The Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict. Authors; Authors and affiliations. Barry R. Posen Nuclear Weapon Military Power Ethnic Conflict Military Capability. Posen first discusses security dilemma and then uses this concept to explain two cases: Why Croats and Serbs fought a war, and why Ukraine. 24 Posen, Barry, ‘The Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict’, Survival, 35 (), pp. 27–47 CrossRef | Google Scholar, esp. pp. 27–

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How can a newly independent group assess offensive implications of the other group’s identity power?

Relative power is difficult to measure and is often subjectively appraised; what seems sufficient to one state’s defence will seem conf,ict to its neighbors. Because dilwmma wish to remain autonomous and secure, they will react by trying to strengthen their own positions. With regard to the impact of geography, Posen believes that how members of a group scattered in a country matters. Ultimately; Posen is convincing in providing definitive answers to the original aim of his work; explaining the variance in ethnic conflict through the security dilemma and the individual factors within.

Skip to main content. Posen, whilst dilemmaa Yugoslavia as a nation exercising universal conscription, provides no insight into the dominance of Serbs holding senior positions within the JNA and the perception held by the Croat community that the JNA was a Serb Army.

Firstly, a history of warfare and conflict between the groups. The answer is history. Whilst Germany did support Croatia, this support was not in barru form of military intervention.

For an article first written in it is reliable, useful and interesting. Serbs viewed this diplomatic support as reminiscent of Nazi agreements with Croatian fascists. Secondly, the issue of ethnic minorities and enclaves is raised by Posen.

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Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict

The Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict is useful for anyone with an interest in the current conflict in Eastern Ukraine. Posen argues that Croatia overestimated the reliability and influence of the Federal Germany as an ally.

Posen securiy that although “groupness” is an important factor confliict security dilemma, if both sides have nuclear weapons, security dilemma will not be very anr. Between Russia and Ukraine there is the issue of the Holmodor and the control of Ukraine by Moscow throughout the previous centuries — along with the belief held by many Russian traditionalists that Kiev is inseparable from modern Russia due to its role in establishing Russia.

He believes that technology is a rare determinant of the balance. How does Posen approach these problems?

Remember me on this computer. Therefore, despite not offering military assistance the ramifications in terms of ethnic conflict were much the same.

Conversely, the conflict between Ukraine and Russia was almost absent of foreign intervention and the subsequent effect of this intervention, perceived or otherwise due to a lack of external involvement or political baggage in the region. Posen aims to ascertain the differences in ethnic conflict across regions. When empires collapse, some groups will have greater offensive capability because they will be surrounding other groups.

Whilst nuclear weapons were not present in Yugoslavia, this absence may be seen as a motivating factor not only for outside intervention but the aggressive tactics carried out by communities across the collapsed state. Posen alludes to a number of variables that lead to the variance in ethnic conflict across regions. Publication year of the article shows that Posen was trying to come up with a theory by which future ethnic conflicts can be predicted, perhaps even be prevented.

The WW2 era Croat alliance with Nazi Germany is used well by Posen and, in my view, convincing in understanding the perception side of the argument. Interestingly, Posen identifies a factor that is less obvious than the others — the issue of foreign legitimacy.


Second, Offense is more effective than defense. Any forces on hand are suitable for offensive campaign. Whilst Ukraine did inherit nuclear weapons after the collapse of the USSR, it is a matter of some debate as to how much of a capability they inherited and how useful these would have been in a confrontation with Russia.

Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict – Summary Hub

Then Posen asks a critical question: The Croat belief, particularly among those on the far right, was that the modern day German state would support the newly founded Croatian state and the Croatian people across a collapsing Yugoslavia.

This situation will pose a threat to other entities and will be responded in turn. The Balkan Wars dominated popular discourse and a great deal of western foreign policy of the s, and in recent years a conflict has developed in the Ukraine with multiple complex issues. The Balkans, particularly the three way conflict between Serbs, Croats and Bosnian Muslims Serb and Slovene conflict receives a brief mention, but due to the extremely short and sharp nature of that conflict it is not explored furtherand tension between Ukraine and Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union are his focal points.

This article attempts to apply a basic realist concept, security dilemma, to account for civil conflicts following the collapse of the USSR.