Advertisement

Moving Beyond Solving Conflict: Creative Non-solutions

  • Jan PospisilEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies book series (RCS)

Abstract

Solving conflicts is one of the core aims of traditional approaches in peacebuilding. Usually, this is attempted by identifying root causes and addressing them by particularly designed measures. In a context of complexity and nonlinearity, such an approach does not work, however: when there are no cause–effect relationships at play, root causes neither can be identified nor solved. As a consequence, pragmatic practices of non-solutions have become a standard feature in peace processes. Four types of such practices are discussed in this chapter: institutionalised contestation, infinite postponements and open-ended processes, flexible border arrangements and pragmatic approaches to sovereignty and citizenship. Despite their often questionable reputation, non-solutions may turn into a cornerstone of pragmatic post-war transitions.

Keywords

Conflict resolution Non-solutions Institutionalised contestation Infinite postponements Borders Abyei South Sudan Transnistria Bosnia and Herzegovina 

References

  1. Agnew, John. 2005. Sovereignty Regimes: Territoriality and State Authority in Contemporary World Politics. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 95 (2): 437–461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. AUHIP—African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan. 2012. Proposal on the Final Status of the Abyei Area. September 21, 2012. African Union Peace and Security Council, PSC/PR/2(CCCXXXIX).Google Scholar
  3. Bell, Christine, and Jan Pospisil. 2017. Navigating Inclusion in Transitions from Conflict: The Formalised Political Unsettlement. Journal of International Development 29 (5): 576–593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beyer, John, and Stefan Wolff. 2016. Linkage and Leverage Effects on Moldova’s Transnistria Problem. East European Politics 32 (3): 335–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bieber, Florian. 2005. Local Institutional Engineering: A Tale of Two Cities, Mostar and Brčko. International Peacekeeping 12 (3): 420–433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blakkisrud, Helge, and Pål Kolstø. 2011. From Secessionist Conflict Toward a Functioning State: Processes of State- and Nation-Building in Transnistria. Post-Soviet Affairs 27 (2): 178–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bolton, Grace, and Gëzim Visoka. 2010. Recognizing Kosovo’s Independence: Remedial Secession or Earned Sovereignty? South East European Studies @ Oxford Occasional Paper No. 11/2010, St. Anthony’s College, University of Oxford, Oxford.Google Scholar
  8. Burman, James, Anna Bowden, and Abdikarim Gole. 2014. Land Tenure in Somalia: A Potential Foundation for Security and Prosperity. Broomfield, CO: Shuraako.Google Scholar
  9. Caspersen, Nina. 2012. Unrecognized States: The Struggle for Sovereignty in the Modern International System. Cambridge: Polity Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Collins, Katy. 2017. The Kurdish Referendum Won’t Deliver Independence—Here’s Why It Matters Anyway. Brookings Markaz Blog Post. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/markaz/2017/09/19/the-kurdish-referendum-wont-deliver-independence-heres-why-it-matters-anyway/. Accessed 18 September 2018.
  11. Copeland, Carla S. 1999. The Use of Arbitration to Settle Territorial Disputes. Fordham Law Review 67 (6): 3073–3108.Google Scholar
  12. Craze, Joshua. 2013a. Unclear Lines: State and Non-state Actors in Abyei. In The Borderlands of South Sudan: Authority and Identity in Contemporary and Historical Perspectives, ed. Chris Vaughan, Mareike Schomerus, and Lotje de Vries, 57–88. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  13. Craze, Joshua. 2013b. Dividing Lines: Grazing and Conflict Along the Sudan—South Sudan Border. Geneva: Small Arms Survey.Google Scholar
  14. Deng, Francis Mading. 2014. Proposals for the Interim Stabilization of the Crisis Situation in Abyei. Letter Dated 19 May 2014 from the Permanent Representative of South Sudan to the United Nations Addressed to the President of the Security Council. New York, NY: United Nations.Google Scholar
  15. DeRouen, Karl, Jr., Mark J. Ferguson, Samuel Norton, Young Hwan Park, Jenna Lea, and Ashley Streat-Bartlett. 2010. Civil War Peace Agreement Implementation and State Capacity. Journal of Peace Research, 47 (3): 333–346.Google Scholar
