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  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: While Bosnia and Herzegovina's time as an international protectorate is ending, which is in itself most welcome, now is the wrong time to rush the transition. The state put together by the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement after a long war will never be secure and able to take its place in the European Union (EU) until it is responsible for the consequences of its own decisions. But tensions are currently high and stability is deteriorating, as Bosniaks and Serbs play a zero-sum game to upset the Dayton settlement. Progress toward EU membership is stalled, and requirements set in 2008 for ending the protectorate have not been not met.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict, Peace Studies, Religion, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Balkans
  • Author: Stanislav Secrieru
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The war in the South Caucasus sent shockwaves throughout the post-Soviet world, European capitals and across the Atlantic, making more urgent the demand for a re-evaluation of policies towards Russia. The projection of hard power in Georgia generated a number of unintended consequences for the Russian state. The crisis and war unveiled many of Russia's weaknesses and vulnerabilities across four crucial dimensions: the military, the 'power vertical' and federalism, the economy and Russia's international position. This paper aims at reassessing Russia's military, political, economic and diplomatic might after the battle in the South Caucasus. The research concludes with proposals for a new Western strategy on Russia and the EU's Eastern Neighbourhood which would ensure an undivided and sustainable European order.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Olga Martin-Ortega, Chandra Lekha Sriram, Johanna Herman
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre on Human Rights in Conflict
  • Abstract: Following the end of violent conflicts, whether by military victory or negotiated settlement, international actors such as the European Union and the United Nations play an increasing role in peacebuilding, through a range of security, governance, and development activities. These may or may not be mandated by a peace agreement or other formal settlement, and may or may not follow or work in tandem with a peacekeeping mission. International, regional, national, and local actors may work in a more or less collaborative, or coherent fashion. Nonetheless, many of the key challenges of peacebuilding remain the same, and a familiar set of policies and strategies have emerged in contemporary practice to address these. Chief among the challenges of contemporary peacebuilding is that of addressing demands for some form of accountability, often termed transitional justice (discussed in section 3). However, as this guidance paper explains, the demands of transitional justice and its relation to broader peacebuilding activities, involve not just decisions about accountability, but a complex set of policy and institutional choices about security and governance as well. Thus, this guidance paper examines peacebuilding and transitional justice as a set of linked policies and strategies regarding not just accountability, but security sector reform (SSR), disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants, and development of the rule of law.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Government, Peace Studies, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Nona Mikhelidze
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Following the war between Georgia and Russia in August 2008 and the ensuing Russian recognition of independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the Caucasus has risen again on the Euro-Atlantic security agenda. First, the war highlighted that the “frozen” nature of the South Caucasus conflicts was a chimera, even if the war may have entrenched further the frozen nature of peace processes in the region. Second, the crisis generated new sources of instability for the entire post-Soviet space, not only because it highlighted a new form of Russian revisionism but also because it brought to the fore the limits of Western policies in what Kremlin views as its sphere of influence. The war brought to the forefront the colliding foreign policy agendas of the major external actors in the region. Not only in the run-up to the war, but also in the months and years preceding it, the American and European responses to Russia have been firm in rhetoric but compromising in reality. Russia made it clear that it has it own claims over the South Caucasus, it demonstrated its readiness to embark on military confrontation in order to achieve its goals, and through the war it wished to make crystal clear to the international community that Moscow is the only game in town. Third and related, the war exposed the inability of the West to prevent Russia from moving aggressively to restore its primacy over the former Soviet Union's territory. Thus the August war posed new implications and challenges not only for Georgia, but also for the wider Caucasus and beyond. This new context has induced the West to react and redefine its strategy towards the region and its relations with Russia, it has raised the urgency to engage in conflict resolution issues, and it has highlighted further the need for energy diversification.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Europe, Moscow, Abkhazia
  • Author: Natalino Ronzitti
