Is Winter Coming? : The Effect of Consistent Patron-States on Territorial Conflicts Becoming Frozen

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för freds- och konfliktforskning

Author: Olafs Arnicāns; [2018]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: Of the territorial intra-state conflicts around the world, there are some that live in the ‘no war, no peace’ environment. The so-called frozen conflicts have attracted significant scholarly and policy attention to explain their durability over time, and sustainability of the de facto regimes that live within such environment. This study shifts the focus from looking at the frozen state of the conflict to improving the understanding of how they become frozen in the first place. My question: ‘why do some territorial conflicts become frozen while others do not?’ sheds light on consistent-patron action during wartime to explain how, through the establishment of trade, territorial conflicts become frozen. Additional novel contributions are provided by conceptualizing patron-state support and focusing on trade as part of state-building mechanisms. A structured, focused comparison with a most-similar case design compares Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Republika Srpska Krajina conflicts. My findings show partial support to the tested hypotheses that indicate a consistent patron-state’s trade establishment with de facto regime leads to frozen conflict. Empirical limitations within the cases limit the ability to draw stronger conclusions. Of the territorial intra-state conflicts around the world, there are some that live in the ‘no war, no peace’ environment. The so-called frozen conflicts have attracted significant scholarly and policy attention to explain their durability over time, and sustainability of the de facto regimes that live within such environment. This study shifts the focus from looking at the frozen state of the conflict to improving the understanding of how they become frozen in the first place. My question: ‘why do some territorial conflicts become frozen while others do not?’ sheds light on consistent-patron action during wartime to explain how, through the establishment of trade, territorial conflicts become frozen. Additional novel contributions are provided by conceptualizing patron-state support and focusing on trade as part of state-building mechanisms. A structured, focused comparison with a most-similar case design compares Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Republika Srpska Krajina conflicts. My findings show partial support to the tested hypotheses that indicate a consistent patron-state’s trade establishment with de facto regime leads to frozen conflict. Empirical limitations within the cases limit the ability to draw stronger conclusions.

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