Constructive Conflict Management: Asia-Pacific Cases


Edited by: Fred E. Jandt & Paul B. Pedersen

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  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Part I: The Regional/Cultural Context

    Part II: Nuclear Family Conflict

    Part III: Extended Family Conflict

    Part IV: Land and Environmental Conflict

    Part V: Business Conflicts

    Part VI: Neighborhood Disputes

    Part VII: Conflicts Involving Indigenous Peoples

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    The Asia Pacific Peace Research Association (APPRA) is the major regional organization representing academic and nonacademic peace and conflict researchers in East, South East, and South Asia and Australasia. It is one of four regional organizations within the International Peace Research Association.

    As then Secretary General of APPRA, I was very pleased to join the Research and Education for Peace Unit at the Universiti Sains Malaysia and The Asia Foundation in the design and organization of the Malaysian conference at which most of the case studies included in this book were presented.

    In organizing the conference it was clear that there was a fortuitous convergence of interests between the three “host” organizations and those of Fred Jandt and Paul Pedersen, the editors of this volume. All of us were concerned to spell out the extent to which the theory and practice of contemporary conflict resolution was bound to a Western cultural framework and what this might mean for theorists and practitioners from non-Occidental cultural traditions.

    The conference therefore focused on facilitating dialogue with and between colleagues from the Asia-Pacific region to determine whether or not there were significant cultural differences in relation to the sources, dynamics, and resolution of dysfunctional conflicts at both the micro and macro levels of action and analysis.1 To achieve this end, the organizers commissioned papers that traversed micro (interpersonal, local, or community based) and macro (national, regional, or international) conflicts and asked contributors to think about these conflicts in terms of the concepts of authority, nonviolence, security, and identity.2 Although it could be argued that these concepts reflect distinctive Western concerns, they also relate to processes, which universally are both a cause and a consequence of peaceful relationships just as more violent processes flow from the arbitrary exercise of coercive power, insecurity, marginalization, and militarism.

    The underlying theme of the conference was that nonviolent solutions to problems are likely to flow from processes that result in an expansion of political authority, legitimacy, and security, which create safe autonomous space for the construction and maintenance of identity and which stimulate cultures of peace and nonviolence. These processes stand in contrast to those that emphasize political and military power (involving threat, force, and coercion), insecurity (fear and anxiety), marginalization (control, isolation, and enmity), and violence. What the conference set out to explore was whether or not diverse cultures and linguistic groups would endow these processes with different meanings and then evaluate the micro- and macrosignificance of these different worldviews.

    Both the micro and the macro case studies indicated very strongly that culture can generally be interpreted two ways. The first is an inertial, conservative force that reproduces the same behavior generation after generation and is generally resistant to change. (Indigenous people, for example, who appeal to some concept of traditional or mythic culture to justify repressive or nondemocratic practices are using culture in this way.) This conservative conception of culture fuels pessimism and becomes an iron cage marking the limits of the possible.

    The second way of looking at culture (reflected in many of the case studies in this book) is as something that is constantly being created and reshaped by every human being, family, neighborhood, community, and nation. This orientation to culture is much more empowering. It means that individuals, groups, organizations, and social movements can learn new ways of solving problems and can transmit these new ways to others.

    In this conception of culture, the enhancement of nonviolent processes for dealing with conflict requires some imaging of peaceful processes and peaceful communities and positive examples of these processes working. These case studies demonstrate a number of ways in which families, neighborhoods, interest groups, and indigenous peoples use diverse cultural traditions to promote the peaceful resolution of disputes. Each one reveals the richness of different cultural orientations to conflict and suggests the need for a little more “occidental” humility in relation to the value of Western conflict resolution theory and practice. The fact is we all have much to learn from each other, and this book is one step toward fostering a deepening of the dialogue between different cultures.

    Kevin PClements, President, International Peace Research Association, Director, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia USA

    1. Some of the macro papers from this conference have been published in a special issue of Pacifica Review, Vol. 6, No. 2 (1994), edited by Kevin P Clements.

    2. These concepts were developed at the September 17–18, 1994 conference planning meeting in Honolulu by The Asia Foundation staff, Johan Saravanamuttu, the editors of this volume, and Kevin P Clements.


