Myanmar/Burma Project

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AC4 DST Fellow Nikolas Katsimpras and AC4 associate and SIPA graduate Stephen Gray embarked on a field project in Myanmar/Burma, aiming to identify key elements that could enhance or threaten the sustainability of the positive change underway, particularly with respect to national reconciliation. The methodology they used was based on Dynamical Systems Theory (DST), a paradigm pioneered at Columbia University that provides powerful tools to characterize complex systems and identify the factors that shape them and influence their degree of stability. The value of this methodology is that researchers and participants can envision not just how positive change can be achieved, but how it can be sustained, expanded and stabilized over time. Nikolas and Stephen conducted the field research in June and July of 2012.  Their work is considered as pilot research for a longer term project. Their methodology is refined with the support of Dynamical Systems Theory Application Group of AC4.

Scholarship Generated By the Myanmar/Burma Project

Finding latent peace capacities in Burma – Part 1
Stephen Gray
Columbia University

Finding latent peace capacities in Burma – Part 2
Stephen Gray
Columbia University

Stephen Gray presented the Myanmar/Burma Project’s research findings at the 2012 International Association of Conflict Management (IACM) Conference held in Stellenbosch, South Africa from July 11-14, 2012.

If you have any questions regarding “Finding latent peace capacities in Burma” or would like to learn more about this research, please contact Stephen Gray at

Myanmar/Burma Project Researchers

Nikolas Katsimpras is a retired lieutenant of the Hellenic Navy, living in New York. While in the navy Nikolas was deployed in numerous operations around the world, such as the civilian evacuation of Beirut in 2006, and he specialized in operation intelligence. He is currently a candidate at the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Masters program of Columbia University, specializing in international conflicts and dynamical systems. Nikolas is a research member of the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Teachers College, Columbia University and a Dynamic Systems Theory Fellow at the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity at the Earth Institute. In 2004, he was the third place award recipient at the International Competition for Military Academies on the Law of Armed Conflict at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law. Follow Nikolas at the Huffington Post.

Stephen Gray is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Fulbright Scholar, and an Associate of Columbia University’s Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity (AC4). Stephen has consulted for UNDPKO and has worked for the New Zealand Mission to the UN, UNICEF, the PBSO, UNDP and DPKO in the United States, Liberia, Cambodia and South Sudan. Previously, Stephen consulted to the New Zealand government and worked as a journalist in the developing world. Stephen has been to Myanmar twice and has written extensively on the country. He is a trained mediator and has written extensively on conflict, both academically and as a journalist. His last research assignment using this research methodology was in Jonglei State, South Sudan in 2011.

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