GOVT-578 Conflict Resolution in the Former USSR
Fall for 2017-2018
The USSR broke up in December, 1991 in a largely peaceful fashion. An important exception was the South Caucasus where the three states, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, experienced ethno-territorial conflicts which have defied solution and retarded political and economic progress. Moldova experienced a similar pattern. Georgia and Russia fought a brief but politically significant war in 2008 and more recently, Russia has annexed Crimea from Ukraine and supported a strong separatist movement in Eastern Ukraine. The course will examine why the USSR broke up, what contributed to peaceful resolution of most issues among the successor states and why conflict developed in the South Caucasus, Moldova and later Ukraine. Readings on conflict resolution will be included. Case studies will include the Nagorno-Karabakh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the separatist wars of Georgia with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the 2008 Georgian-Russian war, Moldova and the current Ukraine conflict. The course will conclude with a simulation exercise in which the class will be given a hypothetical, but realistic, potential conflict situation in the South Caucasus and then asked to resolve the problem before the outbreak of hostilities.

The course aims to provide students with in-depth knowledge of these conflicts and to apply CR theory and methods to see what is most useful and practical in the former USSR. The simulation exercise will seek to develop skills in negotiation, teamwork, and diplomatic writing style.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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