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Peace and Conflict: Engineering Responsibilities and Opportunities

Author(s): Robert J. Muscat

Journal: International Journal of Engineering, Social Justice, and Peace
ISSN 1927-9434

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 3;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: conflict prevention | engineering ethics | peacebuilding

In many conflicts, the consequences of engineering projects are among the problems at issue, and engineers are unavoidably parties to the problems. Engineers need to raise their awareness of the potential effects of their projects, especially in situations of serious social and political contention, and to explore alternative designs or engineering solutions, and methods of implementation, that may ameliorate rather than exacerbate tensions. Engineers will also need to dialogue effectively with the many stakeholders affected if these projects are to be politically viable and achieve their technical purposes. The paper draws on several case studies of engineering projects in conflict situations, especially in developing countries. The article offers a check list of factors to take into account when designing and locating power, irrigation, mining, transport, and other types of engineering projects, in areas of conflict or potential conflict. The focus of the paper is primarily, but not entirely, on social conflict.
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