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: On August 30 2008, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi flew to Benghazi to sign the Treaty on Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation between Italy and Libya, concluding the long negotiating process that began under previous Italian governments and was accelerated by the current administration. The Treaty was meant to put an end to the dispute between the two countries and Libya's claims relating to Italian colonialism. In greeting Colonel Muammar Gheddafi, Berlusconi expressed his regret for the colonial period in very strong terms.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Post Colonialism, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Libya, North Africa, Italy
  • Author: Selbi Hanova
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: On 22-23 September 2008, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Academy, Bishkek, organised a forum for security policy experts from Eurasia, East and South-East Asia, Europe and the United States, to analyse and discuss the continued interaction of key regional security dynamics and functional issues in Central Asia over 2008. A series of panels identified major emergent themes, linkages and trends, and reflected on their strategic impact and security policy implications. The focus included panels on the Afghan factor and Georgian crisis in Central Asian security politics, energy geopolitics, the role of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the region, as well as US and Russian policies towards Central Asia. The seminar highlighted and analysed some of the key security tendencies and practical aspects of security in the region including emerging trends and themes, their interplay and contradictions as well as their likely strategic influence and consequences.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Central Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Three decades of efforts to reunify Cyprus are about to end, leaving a stark choice ahead between a hostile, de facto partition of the island and a collaborative federation between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities living in two constituent states. Most actors agree that the window of opportunity for this bicommunal, bizonal settlement will close by April 2010, the date of the next Turkish Cypriot elections, when the pro-settlement leader risks losing his office to a more hardline candidate. If no accord is reached by then, it will be the fourth major set of UN-facilitated peace talks to fail, and there is a widespread feeling that if the current like-minded, pro-solution Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders cannot compromise on a federal solution, nobody can. To avoid the heavy costs this would entail for all concerned, the two leaders should stand shoulder to shoulder to overcome domestic cynicism and complete the talks, Turkey and Greece must break taboos preventing full communication with both sides on the island, and European Union (EU) states must rapidly engage in support of the process to avoid the potential for future instability if they complacently accept continuation of the dispute. A real chance still exists in 2009-2010 to end.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Kosovo's independence declaration on 17 February 2008 sent shock waves through Serbia's politics and society, polarising the former in a manner not seen since the Milosevic era. Rioting led to attacks on nine Western embassies, destruction of foreign property and massive looting. The government fell on 10 March, split over whether to pursue a nationalist or pro-Western path. Belgrade's efforts to create a de facto partitioning of the north of Kosovo threaten the new state's territorial integrity and challenge deployment of European Union (EU) missions there, and Serbian parliamentary and local elections on 11 May are unlikely to change the basic policy towards the new state, even in the unlikely event a pro-Western government comes to power. They may, however, well give Serbia's nationalist parties new leverage.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Nationalism, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The North Caucasus (Russian) Republic of Dagestan has avoided large-scale violence despite its proximity to Chechnya but is now suffering from escalating street warfare. Several hundred local and federal security forces, administrators, politicians, ministers and journalists have been killed since 2003. The militant Islamist organisation Shariat Jamaat is responsible for much of the violence. Some of its leaders fought in Chechnya, but its extremist propaganda is also attracting unemployed Dagestani youth. This home-grown extremism, espousing jihadi theology and employing terrorist methods, is a new phenomenon. Police efforts to end the street war have been ineffective and in some instances counter-productive. While supporting loyal local elites, Moscow can help halt the increase in violence if it implements an efficient anti-corruption policy and reintegrates youth into the economic and political system.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Civil Society, Corruption, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: A new peace process in Cyprus offers the best opportunity in decades to solve the intractable division of the island. The turnabout is largely due to the surprise election of Demetris Christofias to the Greek Cypriot presidency. He, together with his Turkish Cypriot counterpart, Mehmet Ali Talat, are demonstrating political will to make the current UN-mediated talks succeed. Key players like Turkey are being constructive. The outside world, particularly the UN and European Union (EU), needs to fully engage in support of a comprehensive settlement that will improve Cypriot security and prosperity, free Turkey to continue its movement into Europe and overcome a problem that is increasingly damaging to EU policy in the region and beyond.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, International Political Economy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Europe, United Nations