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Conflict and development

Conflict and development

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Apr. 2007 – The impacts of military conflict and conflict prevention on development in Crimea and the Balkans. Focus on development programs as a prevention tool, development opportunities in reconstruction, and security reform.
Apr. 2007 – The impacts of military conflict and conflict prevention on development in Crimea and the Balkans. Focus on development programs as a prevention tool, development opportunities in reconstruction, and security reform.

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Published by: UNDP in Europe and Central Asia on Jul 31, 2014
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Conflict andDevelopment
Many of the countries of the Western Balkans and Common-wealth of Independent States (CIS) during the past 15 yearshave had to respond to challenges of ‘transitionin two keysenses: as loci of great political and economic transforma-tions, and as victims of costly military conflicts. Successfullynegotiating the economic and political transitions in thisregion has proven difficult enough, even in countries nottouched by military conflict. When military conflicts are pres-ent, the challenges facing policy makers and developmentpractitioners can acquire truly daunting proportions–under-scoring the importance of early warning and pre-emption of violent conflicts. This issue of
Development and Transition 
is devoted to thesequestions. It begins by reminding us that some potentialconflicts in this region have indeed been averted–so far. In aspecial focus on Crimea, Gwendolyn Sasse argues that acombination of bargaining in national and local politics,backed up by effective development-based interventionsby the international community, have forestalled thedoomsday scenarios that were frequently predicted for theregion in the early 1990s. The unresolved tensions associat-ed with the repatriation of the Crimean Tatars, however, casta long shadow over prospects for continued stability anddevelopment. As Sascha Graumann of UNDP’s Crimean Inte-gration and Development Programme points out, some of these tensions are intensifying, particularly in terms of legal,language, and land reform issues.It is widely recognized that few countries in Europe have beenas blighted by conflict as Serbia. However, successes in crisisprevention and post-conflict recovery in South Serbia are notso well known. In explaining these successes and pointing tosome of their broader lessons, Tom Thorogood reminds usthat well-targeted, area-based development programmingbased on consensus among all relevant stakeholders can playa critical role in averting a conflict escalation. Kosovo is perhaps the region’s most complex challenge forstabilization, as some leading experts pointed out at an LSEforum earlier this year. Within the territory there are immensedifficulties with post-conflict recovery, equal rights, security,and development opportunities. Whatever the outcome of the negotiations on Kosovo’s final status, living conditions forKosovo residents will deteriorate if they are not accompaniedby institution-building efforts to improve governance on theground. The article by Lundrim Aliu reviewing Kosovo’s secu-rity sector illustrates the kinds of challenges facing policymakers in Kosovo.Security sector reform issues go well beyond post-conflictdevelopment, as is evident in the analysis by Katrin Kinzel-bach and Amrei Müller. UNDP is joining growing numbers of international organizations and NGOs that are helping tomake military and security institutions more modern, trans-parent, and accountable to civilian and parliamentary over-sight. In this way, countries in Europe and Central Asia canbenefit from experience with security sector reforms thathave been undertaken in other parts of the world. UNDP’s Transitional Justice Team suggests that the post-conflict coun-tries of this region–particularly the Western Balkans–can like-wise benefit from transitional justice initiatives, in order to rec-oncile the avoidance of collective guilt with the need for jus-tice and reconciliation. The European Union is becoming a major actor in conflict pre-vention and post-conflict recovery. Stefan Wolff observes thatthis results in part from the EU’s growing prominence in theinternational development and security architecture, and alsoreflects the ‘soft power’of prospective EU accession. The ‘Euro-pean anchor’is a key conflict prevention tool for theregion–but its application is less feasible outside of Europewhere the prospect of eventual EU accession can not helpturn swords into ploughshares.