    The Asia Foundation is very pleased to have had the opportunity to join together with the Peace and Research Unit at the Universiti Sains Malaysia and the Asia Pacific Peace Research Association in organizing the historic international conference on “Conflict Resolution in the Asia Pacific Region: Culture, Problem Solving, and Peacemaking” in Penang, Malaysia, at which most of the case studies included in this volume were originally presented.

    Perhaps at no time in recent history has the topic of conflict resolution been more relevant than it is today. At the international level, the end of the cold war has seen the breakdown of the once clear and predictable bipolar pattern of global and regional security relations and their replacement by a system that is far more complex and fluid. In the absence of ideological certainty and the discipline of established alliance structures, old enmities between states—some based on historical rivalries, border disputes, or religious and ethnic differences—are free to resurface and grow while new conflicts continue to emerge.

    At the same time, within individual Asian countries rapid economic growth and widespread social mobilization have brought about a dramatic change from traditional patterns of personal and social interaction. People have been exposed to a wide range of new influences, ideas, and possibilities. They have moved from village and community settings characterized by long-standing and deeply internalized sets of rules and obligations to urban centers where they must deal with strangers and carve out their own identities and their own futures. They have come into contact with people who are unlike themselves and who are in competition with them to secure a better life for their children and grandchildren. With rapid economic development, even people in rural areas have entered the world of modern economic transactions and, as such, have dramatically increased the likelihood that they will be involved in disputes of one kind or another, just as expanded international commerce has inevitably increased the number of transnational commercial disputes.

    Given this situation, there is a widespread sense and concern in the Asia-Pacific region that existing mechanisms for dealing with disputes, whether within individual nations or internationally, are simply not up to the task. At the national level, formal court structures are often unable to provide access to justice for the large and growing number of disputants, especially those in rural areas or those with few resources to pay court costs or lawyers' fees in circumstances when cases can sometimes drag on for years. In response to this problem, efforts are under way in many countries to develop new mechanisms for mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution as a way of handling the large number of disputes not being adequately addressed through formal legal systems. At the same time, a number of new institutions have emerged in the region—often university-based research centers and nongovernment citizens' organizations—that are attempting to address ethnic, religious, economic, and environmental conflicts in innovative ways.

    There is also a growing belief among some Asian scholars and observers that this region may have a special contribution to make in the conflict resolution field because of its unique historical and cultural background. More specifically, there is a sense that, in addressing conflicts, what are sometimes characterized as traditional Asian proclivities and preferences for compromise and consensus building as opposed to open confrontation and an adversarial approach to issues of disagreement may lend themselves more readily to solutions reached through a process of mediation. This idea evolves in part from a view that law itself, to be truly effective in many Asian cultural contexts, must be as concerned with relationships as it is with transactions and must emphasize the preservation of social harmony as much as abstract legal notions of rights or justice that are not grounded in the political, economic, and social reality of the dispute itself. In this regard, one of the important objectives of the Penang conference was to explore the cultural dimensions of conflict and conflict resolution in Asian societies through the examination of case studies based on actual conflicts of different types that have taken place in the region in recent years.

    As a private American organization with its headquarters in San Francisco and offices in 15 Asia-Pacific countries, The Asia Foundation is providing support to a number of programs in Asia to help develop new mechanisms (and strengthen existing ones) of mediation and conflict resolution in the region. These programs are being carried out by both government and nongovernment organizations and a number of academic and research centers involved in conflict resolution work in Asian countries, ranging from Sri Lanka and Malaysia to Korea and the Philippines. Among the Foundation's programs are policy research and training for the mediation of ethnic disputes, the development of community-based mediation boards to deal with local property and family disputes, the strengthening of in-country and international commercial arbitration boards, and the development of cooperative problem-solving mechanisms among business, government, and nongovernment organizations on environmental issues.

    Equally important, the Foundation tries to use its network of field offices throughout the region and its extensive range of contacts within each country, to encourage information sharing and project cooperation among conflict resolution organizations in different Asian countries, and to serve as a bridge between conflict resolution professionals in Asia and their counterparts in the United States. Indeed, this kind of Asia-U.S. dialogue and cooperation is perhaps especially relevant in the conflict resolution field, given that the United States faces many of the same problems as the countries of Asia and the Pacific in dealing with the challenges of a diverse and rapidly changing society.

