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Conflicts of the South Caucasus

a case study of failed third party mediation in intractable conflicts
Nominatie H/Link Afstudeerprijs 2013

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Conflicts of the South Caucasus

a case study of failed third party mediation in intractable conflicts
Nominatie H/Link Afstudeerprijs 2013

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Samenvatting

The South Caucasus compromises the states of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. It is a volatile region, distressed by ethno political conflicts which erupted after the fall of the powerful USSR.
Free from Russian domination, the peoples of the South Caucasus - Armenians, Azerbaijanis and Georgians - started gaining independence in the beginning of the nineties. After living under a certain Soviet identity, these countries soon supported their own nationalism which caused fragmentation rather than consolidation. The minorities living alongside the majorities alienated themselves and finally also raised their voice for independence. Ethnic wars in Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno Karabakh followed causing deaths, a massive displacement of people and great suffering. Victories of the minorities led to the unrecognized independence of these secessionist states. The three conflicts are frozen along shaky ceasefires lines. Despite efforts made by international organizations none of the three is close to a solution. International law does not provide a clear solution as the conflicts swing between territorial integrity of the states and the
right to self-determination.
The Caucasian countries are surrounded by regional powers such as Iran, the Russian Federation and Turkey, located on the invisible borders of Europe and Asia and influenced by Western powers: the United States and the European Union countries. In this respect, the South Caucasus has been at the center of geopolitical rivalries. To an extent, the oil and gas reserves in the Caspian
sea, controlled in the Azerbaijani sector have augmented the regional interest and with that the political and economical influence in the region.
Instability, the influence of uncontrolled territories and corruption have caused a wave of crime in the South Caucasus. The region is a patch between the North Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East. It has become a route for illegal trade in arms, drugs and human beings and this illegal money fuels the secessionist republics in Georgia and Azerbaijan. Their internal and external problems have worsened because of the influence of the regional powers. These powerful countries have taken advantage of the conflicts to secure their own influence over the weaker Caucasian states while trying to take control over the energy resources. In this perspective, third
party mediation, which swings between dialogue and deadlock, has become doubtful. Egocentric regional interest is greater than the wish to solve the conflicts.
The combination of all these unstable factors lead to a dangerous situation within the Caucasian states in a volatile region. The three intractable conflicts are always at risk of escalating and
erupting again. Moreover, events evolving in this region will always have a influence on the South Caucasus.

Toon meer
OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
AfdelingESC Europese Studies / European Studies
Jaar2012
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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