Mikael Weissmann is a visiting fellow at CSGR from the School of Global Studies of University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He will stay at CSGR October 2007 – June 2008 as part of the GARNET mobility scheme. Weissmann is a doctoral candidate in Peace and Development Research and he holds a M.Soc.Sci. in Peace and Conflict Studies from Uppsala University and a BA in International Relations and Economics from the University of Queensland, Australia.
He has published on conflict prevention and peacebuilding in East Asia with focus on the role and impact of regionalisation, 2nd & 3rd track diplomacy and informal networks, as well as conflict prevention, -management and -resolution theory. Previously he has been a visiting fellow at Peking University, Renmin University, and China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, where he has been doing field work as well as teaching international relations, research methods, conflict prevention and conflict management, and case-study based negotiation and mediation.
At CSGR he will work on his dissertation project on the role and impact of informal processes, structures and institutions in East Asian conflict prevention and peacebuilding. The project will develop an understanding of the role and impact of the cross-border interactions that goes beyond the formal peacebuilding, conflict prevention and conflict management mechanisms. The aim is to identify and understand the informal processes and the related structures and mechanisms, which have helped prevent and manage the existing conflicts and which are the key for the creation of a continuing peace in East Asia. The main question asked is: "How and to what extent do informal processes and their related structures and institutions play a role in- and have a impact on conflict prevention and peacebuilding in the East Asian regional security setting?". The project focus on the medium and long term perspective and the cases used are the Taiwan Issue, ASEAN + 3, and The Korean Peninsula.
The projects preliminary findings indicate that the driving force and common denominator behind most informal processes can be found in the web of cross-border micro- and macroregionalisation in East Asia. In particular four informal processes manifesting from regionalisation seems to be of importance: 1. cultural and social regionalisation; 2. economic integration and interdependence; 3. cross-border microregionalisation; and 4. people-to-people contacts and personal (informal) networks. Also 2nd & 3rd track diplomacy has been found to be of importance, although its link to regionalisation is so far less clear.