Engaging Civil Society in the Nagorno Karabakh Conflict: What Role for the EU and its Neighbourhood Policy?
The conflict over Nagorno Karabakh, opposing Armenia and Azerbaijan, is the longest conflict in the OSCE area and a fundamental security threat to the South Caucasus and surrounding regions, preventing full and inclusive economic development and constraining regional relations. This chapter takes the ENP as a conflict transformation tool and looks at how the EU has used this initiative to reach civil society organisations (CSOs) and improve their performance as peace-builders in this protracted conflict. Building on the theoretical framework presented by Tocci (2008), the chapter assesses EU involvement in the civil society domain, mapping the types of organisations privileged by the EU and the potential impact of their activities on the conflict. It puts forward relevant arguments regarding the suitability of the EU’s goals and instruments to the dynamics on the ground and concludes with a categorisation of the EU’s approach according to three hypotheses: The Liberal Peace, the Leftist Critique and the Realist hypothesis. It is argues that work with civil society is a crucial part of the EU’s approach, despite the difficulties of making such engagement a central part of its peace-building and conflict transformation activities.
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