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  • Author: Wesley K. Clark
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Brown Journal of World Affairs
  • Abstract: The countries of Southeast Europe contain numerous ethnic groups that are united by shared geography but divided by language, history, and culture. These nations are located at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, and, for centuries, were subjected to Turkish invasion, Austro-Hungarian resistance, Russian Pan-Slavism, Venetian culture along the Adriatic coast, and the respective weights of Islam, Roman Catholicism, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. Melding these groups into the state of Yugoslavia at the 1919 Versailles Peace Conference proved only a temporary solution: with the death of Yugloslav President Josip Tito in 1980, the fractionating forces became dominant, and by 1991, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, and Bosnia were each struggling to secede or survive against a Serb-dominated Serbia-Montenegro.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Humanitarian Intervention, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, Kosovo, Yugoslavia
  • Author: Benjamin Lieberman, Zeynep Bulutgil
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: In The Roots of Ethnic Cleansing in Europe, Zeynep Bulutgil questions prevailing interpretations of the origins of ethnic cleansing and provides an innovative interpretation that will itself prompt further debate about the balance between factors that might block ethnic cleansing as well as active causes of cleansing. The work poses an important and often overlooked question: instead of focusing on factors that have caused ethnic cleansing, why not instead also chart factors that have precluded ethnic cleansing?
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, History, Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Soviet Union, Yugoslavia
  • Author: Aneta Nowakowska-Krystman, Marzena Zakowska
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: Kosovo has been one of the longest-running ethnic conflicts in contemporary Europe. It can be characterized by the diverse nature of the participating entities and the heterogeneous complexity of their interactions. These aspects violently surfaced during the civil war that lasted for almost two years, from 1998 to 1999. One of the major frameworks for viewing and analyzing the conflict, as well as one capable of seeing to its ultimate resolution, appears to be an assessment of the issues through the conceptual lens of “stakeholders.” This focuses on the specific investments or “stakes”—be they economic, ethnic, historic, or cultural—that each of the participants “holds” in generating the scene of the conflict. This lens provides a significant focus, and is one of the more important research methods employed within the domain of strategic analysis.
  • Topic: Civil War, Ethnic Conflict, Violence, Post Cold War
  • Political Geography: Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Southeast Europe
  • 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: Erwan Fouéré
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Macedonia is a country in deep trouble. Under a veneer of normality lies a climate of deep mistrust between all the political parties and between the main ethnic communities. Several incidents of inter-ethnic violence took place in the capital city earlier this year and are on the increase. Political dialogue, insofar as it exists between the parties, remains confrontational.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Corruption, Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Europe's deadliest conflicts are in Russia's North Caucasus region, and the killing is unlikely to end soon. The state has fought back against attacks, first claimed by Chechen separatists, now the work of jihad-inspired insurgents, that have hit Moscow, other major cities and many Caucasus communities. But its security-focused counter-insurgency strategy is insufficient to address the multiple causes of a conflict fed by ethnic, religious, political and economic grievances that need comprehensive, flexible policy responses. Moscow is increasingly aware of the challenge and is testing new approaches to better integrate a region finally brought into the Russian Empire only in the nineteenth century and that has historically been a problem for the Russian state. Diversity in religion, ethnicity, historical experience and political allegiances and aspirations complicate efforts to alleviate local tensions and integrate it more with the rest of the country. Understanding this pluralism is essential for designing and implementing policies and laws that advance conflict re solution rather than make differences more irreconcilable.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Ethnic Conflict, Islam, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Moscow
  • Author: Bilgin Ayata
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Kolleg-Forschergruppe (KFG)
  • Abstract: Turkey has undergone significant legal and institutional reforms regarding minority rights and cultural rights in the past decade as part of a reform process to meet political criteria for EU membership. However, it has not been studied so far if this increasing institutional compliance has also led to transformations at a normative level in the public discourse in Turkey. To explore this question, this paper presents the results of a qualitative media analysis that I conducted on the restoration and reopening of an Armenian church in 2007 – a milestone for the Republic as churches were destroyed or doomed to vanish for nearly a century since the Armenian Genocide in 1915. The restoration of the Sourp Khatch/Akhtamar Church became a showcase for Turkey's self-promotion as a 'tolerant nation'. However, the church was notably made accessible to the public as a museum that initially lacked the cross on its dome and was conceived to only host a religious service once a year. This opening of a church-museum is a symbolic instance in Turkey's ongoing transformation process in which tolerance and plurality have become prominent keywords in politics and public debate. Yet, as the findings suggest, they do not so as a reflection of European norms, but rather stand for a rediscovery and reinterpretation of Turkey's Ottoman past practices as a multi-religious empire. I show, however, that this reinterpretation occurs on the shaky grounds of a blindfolded view of the past, in particular the denial of the Armenian Genocide, and on the denial that minorities are still endangered in present day Turkey. I conclude that, without an acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide, Turkey's nostalgic embracement of the Ottoman past and representation of norms such as tolerance as the 'true' Turkish/Islamic norms do not stand for a norm internalization or a norm adaption process, but instead, for a disconnection between norm and practice.
  • Topic: Civil War, Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Gözde Yilmaz
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Kolleg-Forschergruppe (KFG)
  • Abstract: Considering the recent developments in the EU member states, such as French dismantling of Roma camps, minority protection within the EU has increasingly become questionable. Although the EU often neglects the track record of member states' records in minority rights, minority protection has increasingly received EU's attention in the accession process of Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs). Minority discontent as a potential threat to the stability of Europe in the aftermath of the Cold War has triggered the EU to focus on minority rights. However, the improvement of minority rights in candidate countries remains limited, especially considering the implementation of minority rules adopted in the pre-accession process.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Islam, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Johanna Nykänen
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Kurdish question in Turkey is one of the most pressing issues facing the EU in its near neighbourhood. It involves a rights-based dimension caused by the lack of cultural rights and freedoms for the Kurds, and a security dimension caused by the violent conflict between the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Turkish military. It has the potential to destabilise Turkey as well as its Kurdish-inhabited neighbours of Iran, Iraq and Syria, with ramifications for Turkey's EU membership negotiations and the EU 's foreign-policy goals in the region. The EU is also directly intertwined with the issue, not least because of its large and active Kurdish diaspora. As such, the EU has a major stake in finding a solution to the question.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Jacques Rupnik (ed)
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: Today, more than fifteen years after the end of the wars of Yugoslavia's dissolution, the 'Balkan question' remains more than ever a 'European question'. In the eyes of many Europeans in the 1990s, Bosnia was the symbol of a collective failure, while Kosovo later became a catalyst for an emerging Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). In the last decade, with the completion of the process of redrawing the map of the region, the overall thrust of the EU's Balkans policy has moved from an agenda dominated by security issues related to the war and its legacies to an agenda focused on the perspective of the Western Balkan states' accession to the European Union, to which there has been a formal political commitment on the part of all EU Member States since the Thessaloniki Summit in June 2003. The framework was set, the political elites in the region were – at least verbally – committed to making Europe a priority and everyone was supposedly familiar with the policy tools thanks to the previous wave of Eastern enlargement. With the region's most contentious issues apparently having been defused, the EU could move from stability through containment towards European integration.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Ethnic Conflict, Political Economy, Sectarian violence, Self Determination
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Balkans