  16. Diing Akol, Zacharia. 2013. Abyei Final Status: A Mismanaged and Unyielding Stalemate. Weekly Review, October 29. The Sudd Institute, Juba.Google Scholar
  17. Farrand, Robert William. 2011. Reconstruction and Peace Building in the Balkans: The Brčko Experience. Plymouth: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  18. Fearon, James D., and David D. Laitin. 2000. Violence and the Social Construction of Ethnic Identity, Review Essay. International Organization 54 (4): 845–877.Google Scholar
  19. Goodhand, Jonathan. 2013. Epilogue: The View from the Border. In Violence on the Margins: States, Conflict, and Borderlands, ed. Benedikt Korf and Timothy Raeymaekers, 247–264. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Goodhand, Jonathan, Bart Klem, and Oliver Walton. 2017. Mediating the Margins: The Role of Brokers and the Eastern Provincial Council in Sri Lanka’s Post-war Transition. Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal 1 (6): 817–836.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Grygiel, Jakub. 2009. Vaccum Wars: The Coming Competition Over Failed States. The American Interest 4: 6.Google Scholar
  22. Hill, William H. 2018. Current Trends in Transdniestria: Breathing New Life into the Settlement Process. In OSCE Yearbook 2017, ed. Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg/IFSH, 143–154. Baden-Baden: Nomos.Google Scholar
  23. ICG—International Crisis Group. 2018. Keeping the Hotline Open Between Sudan and South Sudan. Crisis Group Commentary, 13 April 2018.Google Scholar
  24. Jeffrey, Alex. 2006. Building State Capacity in Post-conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Case of Brčko District. Political Geography 25 (2): 203–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Johnson, Chris. 2012. Peacemaking and Peacekeeping: Reflections from Abyei. International Peacekeeping 19 (5): 640–654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Johnson, Douglas H. 2008. Why Abyei Matters: The Breaking Point of Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement? African Affairs 107 (426): 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Korf, Benedikt, and Timothy Raeymaekers. 2013. Violence on the Margins: States, Conflict, and Borderlands. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. LeRiche, Matthew, and Matthew Arnold. 2013. South Sudan: From Revolution to Independence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Loizides, Neophytos. 2014. Negotiated Settlements and Peace Referendums. European Journal of Political Research 53 (2): 234–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lyons, Terrence. 2018. Peace Implementation and Quality Peace. In Understanding Quality Peace: Peacebuilding After Civil War, ed. Madhav Joshi and Peter Wallensteen, 29–43. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. May, Ronald J. 2001. Muslim Mindanao: Four Years After the Peace Agreement. Southeast Asian Affairs 2001: 263–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Menkhaus, Ken. 2005. Kenya-Somalia Border Conflict Analysis. Nairobi: Development Alternatives, USAID.Google Scholar
  33. Menkhaus, Ken. 2006. Governance Without Government in Somalia: Spoilers, State Building, and the Politics of Coping. International Security 31 (3): 74–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Moore, Adam. 2013. Peacebuilding in Practice: Local Experience in Two Bosnian Towns. Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Parish, Matthew. 2010. A Free City in the Balkans. Reconstructing a Divided Society in Bosnia. London and New York, NY: I.B. Tauris.Google Scholar
  36. Porges, Matthew. 2019. Western Sahara and Morocco: Complexities of Resistance and Analysis. In Secessionism in African Politics: Aspiration, Grievance, Performance, Disenchantment, ed. Lotje de Vries, Pierre Englebert, and Mareike Schomerus, 127–149. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pospisil, Jan. 2015. Tauwetter im “Frozen Conflict”? Moldau und Transnistrien im Schatten der Ukraine-Krise. oiip Policy Paper 2/2015, Austrian Institute for International Affairs, Vienna.Google Scholar
  38. Ramsbotham, Oliver. 2010. Transforming Violent Conflict: Radical Disagreement, Dialogue and Survival. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  39. Rendon, Renata, and Amanda Hsiao. 2013. Resolving the Abyei Crisis: Preventing Violence and Promoting Peace. Enough Project Report. Washington, DC: Enough Project.Google Scholar
