Conflict and the Consequences of Isolation: A Comparative Study

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"Meanwhile, the current focus in both the policy-making and academic worlds on unrecognized states is one which problematizes them. In the former realm, unrecognized states are regarded as black-holes in the international system, and are conceptualized as security threats which are ideal homes for criminal and terrorist organizations. In the latter realm, unrecognized states are either regarded as undefined variables, which leads scholars to look for ontological conceptualizations, or as marginal entities which have certain types of interaction with normal entities and which are in need of reintegration to the international system.[ii] Likewise, many theories of social action and conflict resolution, such as Skocpol’s structural theories[iii] or Tarrow’s grassroots theories,[iv] and Galtung’s theories of structural violence[v], treat the nation-state as a sine-qua-non factor which is both central and constant in socio-political life. None of these approaches can currently capture the unique internal and external dynamics of unrecognized states, wherefore they also fail to understand, explain, and provide resolution to their structural problems and conflicts. This article aims to address this gap in the literature."


This article was originally published in The Caucasus Edition: Journal of Conflict Transformation in 2012.

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