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  • Author: John Karlsrud, Adam C. Smith
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: In a break from recent tradition, European member states are currently contributing significant military capabilities to a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operation in Africa. Europeans are providing more than 1,000 troops to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) by staffing a wide range of operations including an intelligence fusion cell, transport and attack aircraft, and special forces. Yet for European troop-contributing countries (TCCs) that have spent several years working in North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) operations in Afghanistan, participating in a UN mission has been a process of learning and adaptation. For the UN, the contributions of key capabilities by European countries have pushed the UN system to adjust to the higher expectations of the new European TCCs, which has proved difficult in Mali’s complicated operating environment and political situation.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, NATO, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Teresa Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Violence at the hands of the Basque separatist organization ETA was for many years an anomalous feature of Spain’s transition to democracy. This report, which draws on the author’s book Endgame for ETA: Elusive Peace in the Basque Country (Hurst and Oxford University Press, 2014), explains why this was the case, examines both the factors that contributed to ETA’s October 2011 announcement of an end to violence and the obstacles encountered in moving forward from that announcement to disarmament and dissolution, and extracts lessons relevant for other contexts.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Armed Struggle, Territorial Disputes, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: Dr. Jose de Arimateia da Cruz
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: While the rest of the world is concerned about the refugee crisis in Europe, the conflict in Syria, and the potential contenders in the U.S. presidential elections of 2016, there is a brewing dispute between Guyana and Venezuela in Latin America. As a result of this diverted attention, there are few reports regarding the instability of an already fragile region. The dispute between the two nations centers on the lands west of the Essequibo River of Guyana. This stretch of land covers 40 percent of Guyana’s sovereign territory and, according to experts, is rich in gold, bauxite, diamonds, and other natural resources. The dispute over control of the Essequibo region was initially settled by international arbitration in 1899, awarding the Guyana Government the region. However, the Venezuelan Government has rejected the final decision granting Guyana the Essequibo region; and, since the 19th century, it has been laying claim to this vast mineral rich area, alleging that the decision was fraudulent and therefore null (see map of Guyana)
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Natural Resources, Territorial Disputes, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America, Venezuela, Guyana
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The peace process to end the 30-year-old insurgency of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) against Turkey's government is at a turning point. It will either collapse as the sides squander years of work, or it will accelerate as they commit to real convergences. Both act as if they can still play for time – the government to win one more election, the PKK to further build up quasi-state structures in the country's predominantly- Kurdish south east. But despite a worrying upsurge in hostilities, they currently face few insuperable obstacles at home and have two strong leaders who can still see the process through. Without first achieving peace, they cannot cooperate in fighting their common enemy, the jihadi threat, particularly from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Increasing ceasefire violations, urban unrest and Islamist extremism spilling over into Turkey from regional conflicts underline the cost of delays. Both sides must put aside external pretexts and domestic inertia to compromise on the chief problem, the Turkey-PKK conflict inside Turkey.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, War, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Christel Vincentz Rasmussen
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The EU is currently working at defining a comprehensive approach linking development and other instruments in external action. The Lisbon Treaty has contributed to a reorganisation of the institutions in Brussels, affecting crisis management structures and the organisation of external relations. Comprehensive approaches are not new in the EU system, in particular an integrated approach for conflict prevention and a concept for civil–military coordination were developed in the 2000s. However, a forthcoming communication on a comprehensive approach in external action constitutes an occasion to clarify and operationalise the approach in a new, post-Lisbon, institutional setting as well as consolidating the formal EU commitment to working comprehensively.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Security, Foreign Policy, Development, Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Europe, Brussels
