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Browsing by Subject "Salience of Norms"

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  • Reynolds, Bradley (2018)
    With ongoing war in Eastern Ukraine and previously perceived collective norms of post-Cold War Europe damaged, questions of cooperation continually plague stability. With the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE– Conference of Security and Cooperation in Europe or CSCE prior to 1994) being one of the only actors able to facilitate minimal conflict mediation, a research focus on the institution raises questions of historical reconciliation and subsequently, interpretation of European security. This thesis adds to the existing body of knowledge by looking at implications of CSCE/OSCE institutionalization in relation to the Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) conflict, the possible application of a peacekeeping operation (PKO) in the region, and the subsequent narratives actors attempted to write through this process. As shown by recent OSCE Network Projects, contemplating narrative is critical when placing the CSCE/OSCE within a larger post-Cold War debate on historiography (Nünlist 2014; Nünlist, Aunesluoma, Zogg 2017; Zellner 2017). This study then tracks various actors’ interests in constructing new European conflict management structures and hence, a new meaning of European security after the Cold War. Politics in various participating states changed during the 1990’s and their new commitments to a common CSCE/OSCE narrative became complicated. Within this volatile period, former N+N (Neutral and Non-Allied) states, and momentarily former Warsaw Pact (WP) states, were the most noticeable supporters of new collective European security ideas through their advocacy for CSCE/OSCE institutional evolution. Though Russian and America also supported these visions, their interest in an institutionalized OSCE needed to be encouraged by numerous small states’ stalwart commitments to the ideas and norms of the early 1990’s. This helped institutionally solidify what are today critical aspects of the European security order. However, as none of these actors are monoliths and can be neatly grouped into strict analytical containers for long periods of time, institutionalization and norms became points of contention as political winds continued to shift. This story will be viewed from three different perspectives: sub-regional (South Caucasus), regional (greater European), and institutional (CSCE/OSCE). This research stems from an interdisciplinary background in political history, using archival materials, informal interviews, accounts of practitioners associated with the conflict, as well as an array of secondary sources. Constructivist theory on structural security from the Copenhagen School, Regional Security Complex Theory (RSCT) (Buzan and Waever 2003), will be applied. In regards to narrative, strategic culture, salience of norms (Hecht 2016), and memory will be briefly employed to discuss how ideas may have influenced actors’ perception of a new ‘Europe’ in relation to security. This allows for an additional lens when attempting to represent small states’ perspectives and hence, narrative construction, of security providers in the post-Soviet space.