The limitations of imagining peace : the relative success and failure of international organisations and the Georgian-Abkhaz and Moldovan-Transnistrian conflicts, 1992-2013
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This thesis comparatively analyses dilemmas arising from the unresolved Georgian-Abkhazian and Moldovan-Transnistrian conflicts. The many existing differences in the nature and dynamics of each conflict point to a sui generis situation, yet, many similarities also exist, including Soviet era legacies. The research premise is based on very considerable resourcing being dedicated to the resolution of these conflicts since their inception, yet no significant conflict transformation (Abkhazia has Russian recognition) has occurred, let alone peace. Given the mandate from the OSCE, EU and UN, the purpose of the thesis is to analyse their involvement. While evidence – local vested interests and strategic interests – illustrates the obvious obstructions, the thesis focuses on the IOs and asks why no tangible successes were achieved. This is done by critically analysing their performance, by assuming that success is often overlooked and by identifying a range of misperceptions. Therefore, by considering conflict transformation and engaging in analysis of many sources, including documents and about five-dozen interviews, the thesis reappraises the ethno-national origins, the geopolitical dimension and the entrenched conflicting party positions in the context of pan-European actors’ responses. The analyses of the comparative peace processes illuminate the IOs' own challenges in reaching consensus as well as on the conflicting parties’ competing narratives. Answering the question of what to produce first – a political solution to improve societal conditions, or the pursuing exercise of confidence-building measures (CBMs) to settle the status question – is part of the objective. I argue that a typology of success and failure more comprehensively explains IO performance between 1992 and the EU’s Vilnius Summit in 2013.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2022-09-18
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 18th September 2022
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