Hybrid Activities: Helping or Hindering Order at Sea

Ocean Dialogue is one of the flagship cooperation programs between Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Vietnam and Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV). Each Ocean Dialogue goes into a carefully set out topic. Since 2017, ten dialogues have been organized with a wide range of topics such as Ocean Governance in the South China Sea, fisheries cooperation, plastic waste management, environment sustainability etc…and received many positive responses from international and national scholars, researchers in relevant fields. The series of Ocean Dialogue intends to raise the importance of the maritime/sea/ocean by building up the knowledge and looking at it from different angles. Maritime issues are of great importance to the countries around the South China Sea, which affect their economic, political, environmental and security context. Not only regionally is this topic of relevance, it is of equal importance to the global community.



The 11th Ocean Dialogue
The 11th Ocean Dialogue
Session 1: Hybrid Activities from Myths to Realities.


Hybrid activities were introduced in the early 2000s, referring to the combined use of conventional and unconventional means (both conventional and unconventional techniques) in a wide range of dimensions (on land, in the air, or at sea; on the battlefield or in the political arena, physical or cyberspace) by various actors (from armed forces, academics, to irregular actors such as militia or bloggers) in order to win a competitive situation. In terms of academia, the concept of hybrid activities is still undergoing debates due to its ambiguous nature. It is particularly relevant to the range of tactics and activities that can be included in a hybrid strategy (some even include information diplomacy and lawfare as hybrid tools). The use of hybrid activities has already become widespread around the world. Session 1 will include case studies and typical hybrid activities, as well as possible scenarios, followed by a discussion of lessons learned.


Session 2: Identifying Non – Kinetic Toolbox of Hybrid Threats


A growing trend in hybrid activities is the use of non-kinetic techniques, which refer to methods other than direct military action (such as economic warfare, information warfare, or lawfare, etc...). Hybrid warfare is also characterized by the important role of non-state actors, which could consist of militias, armed groups, and private security companies. In this session, panelists will discuss various non-kinetic, non-military aspects of hybrid warfare and gray zone operations.


Session 3: High-technology - A Key Enabler of Hybrid Threats?


The rapid development of high technology, such as the Internet of Things, big data and artificial intelligence, has greatly simplified life in many ways. Nevertheless, they can also offer new weapons for warfare and create new battlefields in a hybrid or gray zone environment. Session 3 focuses on the relationship between hybrid warfare and new technologies. As an example, how has the cyberspace been used (or misused) as a new battlefield between nations and how have autonomous vehicles become such an important weapon that could determine the outcome of a conflict?


Session 4: Policy and legal recommendations to manage hybrid activities


Once the threats posed by hybrid warfare and gray zone operations have been explored, the central question for international policy-makers is how to manage hybrid activities. In this manner, nations are able to take full advantage of the advances in science and technology without opening a Pandora's box filled with more deadly and dangerous weapons of war. At Session 4, panelists and participants will have the opportunity to discuss policy and legal recommendations for managing threats associated with hybrid and gray zone activities.


11th July 2023

08.00 – 8.30 Registration

08.30 – 08.45 Welcome remark & Photo session

09.00 – 10.30 Session 1: Hybrid Activities from Myths to Realities.

Moderator: Dr. Nguyen Hung Son

Vice President, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam


          - Captain navy Sukjoon Yoon

         Senior Fellow, Korea Institute for Military Affairs, Republic of Korea (retired)

          - Commodore Debesh Lahiri

         Executive Director, National Maritime Foundation, India

          - Representative from DAV (TBC)

          - Dr. Peter Layton (TBC)

         Griffith Institute, Australia  


10:45 - 12:15 Session 2: Identifying Non – Kinetic Toolbox of Hybrid Threats

Moderator: (TBC)


          - Dr. Iryna Bodganova

            Postdoctoral Researcher, World Trade Institute, Switzerland

          - Captain Tian Shi Chen

            President of the Global Governance Institute, China

          - Prof. Hideshi Tokuchi

           President, Research Institute of Peace and Security, Japan

          - Prof. James Kraska

          Naval War College, the USA

14:00 - 15:30 Session 3: High-technology - A Key Enabler of Hybrid Threats?

Moderator: Florian C. Feyerabend

Resident Representative, KAS Vietnam


           - Dr. June Osawa

              Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Nakasone Peace  Institute, Japan

           - Prof. Robert Beckman

             Center for International Law, NUS, Singapore

          - Mr Ferdinand Alexander Gehringer (online)

             Policy Advisor Homeland and Cybersecurity Department International Politics and Security Affairs,

             Division Analysis and  Consulting,  Konrad- Adenauer-Stiftung, Germany

         - Dr. Rajeswari Pillai Rajapagopalan

           Director of the Center for Security, Strategy and Technology, Observer  Research Foundation, India


15.45 - 17:15 Session 4: Policy and legal recommendations to manage hybrid activities

Moderator: TBC


            - Dr. Tharishini Krishnan

             Senior Researcher, National Defence University, Malaysia

            - Mr. Neil Silva

              Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, Philippines

           - Prof. Achmad Gusman Siswandi

              Universitas Padjadjaran, Faculty of Law, Indonesia

           - Dr. Alexandre Lott

           Norwegian Center for the Law of the Sea



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Vu Thi Thu Phuong


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