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Conflict Transformation through Dialogue: Analysing the Role of International Organizations in Ukraine

Muirhead Tower, Room 121
Monday 12 November 2018 (14:30-16:30)

Cecilia Davis

The ICCS Seminar Series continues on 12th November with guest speaker Dr Vera Axyonova (Justus Lieberg University Giessen).

Rooted in the popular formula “As long as you‘re talking, you can‘t be shooting”, dialogue has become an indispensable part of any conflict transformation process. International organizations (IOs), among other actors engaged in conflict management, initiate dialogue formats at different levels, ranging from official high-level diplomatic forums to informal expert consultations and civil society meetings to people-to-people contacts at local community level.

This study explores IOs’ efforts in commencing and supporting dialogue initiatives beyond high-level diplomacy in Ukraine following the start of the conflict in the East of the country. 14:30-16:00 We specifically scrutinize and compare the engagements of the European Union and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, two regional organizations with partly overlapping membership and conflict management approaches but different institutional structures and capacities. In doing so, we employ the concept of orchestration as a mode of governance used by IOs (Abbott et al., 2015) and draw on an original set of expert interviews with the organizations’ officials, mediators and dialogue facilitators. The study seeks to advance the understanding of the IOs’ role in the dialogue processes in Ukraine and test the applicability of the concept of orchestration to the field of conflict transformation through dialogue.

Vera Axyonova is Postdoctoral Researcher / Assistant Professor at Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany. Her research focuses on international support to democratization and conflict settlement, as well as policy processes in former Soviet states. She was previously Hurford Next Generation Fellow with the Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Researcher and Adjunct Lecturer at Fulda University of Applied Sciences. Axyonova is author of The European Union’s Democratization Policy for Central Asia: Failed in Success or Succeeded in Failure? (Ibidem, 2014) and editor of European Engagement under Review: Exporting Values, Rules, and Practices to the Post-Soviet Space (Ibidem, 2016).

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