Essays on Eastern European Entanglements
Maria N. Todorova
Teresa Maria Cierco
This article analyzes the conditions and challenges for security sector reform (ssr) in Macedonia since 2001. One of the main pressures which the Western community has been able to wield for reform and for post-conflict normalization in Macedonia has been the conditional offer of integration into key Western organizations – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (nato) and the European Union (eu). In the absence of a widespread domestic consensus, the sustainability of ssr relies on the leverage that nato and the eu can bring to bear. But, with no date to begin negotiations with the eu and with the Greek veto to Macedonia entrance to nato, what can happen to ssr in the country? Moreover, how can local ownership of ssr be cultivated in Macedonia where the international community has played the lead role in initiating reform? Addressing ssr developments in Macedonia, the article surveys the challenges in two key component areas of the country’s security sector – armed forces and police – arguing that, without clear perspectives of joining nato or the eu in the near future, ssr in Macedonia is seriously compromised.
The Cemetery at Leleszki
Comparing Dayton and Minsk
For the past two years, there have been constant discussions about the possible ‘Bosnianisation’ of Ukrainian conflict management and peacebuilding, meaning both the Dayton process mechanism’s implementation and the possible ‘federalisation’ of Ukraine due to the Minsk agreements. While the two conflicts have significant differences in terms of roots, reasons and development, attempts at their resolution, as well as possible outcomes of the peace processes, have certain similarities. In this article, based on the constructivist approach and method of induction, the author compares the outcomes of the agreements reached in Dayton in 1995 and in Minsk in 2015 and analyses securitisation of state-building, ‘federalisation’ and identity issues during the peace negotiations, along with a state structure imposed by the external actors. Hereby we argue that the Dayton scenario in terms of the state-building is significantly different from what has happened in Ukraine due to their respective historical and ethnic backgrounds. Moreover, a peace agreement per se is not able to form a federal state if there are not sufficient preconditions for substantial decentralisation of the state.
R. Craig Nation
The wars in former Yugoslavia from 1991–2001, and Ukraine from 2014 to the present, provide revealing examples of the ways in which contemporary armed conflict is evolving. Their origins lay in domestic rather than inter-state disputes, and they emerged as civil wars born of state failure. The belligerent factions were diverse, including established states, new national polities, and radicalized non-state actors. Operationally the wars were liquid conflicts where adversaries, lacking decisive combat power, often shunned conventional military objectives in favor of attacks on populations, terroristic posturing, and symbolic gestures. The conflicts were internationalized, with powerful external actors at odds over responsibility and preferred outcomes. They were European wars, with European and Euro-Atlantic institutions directly engaged in conflict management, peace enforcement, and post-conflict peace building. The conflicts have contributed to the break down of cooperative security in 21st century Europe and the re-opening of an East-West divide running through the heart of the continent. Managing and containing such clashes is and will remain a major strategic challenge.