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Conflict diplomacy—political de-bordering strategies in intrastate conflicts

  • Mitja SienknechtEmail author
Aufsatz

Abstract

While some intrastate conflicts receive political attention by International Organizations (IOs), others do not. When and under what conditions do IOs pay attention to intrastate conflicts? This paper argues that political attention of IOs towards conflicts is influenced by developments on the micro level (group level)—namely by the establishment of de-bordering strategies by rebel groups. I argue that rebel groups are active agents in elevating the conflict into the world political system by de-bordering the conflict politically. Based on modern systems theory, I developed a theoretical model that distinguishes between a functional, territorial, and symbolic de-bordering of intrastate conflicts. I use descriptive statistics to show in how many conflicts that ended between 1989 and 2006 rebel groups have used de-bordering strategies, and in which cases IOs granted international attention to rebels. The results show that 63% of the rebels in the analyzed conflicts had used de-bordering strategies. In 65% of those cases, IOs responded to the rebels, thereby awarding political attention. This study highlights the importance to take different de-bordering strategies of rebels and the international attention of IOs into account to identify linkages between the micro and macro level in conflict situations. To understand this pattern in more detail, the analysis is followed by an illustrative case study on the de-bordering of the conflict between the Turkish government and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Keywords

Diplomacy Political Communication Rebel Groups International Organizations Turkey 

Konflikt Diplomatie – Politische Entgrenzungsstrategien in innerstaatlichen Konflikten

Zusammenfassung

Unter welchen Bedingungen erhalten innerstaatliche Konflikte Aufmerksamkeit von IOs? Das vorliegende Papier argumentiert, dass politische Aufmerksamkeit von IOs gegenüber einem Konflikt von Entwicklungen auf dem Mikrolevel (Gruppenebene) abhängig ist – nämlich dem Aufbau von Entgrenzungsstrategien durch Rebellengruppen. Rebellengruppen tragen durch politische Entgrenzungsstrategien selbst aktiv dazu bei, den Konflikt im weltpolitischen System anschlussfähig zu machen. Zur Analyse entwickele ich ein theoretisches Modell, das auf systemtheoretischen und konflikttheoretischen Annahmen basiert und unterscheide zwischen einer funktionalen, symbolischen und territorialen Entgrenzung von Konflikten. Neue Daten für alle Konflikte, die zwischen 1989 und 2006 endeten, zeigen, dass Rebellengruppen in 63 % der Konflikte Entgrenzungsstrategien genutzt haben und dass IOs in 65 % der Fälle politische Aufmerksamkeit geschenkt haben. Die Ergebnisse unterstreichen die Relevanz von Strukturen zwischen Mikro- und Makrolevel in Konfliktsituationen. Die deskriptive statistische Auswertung wird durch eine illustrative Fallstudie zur Entgrenzung des Konfliktes zwischen der Türkischen Regierung und der Kurdischen Arbeiterpartei (PKK) ergänzt.

Schlüsselwörter

Diplomatie Politische Kommunikation Rebellengruppen Internationale Organisationen Türkei 

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Copyright information

© Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Friedens- und Konfliktforschung e.V. (AFK) und die Autoren 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Unit: Global GovernanceBerlin Social Science Center (WZB)BerlinGermany

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