Ben Slay and James Hughes
APRIL 2007
Published by the United Nations Development Programme and the London School of Economics and Political Sciencewww.developmentandtransition.net
Albania Armenia Azerbaijan Belarus Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic FYR Macedonia Georgia Hungary Kazakhstan Kosovo (Serbia) KyrgyzstanLatvia Lithuania Malta Moldova Montenegro Poland Romania Russian Federation Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Tajikistan Turkey Turkmenistan Ukraine Uzbekistan
Crimea: Conflict-Prevention through Institution-MakingGwendolyn Sasse
Crimea: From Conflict Prevention to DevelopmentSascha Graumann
 The South Serbia Programme: Lessons in Conflict Prevention and RecoveryTom Thorogood
 The Kosovo Precedent? Implications for Frozen ConflictsJames Hughes, Florian Bieber, Bruno Coppieters
Kosovos Security Sector ReviewLundrim Aliu
Enhancing Human Security through Civilian OversightKatrin Kinzelbach & Amrei Müller
 Transitional Justice in the BalkansUNDP Transitional Justice Team
EU Crisis Management in the Western BalkansStefan Wolf
APRIL 2007| issue 6
Crimea: Conflict-Preventionthrough Institution-Making
Gwendolyn Sasse
Regional diversity is one of Ukraine’s most important char-acteristics. Regional diversity often embodies potential forfriction and conflict, in particular when it involves territori-alized ethnicity and divergent historical experiences. Polit-ical elites interested in stability and conflict-preventionmust find ways to accommodate or control this diversity.Crimea was Ukraine’s most immediate and most seriouscentre-periphery challenge at the fall of communism. Themultiethnic composition of Crimea, with a majority Russ-ian population and significant Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar minorities, created a widespread perception of Crimea as ‘a fateful peninsula’that was prone to conflict inthe early to mid-1990s.
In July 1993,
The Economist 
dra-matically warned of a “long-running, acrimonious, possiblybloody and conceivably nuclear, dispute over Crimea.”
Alarmist comparisons were also drawn with the wars inthe former Yugoslavia and Kashmir. Commentators pointed to a range of factors that aregenerally closely associated with the risk of conflict: thedifficulty of reconciling competing historical and cultur-al claims to territory, a multi-ethnic society, demands forregional autonomy, the capacity for secession due to aperipheral location, depressed socioeconomic condi-tions (a bankrupt military-industrial complex, a oncewell-developed Soviet tourism industry that collapsedtogether with the Soviet Union, and a lack of energy andwater resources), and the potentially destabilizing influ-ence of external actors. In particular, Russian nationalistschallenged the legality of Ukraine’s sovereignty overCrimea given that the region had been transferred fromthe jurisdiction of the RSFSR to Ukrainian SSR in 1954 bythe then Soviet leadership in a largely non-transparentprocess. Moreover, the issue of the division of the Black Sea Fleet, stationed off the coast of Sevastopol,increased the tension in Russian-Ukrainian relations. These risk factors were operating during a transitionperiod when institutions, power relations, and access toresources were undergoing a fundamental reordering. A build-up of events in the early 1990s caused a spiral of mounting tension: Crimea’s referendum on autonomy in1991, the establishment of an administrative autonomousregion in early 1991 at a time when other Soviet-eraautonomies were being dismantled in the context of thedisintegration of the USSR, the return of over 200,000Crimean Tatars to the region from which they had beendeported under Stalin in 1944, and the rise of a Russianseparatist movement in Crimea that peaked in 1994 andwas fuelled by the rhetoric of Russian politicians inMoscow. However, predictions of conflict in Crimea did not mate-rialize. Incidents have been limited to a small number of clashes between Crimean Tatars and the local authori-ties or Slav youths. Kyiv has managed to integrateCrimea into the new Ukrainian polity. How did this hap-pen, given the host of regional characteristics typicallyassociated with conflict and a complex post-communisttransition process?  The analysis of a widely expected conflict that did
occur is not the usual approach in conflict studies. Howev-er, understanding why conflicts do
occur is as impor-tant as analysing those that do, especially if the conflictpotential includes the principal structural conditions thatare typically regarded as the main causes of conflict. The key to conflict-prevention in Crimea was the processof negotiating and formulating the region’s autonomousstatus. Here the institutional
was more importantthan the final institutional
