Unrecognized peace in unrecognized states : An analysis of the relation between post-war peaceand state processes in Nagorno Karabakh

University essay from Umeå universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: After the fall of the Soviet Union a number of violent ethnic disputes were concluded through the establishment of ceasefires but have yet to be finalized through peace accords. This development resulted in the creation of de facto states in a setting known as ‘frozen conflicts’. These de facto states have managed to endure decades of unrecognition, stuck in a situation of “no war, no peace” and constitutes today “effective” political entities. The post-war development in these frozen conflicts has continuously surprised academia, defying pessimistic prediction of their sustainability. Following the positive, hybridized peace etymology laid out by Oliver Richmond, this thesis aims at exploring the peace- and state processes that has occurred during the Nagorno Karabakh peace process in order to explain the ambiguous developments that have been going on despite the limbo-like state of unrecognition. The relation between external and internal processes is interrogated through a periodization of key events, and thereafter a comprehensive analysis of how the processes relate to each other over time. The thesis concludes that the strong presence of identity politics regarding the historical Nagorno Karabakh favors the often violent and protective state formation process but is at least partially controlled by the international attempts at peace building. Local formations of peace do not allow for a reintegration of Nagorno Karabakh into Azerbaijan, at least not without explicit and extensive security and autonomy guarantees. Likewise, the external processes of peace and state building does not allow for local agency from Nagorno Karabakh, as it is viewed through a negative ontology of peace. The processes does provide some rather successful developments, as the almost finalized Land swap deal and the Madrid principles, but lacks the momentum of conquering the dominance of perceived or actualized violent state formation processes.

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