    In closing, I would like to extend my thanks and my congratulations, on behalf of The Asia Foundation, to the editors of this volume, Fred Jandt and Paul Pedersen, and to the many contributors who have contributed so substantially to this important and, in many respects, pioneering work. The publication of this book truly represents the culmination of a unique, collaborative effort involving not just the three cosponsoring organizations of the conference but also a large and diverse group of conflict resolution professionals from many countries—academic theorists, researchers, activists, and practitioners—who came together in Penang with the common goal of seeking to advance the understanding, and thereby the effectiveness, of conflict resolution mechanisms and approaches in the Asia-Pacific region. The richness and diversity of the case studies presented in this book reflect the deliberate attempt of the conference organizers to fully explore the wide range of conflict resolution issues and topics being addressed in this most dynamic of regions and yet ground these explorations in the realm of practical application and very real human experience.

    Even more important, these case studies provide clear testimony to the efforts of so many dedicated and talented individuals who are working every day to help build communities and societies characterized by social harmony, justice, and a broad, inclusive notion of political membership and citizen participation. This book, then, is in many ways a tribute to their efforts as well as representing an important intellectual contribution to the field of conflict resolution itself. The Asia Foundation is privileged to have been a partner in this endeavor.

    GordonHein, Vice President, The Asia Foundation, San Francisco, California USA


    The Project (now a Unit) for Peace Research and Education of the School of Social Sciences at the Universiti Sains Malaysia was particularly involved in the organization of the May 22–26, 1994 conference “Conflict Resolution in the Asia Pacific Region: Culture, Problem Solving, and Peacemaking” from the very inception of the idea. We had felt that this conference should be different from other conferences. Especially because it was focusing on conflict resolution, we felt that it was not sufficient to bring together a group of academics but also to engage academics with practitioners in the field. As chair of the Organizing Committee of Conflict Resolution Conference, I am especially gratified that this book has resulted from the conference with its emphasis on learning from case studies. The project by Professors Jandt and Pedersen is particularly useful because it attempts to look at conflict from the bottom up and especially from the perspectives of those who are intimately involved in the conflict or are socially committed to the problem at hand.

    I wish to congratulate the editors and the contributors for a job well done and hope that this book will further stimulate the thinking on conflict resolution in novel ways.

    JohanSaravanamuttu Chair, Organizing Committee of Conflict Resolution Conference, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang


    In May 1994, the international conference “Conflict Resolution in the Asia-Pacific Region: Culture, Problem Solving, and Peacemaking” was held in Penang, Malaysia. The organizers for the conference were the Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, The Asia Foundation, and the Asia-Pacific Peace Research Association (APPRA). The planners of the conference were Tracy Wardrop for The Asia Foundation, Kevin Clements for APPRA, Johan Saravanamuttu for the Universiti Sains Malaysia, Paul B. Pedersen of Syracuse University, and Fred E. Jandt of California State University, San Bernardino.

    One purpose of the conference was to bring together those interested in the theory of mediation and those practicing mediation at both the micro (governments and nongovernment organizations, or NGOs) and macro (businesses and individuals) levels. The practicing mediators were asked to bring case studies of the mediation of multicultural conflicts. The word “mediation” can be used to refer to one style of conflict resolution. One thing that this collection of case studies illustrates is the wide range of styles in use to deal with conflicts. The title of this book reflects that diversity.

    This book presents case studies developed for the conference. As much as possible, the authors' original word choice and writing style have been retained. The case studies are grouped together by the general areas of the regional/cultural context, nuclear family conflict, extended family conflict, land and environmental conflict, business conflicts, neighborhood disputes, and conflicts involving indigenous peoples. The cases are framed by an introduction and a conclusion, both by the editors.

    The cases can be used for analysis and study individually or collectively to develop models for dispute resolution in the Asia-Pacific region and to demonstrate the interrelationships between culture, conflict, and dispute resolution.

    In a very real sense, the conference and the ideas developed there belong to all the participants. As a product of the conference, this book represents the contributions of the participants, the Universiti Sains Malaysia as host, and The Asia Foundation as sponsor.