, the weakly empow-ered Autonomous Republic of Crimea, as enshrined in theUkrainian constitution of 1996 and the Crimean constitu-tion of 1998. Conflict has been avoided in Crimea not somuch because of the institution of autonomy as such, butbecause of the lengthy elite bargaining process involvingnational and regional elites that preceded the constitu-tional settlement. Elites at the national level kept openthe political space for Crimean autonomy to be institu-tionalized. The centre was unable to expunge the idea of autonomy which had been supported broadly byCrimean political forces from the early 1990s. Institutional linkages between central and regionalelites were also forged by participation in the democrat-ic transition. A total of 10 regional and national elec-tions, plus a regional and a national referendum, wereheld in the period 1991 - 2002. While these electionsshifted legitimacy back and forth between the regionaland the national level of government, they steadily andpeacefully secured Crimea’s gradual political integrationinto the Ukrainian polity.Four key background conditions provided afavourableenvironment for resolving constitutional issues at the
national and regional level in Ukraine. First, Crimea’smulti-ethnicity has prevented a clear-cut ethnopoliticalpolarization. Even at its peak, the regional Russianmovement mobilized against the Ukrainian centre inKyiv rather than against ethnic Ukrainians (mostly Rus-sophones) living in Crimea. A territorial cleavage, conse-quently, was at the centre of political mobilization. Second, Russian secessionist mobilization in Crimeaproved unsustainable because of the inability of themovement’s leadership to address the bread-and-butterissues of the region’s socioeconomic problems, its lack of unity, and the vagueness of its goals. The “Russian idea”in Crimea has always been reflected in a plethora of “Russian”organizations. The intense political activity of well-organized Crimean Tatars presents a sharp counter-point to the fragmentation of the Russian movement. The experience of ethnocide and ethnic discriminationhas strengthened Crimean Tatar identity and united thecommunity across different social strata and politicaland economic interests, and has guaranteed them rep-resentation in the regional assembly in the absence of electoral quota arrangements. The Russian secessionistmovement, in contrast, was constructed around a con-fused Soviet-Russian identity with blurred politicalgoals. Crimean Russians have been broadly in favour of improved links or integration with Russia, but there is nostrong secessionist sentiment.  Third, the central elites in Kyiv chose a pragmaticapproach and opted to bargain over cultural and lin-guistic concerns in Crimea rather than pursue anuncompromising Ukrainization strategy. Once the Russ-ian separatist movement self-destructed in Crimea in1994, Kyiv took the advantage and stabilized the regionwith a policy of institutional compromise. The principleof autonomy was conceded but not elaborated. By thetime the status was finally inscribed in the constitutionsof 1996 and 1998, regionalist and separatist movementshad weakened and moved to the margins of politics. Fourth, neither of the main external governmentalactors, Russia and Turkey, actively supported regionalpolitical mobilization in Crimea. Crimea’s status mayhave been an issue in Russian domestic politics, but ithas not been a major foreign policy concern, with theexception of the Black Sea Fleet issue. In any event, Rus-sia’s attention during the key period of Crimean seces-sionist mobilization in the mid-1990s lay elsewhere, dueto the military intervention in Chechnya. OSCE and UNmediation and integration programmes further interna-tionalized the Crimean issue. Western involvement,especially under the auspices of the first OSCE HighCommissioner on National Minorities, Max van der Stoel,helped to maintain the momentum for a constitutionalsettlement and to overcome the frequent stalematesduring the protracted negotiations. Ukraine’s agree-ments with Russia, especially on Ukraine’s territorialintegrity and Russia’s leasing of the bases in Sevastopol,also helped to defuse differences over Crimea.  The Crimean case demonstrates that regional diversity,even when politicized, need not destabilize a state. It alsoshows that, in a regionally diverse country, ethnicity is justone cleavage among many others available for politicalmobilization. However, while the process of autonomy-making in Crimea has contributed to the prevention of conflict, it has rendered the regional political economy of transition more complicated. Political mobilization and theattempts to defuse it have diverted attention from region-al structural reforms and acted as a vehicle for the criminal-ization of Crimea’s economy. Moreover, the final autonomystatus has had little to offer in terms of the Crimean Tatars’demands for recognition and representation or effectiveparticipation in regional policy-making more generally.In comparison with most other regional and ethnic con-flicts in post-communist transitions, in which coercionand military force have been the norm, Ukraine’s man-agement of the Crimean issue has had a distinct charac-ter. The Crimean experience supports the claim thatinstitutions and elites play significant roles in transitionand conflict prevention. We should be more cautious,however, about the role of institutional
: hasCrimean autonomy prevented conflict in the region, orhas autonomy resulted from the weakness of separatismand nationalism? This question is not easy to answer
Celebrating diversity:an ethnicRussian, Crimean Tatar,andUkrainian in traditional dress.

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