Conflict and security in the former Soviet Union : the role of the OSCE.
This thesis aims to clarify the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)'s
approach to post-Cold War tensions and conflicts in the former Soviet area, the extent to which the
new procedures, mechanisms and instruments developed by the organisation are useful, and how
the OSCE's activities may reveal innovative contributions to conflict studies. An integrating
analysis is needed, not only of the OSCE's development. but also of the numerous aspects
conditioning OSCE approaches in the former Soviet space. particularly the involvement of other
international organisations and the role of the Russian Federation. In this sense. OSCE activities
take place in a complex environment that demands a comprehensive addressing of the different
factors. at times limiting and at others strengthening the organisation's reach. How this interplay
takes place and the extent to which it affects the OSCE's role in the former Soviet space is a
Starting from the theoretical conceptualisation where the OSCE's approaches and
procedures fit. this analysis includes the organisation's new tools to address conflict prevention,
crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation. How it renders the new procedures and
instruments operational, how its institutions inter-relate and the extent to which its principles and
activities are extended to its wide area are analysed. The role of the OSCE Field Missions in the
former Soviet Union is stressed in this regard. demonstrating how the organisation applies
commitments to reality.
The focus on the Republic of Estonia and the Republic of Moldova, as two case-studies of
OSCE involvement in the former Soviet Union area, show the organisation's preventive efforts
and crisis settlement tools in practical terms. The case-studies demonstrate the encompassing
approaches of the organisation in the field, permitting us to infer on its limits and possibilities and
to shed light on the OSCE's possible innovative contributions to conflict studies.