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Regional-Based Conflict and Confidence-Building Strategies: The Case of the Union for the Mediterranean

In: International Negotiation
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  • 1 APEC Study Centre, Department of Business Strategy and Innovation, Griffith University, Nathan CampusBrisbane, QLD 4111Australia
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Abstract

This study considers the challenge of operating a regional association that includes combatants and adversaries as members, and the response to such challenges. Conflict type, defined by intensity and duration, is located on the vertical axis, and engagement level (international, regional and bilateral) is fixed along the horizontal axis, to distinguish the conditions supporting confidence-building (one of many peacebuilding approaches). The utility of this framework is examined by applying it to the Union for the Mediterranean – a 42-member association operating in a region where conflict is prevalent (Syrian war, Arab – Israeli conflict, Greece – Turkey conflict, and Algeria – Morocco conflict). The study concludes that confidence-building has relevance to hot and cold intractable conflict but not to contemporary war. Curiously, the intractable conflict literature rarely discusses confidence-building and the Euromed literature does not characterize EU behavior in a confidence-building context. The study builds a research agenda to further examine the confidence-building framework.

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