    Fred E.Jandt, —Paul B.Pedersen


    The views expressed in the case studies and analytic papers are those of the individual authors and not necessarily those of the three sponsoring agencies.

  • About the Editors

    Fred E. Jandt received his doctoral degree in communication. He has been a professor of communication and director of faculty development and research at State University of New York, College at Brockport, and founding chair and professor of communication at California State University, San Bernardino. His research interest is the overlap of culture and conflict studies. His publications include Intercultural Communication: An Introduction (1995) and Win-Win Negotiating: Turning Conflict Into Agreement (1985), which is available in seven languages. He has consulted in the establishment of a community-based mediation service and developed a training program for the California Department of Transportation based on his model of negotiation and conflict. He has extensive experience in organizational training in the areas of intercultural communication and diversity, negotiation and mediation, and other aspects of communication.

    Paul B. Pedersen is a professor in the Department of Human Studies at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Prior to this appointment, he was a professor at Syracuse University in the departments of Counseling and Human Services and of International Relations. He taught at universities in Indonesia and Malaysia and studied Mandarin one year in Taiwan. He holds an M.A. in American studies and an M.S. in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota. He has been on the faculty at both the University of Minnesota and the University of Hawaii where he was also director of a NIMH training grant to develop interculturally skilled counselors. He is a Fellow in three divisions of the American Psychological Association and was president of the Society for Intercultural Education Training and Research. He has published 26 books, 44 chapters, 76 articles, and 19 other monograph-length documents.

    About the Contributors

    Maraya de Jesus Chebat is a depth and transpersonal psychologist, a human development specialist, and a process consultant. She founded the Center for the Management of Core Energy and the Tahanan Wholistic Health Center in the 1980s. She conducts workshops on human development and organizational transformation through body-mind and spiritual integration that leads to wholeness and has authored two books, Core Energy: A Primer on Body-Mind Integration and Core Energy as a Stress Management Program. She was facilitator for the NGO's Earth Summit Conference in Brazil in 1992. Currently, she is a training director for the Propagation of Moral Recovery, a program aimed at mobilizing all Filipinos for nation building through the practical exercise of human values. She and her team conduct transformational leadership training workshops for government officials and for NGO leaders to awaken all to their powers and potential in bringing about a just, humane, and prosperous society, espousing the national goals of a leadership and citizenry that are concerned with love for people, country, environment, and God.

    Julie Foster Smith is of Australian Aborigine and Papua New Guinean descent and has lived and worked among her own people in both countries. She has taught at the University of Sydney and presently teaches inmates in Sydney's Long Bay jail. Through her work she has researched social problems of alcohol, drug abuse, and prisoner rehabilitation. As a member of the Morata Community Development Foundation she has come in contact with women victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

    Lu Guojiang holds a bachelor's degree in law from Fudan (Branch) University and a master's degree in law from Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. In 1987, he was appointed Judge of Shanghai High People's Court. In 1992, he was appointed the same court's Deputy Chief Director of Research Department and in 1994 was appointed its Deputy Chief Judge, Division for Intellectual Property.

    Shir-Shing Huang attended the National Taiwan University from 1978 to 1982 and the Graduate School of East Asian Studies at National Chengchi University, was a junior staff member of the Board of Foreign Trade and a specialist in, and currently a section chief of, the Ministry of Justice.

    Michelle LeBaron received her training in law and counseling psychology and teaches at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. She directed an extensive study from 1990 to 1993 called “Multiculturalism and Dispute Resolution” at the University of Victoria, Canada. She lectures internationally on multicultural, environmental, and public policy conflict resolution and is an experienced mediator and trainer in family, commercial, public policy, and diversity-related disputes. She is author of numerous publications, including Conflict and Culture: A Literature Review and Bibliography (1993), Conflict Analysis and Resolution as Education: Culturally Sensitive Processes for Conflict Resolution (1994), Conflict Resolution for Educators (1994), a chapter titled “The Quest for Qualifications: A Quick Trip Without a Good Map” in Qualifications for Dispute Resolution: Perspectives on the Debate, edited by Catherine Morris and Andrew Pirie (1994), and a coauthored article, with Jim Potts, titled “Story and Legend: Powerful Tools for Conflict Resolution” (1993).