  40. Robinson, Amanda Lea. 2009. National Versus Ethnic Identity in Africa: State, Group, and Individual Level Correlates of National Identification. Afrobarometer Working Paper No. 112, Afrobarometer.Google Scholar
  41. Rolandsen, Øystein H. 2013. Too Much Water Under the Bridge: Internationalization of the Sudan—South Sudan Border and Local Demands for Its Regulation. In The Borderlands of South Sudan: Authority and Identity in Contemporary and Historical Perspectives, ed. Christopher Vaughan, Mareike Schomerus, and Lotje de Vries, 23–44. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  42. Roper, Steven D. 2004. The Unrecognized State of Transnistria. In De Facto States: The Quest for Sovereignty, ed. Tozun Bahcheli, Barry Bartmann, and Henry Srebnik, 102–117. London and New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  43. Ryngaert, Cedric, and Sven Sobrie. 2011. Recognition of States: International Law or Realpolitik? The Practice of Recognition in the Wake of Kosovo, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia. Leiden Journal of International Law 24 (2): 467–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Salman, M.A. Salman. 2013. The Abyei Territorial Dispute Between North and South Sudan: Why Has Its Resolution Proven Difficult? In Land and Post-conflict Peacebuilding, ed. Jon Unruh and Rhodri Williams, 25–67. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  45. Schomerus, Mareike, Lotje de Vries, and Christopher Vaughan. 2013. Introduction: Negotiating Borders, Defining South Sudan. In The Borderlands of South Sudan. Authority and Identity in Contemporary and Historical Perspectives, ed. Christopher Vaughan, Mareike Schomerus, and Lotje de Vries, 1–22. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  46. Schreuer, Christoph. 1999. The Brcko Final Award of 5 March 1999. Leiden Journal of International Law 12 (3): 575–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Schumpeter, Joseph A. 2008. Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, 3rd ed. New York, NY and London: Harper Perennial.Google Scholar
  48. Stansfield, Gareth R.V. 2003. Iraqi Kurdistan: Political Development and Emergent Democracy. London and New York, NY: RoutledgeCurzon.Google Scholar
  49. Stjepanovič, Dejan. 2015. Dual Substate Citizenship as Institutional Innovation: The Case of Bosnia’s Brčko District. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 21 (4): 379–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Tilley, Virginia. 2010. The One-State Solution: A Breakthrough for Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Deadlock. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  51. Tucker, Aviezer, and Gian Piero de Bellis (eds.). 2016. Panarchy: Political Theories of Non-Territorial States. New York, NY, and London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  52. Tudor, Andreea-Loredana. 2017. ‘The Republic of Moldova Between the Signed European Union’ Free Trade Agreement and the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Challenges and Perspectives. Cross Border Journal for International Studies 2 (1): 103–115.Google Scholar
  53. Walk, Liam. 2016. Across the Dniester: How Football is Bridging Moldova’s Cultural Divide. thesefootballtimes.com, November 22. https://thesefootballtimes.co/2016/11/22/across-the-dniester-how-football-is-bridging-moldovas-cultural-divide/. Accessed 20 September 2018.
  54. Wallis, Joanne. 2013. Nation-Building, Autonomy Arrangements, and Deferred Referendums: Unresolved Questions from Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 19 (3): 310–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wise, Laura. 2018. Territorial Power-Sharing and Inclusion in Peace Processes. PA-X Report: Power Sharing Series. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh, Political Settlements Research Programme.Google Scholar
  56. Zartman, I. William. 2000. Ripeness: The Hurting Stalemate and Beyond. In International Conflict Resolution After the Cold War, ed. Paul C. Stern and Daniel Druckman, 225–250. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ASPR—Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict ResolutionViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations