion, and caution for the religious feelings of all people, regardless of which faith they follow. The Basic Law (Constitution) provides for freedom of religion, and other laws and policies are contributing to the generally free practice of religion in Germany.
    • The law at all levels protects this right in full against abuse, either by governmental or private actors
    • Balancing respect for religious beliefs and free speech remains delicate. In Germany, federal law bans references to religion "deemed able to disrupt the public peace."
  • 21. Thank you for your attention Please visit our website: www.fnfthailand.org