Technical Assistance and Social Conflict

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Klauen, Arne Martin (1964) Technical Assistance and Social Conflict, Journal of Peace Research 1(1): 5–19.

​​This project presents a concrete bilateral assistance project from the point of view of social conflict. The project is located in Kerala State, South India, and the case material consists of the following factional relationships:

Case 1: Fish merchants - fishermen.
Case 2: Fishermen with mechanized boats - fishermen with canoes.
Case 3: Fish merchants - Indo-Norwegian Project's sales cooperative.
Case 4: Communal Tension (Nair and Latin Catholic)
Case 5: The ambivalence of Arayas vis-a-vis the new fishing methods.

It is shown, with concrete examples, how technical assistance does not necessarily imply a reduction of the elements of conflict, but how the complex and widespread process which may be started through a comparatively modest interference can cause conflict just as well as prevent it.

The background for the principle that assistance to the developing country should be ideologically neutral is dicussed an it is shown how this principle in certain cases can be an impediment to an effective achievement of the goals of a project., Finally it discusses some of the mechanisms that make intervention acceptable.