Intractability and mediation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Mayer, Timothy R.
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Nearly two decades following a ceasefire, the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh remains unresolved. Often referred to as a frozen conflict, the status quo that has developed between these two nations has developed roots that touch many aspects of life in both countries. This thesis examines intractability by analyzing three distinct levels of this conflict. It scrutinizes the reasons underlying failed mediation attempts since 1994 at the level of the elite, the nation, and the international structure. It also explores the linkages between these three distinct levels that contribute to the complexity of conflict resolution. Despite periodic optimistic media reports that suggest mediators are nearing a final resolution, it will likely be decades before real progress can be made. Resolution of this conflict will require a compromise between these two nations that may only be possible through greater democratization on both sides. Simultaneously, the influence of larger states, notably Russia, have placed this regional dispute on the global stage and embedded the conflict in a larger polarized geopolitical contest for power and influence. Effective mediation depends on a shift in the regional balance of power or national interests of regional stakeholders.
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