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Eastern Mediterranean tensions have risen since late 2011, when Greek Cypriots unilaterally began drilling in their rich offshore hydrocarbon reserves and Turkey responded with tough criticism and threatening naval manoeuvres. Contested maritime boundaries and exploration of natural gas deposits off the divided island are the sources of the current dispute, but tensions also result from the slow-down of UN-mediated Cyprus reunification talks. A paradigm shift is needed. The gas can drive the communities further apart and increase discords, or it can provide an opportunity for officials from all sides, including Turkey, to sit down and reach agreements on the exploitation and transportation of this new find.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, NATO, Energy Policy, International Political Economy, Natural Resources, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Heidi Hardt
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Peace and Security Studies
  • Abstract: The speed with which international organizations establish peace operations impacts prospects for sustainable peace. In this paper, I explain why some organizations take longer than others to answer calls for intervention. I identify the role of informal relations in a literature that has long favored formality and challenge realist assumptions that intergovernmental decision-making depends strictly on national interests. Based on personal interviews with 50 ambassadors at four regional organizations, I show that differences in response rates largely depend on the strength of interpersonal relations amongst decision-makers. Despite having superior funding, the European Union remains the slowest organization to react because of its highly formalistic culture. Informal bonds of trust help account for the speed with which organizations are able to respond to crises.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, International Organization, Peace Studies, War, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Rossella Marangio
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The long-lasting Somali conflict is profoundly linked to the country's historical development and its socio-cultural specificities. The political milieu and the struggle for power in Somalia reflect the cleavage between tradition and modernity. This rift has led to a legitimacy vacuum, which has made it difficult for the warring parties to find enough common ground for a compromise. Furthermore, external influences, at both regional and international levels, have contributed to the fragmentation of the political arena, due notably to the emphasis on the use of force as the principal tool for acquiring or maintaining power. In this unfolding crisis, regional pressures and rivalries, international interventions, economic and strategic interests as well as piracy, corruption and Islamic extremism all play an interlocking role. In view of this, a new approach to the crisis is badly needed. The EU, in particular, should promote a new strategy based on three components: enhancement of social cohesion through local cooperation programmes, state-building and development.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Islam, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Somalia
  • Author: Susan Hayward
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The field of religious peacebuilding has begun to move closer to the mainstream of conflict resolution practice and theory. The 2011 unrest in the Middle East and North Africa—the Arab Spring—reflects ongoing challenges and opportunities for the field. American and European nongovernmental organizations, agencies in the U.S. government, academia, and international organizations—sectors that once held religious issues at a distance or understood religion mainly as a driver of violence—increasingly engage religious communities and institutions as partners in creating peace. Meanwhile, religious organizations that have been involved in creating peace for decades, if not longer, increasingly have institutionalized and professionalized their work, suggesting ways that religious and secular organizations could coordinate their efforts more closely. The U.S. Institute of Peace's own programs on religion reflect the development of the wider field, having moved from research and analysis to on-the-ground programming to foster interfaith dialogue in the Balkans, Nigeria, Israel-Palestine, and Sudan. In addition, it has trained religious actors in conflict management in Sri Lanka, Iraq, and Colombia and developed peace curricula based on Islamic principles for religious and secular schools in Pakistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and elsewhere. As the U.S. field of religious peacebuilding continues to develop, challenges include integrating further with secular peacebuilding efforts, engaging women and youth and addressing their priorities, working more effectively with non-Abrahamic religious traditions, and improving evaluation, both to show how religious peacebuilding can reduce and resolve conflict and to strengthen the field's ability to do so.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Islam, Peace Studies, Religion, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe, Arabia
  • Author: Pasqualina Lepore
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In the context of the ongoing EU-mediated dialogue, Serbia and Kosovo have reached several agreements, the most important of which being that on regional representation and cooperation. Also known as the “asterisk agreement”, the agreement reached in February 2012 allows Kosovo to represent itself at all regional meetings with the nameplate of “Kosovo*”. While widely appreciated by the international community, it has generated divergent interpretations in Belgrade and Pristina and has provoked turmoil in both countries. On the whole, the agreement has enhanced Kosovo's and Serbia's path towards the EU, with the mandate for a feasibility study for the former and EU candidacy for the latter being achieved. However, the agreement has not addressed the key bones of contention between the parties, namely North Kosovo and Pristina's status. As a result, the situation remains unsustainable and a more comprehensive solution needs to be found.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Balkans