International Law, Realism, and Nationalism
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On the fringes of the Russian Federation, several conflicts continuously smolder. In examining these conflicts—in Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and Azerbaijan/Armenia—there are two sets of actors. At the systemic level, the primary actors are nation-states. At the sub-systemic level, the actors are groups of people united by nationalisms. These nationalisms, in turn, are based on either ideology or ethnicity. It is the interaction of these actors at the different levels of analyses that have kept the conflicts alive in a relatively “frozen” state.