    Madaripur Legal Aid Association was formally founded in 1978 from a small group of volunteer lawyers and social workers who had been offering free legal assistance to the poor in Madaripur. The organization now has a permanent staff and law library and training center. Its objectives include settling disputes through mediation as an alternative to litigation, educating workers about their rights under labor law, protecting women against torture and arbitrary divorce proceedings, educating citizens about their fundamental human rights, and working to reform the law and legal system in Bangladesh. The association provides free legal assistance to the disadvantaged for land, matrimonial, and oppression-type criminal cases and makes every effort to assist helpless women and orphans by providing free legal assistance and access to justice. Its women's welfare project provides economic assistance and loans to divorced, abandoned, widowed, and other poor female clients for small income-generating projects such as making handicrafts and tailoring and raising poultry. A major effort of the association is its Training and Resource Center, which works with mediators, paralegals, legal aid lawyers, human rights workers, and students and teachers in schools and colleges.

    Wan Halim Othman is executive director of HITEC Management, a human resources/mediation consulting group. He received his B.A. from Monash University in Victoria, Australia, and his M.Sc. and doctorate from the University of Bristol in England. He was Dean of Social Sciences and Director of the Centre for Policy Research at the Universiti Sains Malaysia. He has been a research or training consultant for UNICEF, The Asia Foundation, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, and Malaysia's Department of National Unity for more than 10 years. His publications include Perkembangan Awal Kanak-Kanak: Panduan Bagi Pengasuh [Early Child Development: A Guide for Caregivers], Pendidikan Sivik Untuk Belia [Civil Education for Youths], and Asas Bimbingan Individu dan Keluarga [The Basics of Individual and Family Counseling].

    Jagadish C. Pokharel is president of the Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution (CADR), a nongovernmental organization based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He holds a master's degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Hawaii and a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has taught at the Tribhuban University Institute of Engineering in Kathmandu. He was a senior advisor to the United Nations Development Program's decentralization support project in Nepal. He has been senior advisor to the Water and Energy Commission, Ministry of Water Resources, HMG/Nepal. He has published numerous articles on natural resource management, conflict, and security issues, including “Population Displacement and Compensation Planning in Kulekhani Hydroelectric Project” in Development, Displacement, and Resettlement: Focus on Asian Experiments (1995) and Environmental Resource Negotiation Between Unequal Powers: Power Sources of Weaker Nations (1995). His research interests include the role of power in natural resource conflicts at the community and national level. He is currently working on environmental and natural resource management in an interjurisdictional context and particularly the problems along the international borders in the South Asian countries.

    Gauri Pradhan is the founder and president of Child Workers in Nepal Concerned Center (CWIN). He received both his bachelor's degree in commerce and his MBA from Tribhuvan University in Nepal. He is also president of the Defense for Children International—Nepal (DCI) and of the Children at Risk Networking Group (CAR-NWG) and convener of the South Asian regional forum on the rights of children. He is a member of the National Council of Women and Children, the Forum for Protection of Human Rights (FOPHUR), and South Asian Coalition Against Child Servitude. He was writer and resource person for the publications Misery Behind the Looms, Child Labour in Nepal, and Trafficking in Young Girls in Nepal and continues to work for the rights of children and women.

    Ariya Rubasinghe is a senior officer in the Sri Lanka Administrative Service. Prior to his present assignment, he served as secretary to the Mediation Boards Commission and initiated the establishment of 211 mediation boards in the country as an effective system of conflict resolution in the community. Presently, he is director of the Government Information Department and a member of the National Mediation Boards Commission appointed by the president of Sri Lanka.

    Gurmit Singh is an environmentalist, social activist, and engineer. He received his B.E. (electrical) degree from the University of Malaya in 1970 and has been a registered professional engineer and member of the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia since 1974. He has held or holds the positions of executive director of the Centre for Environment, Technology & Development, Malaysia; president of and advisor for the Environmental Protection Society, Malaysia; secretary-general of the National Human Rights Society; member of the Environmental Quality Council, Malaysia; Steering Committee member of Climate Action Network, Southeast Asia; and coordinator for the Malaysian Climate Core Group. In 1993, he received the Langkawi Award from the Malaysian government.

    Chalidaporn Songsamphan is a lecturer on the Faculty of Political Science at Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand. Research interests include conflict resolution, feminism, culture, and the military and politics.

    Eduardo C. Tadem is currently coordinator of the Asian Regional Exchange for New Alternatives, a regional forum of concerned Asian scholars for the promotion of alternative paradigms of development to benefit the continent's vast majority of marginalized populations. He is presently on leave as Assistant Professor of Development Studies at the University of the Philippines, Manila. Over the years, he has published extensively and conducted numerous research projects on, among others, rural development, agrarian reform, peasant movements, plantation economies, foreign aid and investments, development theories, and Philippine-Japan relations.

    Pauline Tangiora has worked for over 40 years with both Maori and Pakeha on issues of peace, justice, and women. Her tribal affiliations are to Rongomiwahine and Kahungunu. As a tribal elder she has taken a leading role in Maori issues concerning the environment, health, education, land rights, and foreign affairs. She is a member of the Earth Council, Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchu Turn's Committee on Indigenous Initiate for Peace, World Council for Indigenous Peoples, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and the Maori Women's Welfare League. She has represented Aotearoa at many international gatherings, including the World Conference on Human Rights and the United Nations Year of Indigenous Peoples, and has published or spoken on Maori perspectives, on conflict resolution, mediation, and negotiation, and on the environment.

    Jayadeva Uyangoda is a human rights and peace activist. He received his B.A. in political science in 1980 and his doctorate in political science in 1986. He is a senior lecturer in political science at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka; director of the Center for Policy Research and Analysis, University of Colombo; and currently chair of the Sri Lanka Foundation, Colombo. He was a founding member of Movement for Inter-Racial Justice and Equality, Sri Lanka, and a founding member of Information Monitoring in Human Rights, Sri Lanka. He is actively involved in the campaign for peace and democracy in Sri Lanka.

    Xue Wang was a lecturer in the Department of Social Science of Northeast University of Technology (now known as Northeast University) in Shenyang, northeastern China, before leaving for Australia in 1991 to begin doctoral studies in the Department of Government and Public Administration. Current research focuses on the social role of Chinese women in contemporary China after 1978.

    Nacha Worawattanamateekul is chief of the Personnel Division in the Office of Judicial Affairs in Thailand. Formerly, she was an assistant general service/general administration officer on the National Economic and Social Development Board in the Office of the Prime Minister of Thailand.

    Masaki Yokoyama is Professor of Asian and Environmental Studies in the Department of Sociology at Shikoku Gakuin University, Kagawa, Japan. He received a B.S. degree in physics and his master's and doctoral degrees in economics from Rikkyo University, Tokyo. He served as coordinator of the open lecture forum of the Anti-Pollution Citizens' Movement at Tokyo University (Jishu-Koza) and as publication coordinator of KOGAINewsletter From Polluted Japan. In 1991, he was a visiting research scholar in the Political Science Department, University of Canterbury, New Zealand and a visiting research fellow at Third World Studies Center, University of the Philippines in 1991–1992. His publications include Japan, Inc. in Asia: A Documentation of Its Operations Through the Philippine Polity, coedited with Akashi Shoten (1992), Shiminrentairon to Shiteno Daisan Sekai [A Theory of Citizens' Solidarity With the Third World], coathored with Jun Kubota and others (1993), and Kankyo Hakai: Shakai Shokagaku No Oto [Environmental Destruction: A Response From the Social Sciences], coauthored with Jun Ui and others (1995). He has been a governing board member of the Peace Studies Association of Japan since 1989.

    Jae Hyun Yoo has a B.S. and M.S. in architecture from Seoul National University and a M.S. and doctorate in urban planning from Columbia University. He taught architecture at Ulsan University, was a research fellow at Columbia, and a housing policy analyst at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development in New York City. From 1988 to 1992, he was director of Hanssam Housing and Environment Research Institute. Currently, he is general secretary of the Citizen's Coalition for Economic Justice (CCEJ), which he helped found in 1989. CCEJ is working for social reform and development of citizens' movement through rational criticism and presentation of concrete policy alternatives, based on the participation of citizens from all sectors and classes. He previously served as executive director of Korea Economic Justice Institute and as chief executive officer of the Center for Environment and Development of CCEJ.

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