Proactive Conflict Management at post-Soviet Deep Borders (Academy Project)
In Finnish: Ennakoiva konfliktinhallinta Venäjän syvillä rajoilla (Akatemiahanke)
Project Leader: Dr. Helena Rytövuori-Apunen
The European Union’s Eastern Partnership and Central Asian policies have created a zone of ‘extended neighborhood’ which in Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia overlaps with Russia’s ‘near abroad’. The policy problems relating to these geographic areas, commonly considered the ‘fault lines’ of world politics, increase the relevance of gaining knowledge and understanding of the multiplicity of practices, habitual and policy-related, which within the ‘post-Soviet space’ contest or consolidate borders. The project includes three interrelated domains of research:
- policies and action in the settlement of the conflicts of Transnistria and Nagorno-Karabakh, analyzed against the backdrop of the already ‘deep-frozen’ contested settlement in Abkhazia and South-Ossetia;
- trans-frontier networks and narratives of legitimacy and discourses of control by the central state in Kyrgyzstan and its immediate borderlands in the tri-partite Ferghana Valley and along the Kazakhstani border;
- the transformation of the political landscape in Central and South-Central Asia in the moment created by the gradual withdrawal of the Western coalition forces from Afghanistan, with focus on the interplay of borders, security and development.
The research results assess regional dynamics of conflict and development connecting external interests and bordering policies with national and local interests. Relevance for policies relates to:
- development in the context of state-building processes entailing factors of instability such as highly permeable or practically non-existent borders, fluid state-periphery relations, omnipresent but dwindling Soviet legacies of administrative and political practices and new models of state- and nation-building based on territorial exclusion; and
- the question of how the EU’s policies can best communicate with the Russian approaches, concerning both substantive points of settlement (content, design) and the procedural aspects of management and resolution of conflicts.
The key analytical concept in the research is pragma (instructed by C.S. Peirce’s semeiotic); other main concepts are interest, vertical power and legitimacy. In the methodological sense, the project develops applications of pragmatist research.
Academy of Finland (Research Council for Culture and Society, Development Research): 1.9.2012-31.8.2016.
Researchers at TAPRI:
Helena Rytövuori-Apunen, Dr Soc Sc, Docent (International Relations), university researcher, principal investigator in the project
Steven Parham, PhD (Social Anthropology), postdoctoral researcher in the project
Vadim Romashov, M Soc Sc. (International Relations), researcher in the project
Simbal Khan, PhD, Director of Afghanistan and Central Asia Department at the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad. Visiting senior researcher in the project at TAPRI, Autumn 2013.
Dr. Mika Aaltola (Finnish Institute of International Affairs)
Professor Tahir Amin (Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad)
Elnara Bainazarova, PhD (Astana)
Professor Renée Marlin-Bennett (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore)
Slavomír Horák, PhD (Institute of International Studies, Charles University, Prague)
Juha Käpylä, MA, doctoral researcher (Finnish Institute of International Affairs)
Associate Professor Dmitry Malyshev (Lomonosov Moscow State University)
Jan Sír, PhD (Department of Russian and East European Studies, Charles University, Prague)
Professor Jeremy Smith (University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu)
Furugzod Usmonov, PhD, (Tajik National University, Dushanbe)
Marikki Rieppola, BA; Michael Roush, BA; Patrick Wagner, BA; Joshua Rose, BA
Recent publications (selected):
- Parham, Steven (2014) ‘Rightful’ versus ‘Real’ Homelands: Changing Concepts of Kyrgyz Boundaries and Belonging on the China-Kyrgyzstan Frontier, Asian Ethnicity 15 (no.3): 265-285.
- Submitted to publication by Steven Parham, currently under review: Holding the Line in a Land of Borders: Kyrgyz Borderlanders and the Reach of the Soviet and Chinese States. Modern Asian Studies [pending peer-review].
- Rytövuori-Apunen, Helena (2013), Disputed Frontiers: Abkhazia in Russia's Sochi 2014 Project, in Bo Petersson & Karina Vamling (eds), The Sochi Predicament: Contexts, Characteristics and Challenges of the Olympic Winter Games in 2014. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishers (229-249).
- Rytövuori-Apunen, Helena (2014), Catching a Formative Moment: Epistemic Unity in the European Plurality, European Review of International Studies (ERIS) 1(1): 103–110. http://www.budrich-journals.de/index.php/eris
- Rytövuori-Apunen, Helena (2014), Post-positivism” and the real ‘orthodoxy’, International Studies Quarterly online Symposium (March) The ‘Third Debate’ 25 Years Later, ed. by Patrick Thaddeus Jackson http://www.isanet.org/Publications/ISQ/Posts/tabid/1770/ID/297/The-Third-Debate-25-Years-Later.aspx
- Romashov, Vadim (2015). Russian Expert Discussions about Recent Trends in the Settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, in Pertti Joenniemi (ed.) Russia’s Approach to Arms Control, Peace Mediation and National Dialogues. Tampere: Tampere Peace Research Institute TAPRI, 109-139. (TAPRI Studies in Peace and Conflict Research 102).
- Romashov, Vadim & Rytövuori-Apunen, Helena (2015). Nagorno-Karabakh: Steps of Settlement Marked Out by Russia’s Interests, in Pertti Joenniemi (ed.) Russia’s Approach to Arms Control, Peace Mediation and National Dialogues. Tampere: University of Tampere, 141-169. (TAPRI Studies in Peace and Conflict Research 102).
Helena Rytövuori-Apunen (editor) (2016), The Regional Security Puzzle around Afghanistan, Bordering Practices in Central Asia and Beyond. Opladen & Toronto: Barbara Budrich Publishers, May 2016, 340 pages, www.shop.budrich-academic.de. Chapter contributors: Jeremy Smith, Steven Parham, Simbal Khan, Slavomír Horák, Jan Šír, Furugzod Usmonov, Vadim Romashov, Tahir Amin, Mika Aaltola, Juha Käpylä, Dmitry Malyshev, Elnara Bainazarova, Renée Marlin-Bennett, and Helena Rytövuori-Apunen. ISBN 978-3-8474-0789-8, eBook: 978-3-8474-0912-0, gratis open access in pdf format. (Includes the following contributions by Helena Rytövuori-Apunen: Introduction: Bordering Practices Challenging State Borders (pp. 1-28); Tajikistan’s Unsettled Security: Borderland Dynamics of the Outpost on Russia’s Afghan Frontier, with Furugzod Usmonov (pp. 131-159); Limits of Force-based Strategies and Institution-Building: a Focus on Border Spaces in the Security Puzzle, with Simbal Khan (pp. 271-283); Epilogue: Charting Border Studies Beyond North American Grounds, with Renée Marlin-Bennett (pp. 285-296).
- Steven Parham, (2016), The bridge that divides: local perceptions of the connected state in the Kyrgyzstan–Tajikistan–China borderlands, Central Asian Survey, DOI: 10.1080/02634937.2016.1200873. Published online 11 Jul 2016. To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02634937.2016.1200873
- NEW! Vadim Romashov & Helena Rytövuori-Apunen, Russia’s Karabakh Policy: New Momentum in Regional Perspective, Caucasus Survey (Routledge).
Freely downloadable until the end of 2016 at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23761199.2016.1231491 The article 'Russia’s Karabakh policy: new momentum in regional perspective' from Caucasus Survey is also included in the Routledge latest article collection showcasing research on the Soviet Union and Post-Soviet Russia – The Dissolution of the Soviet Union: 25 Years On (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Online, October 2016), http://explore.tandfonline.com/page/pgas/soviet-union-dissolution-25-years-on
(The article can be found in Collection II, 'Research on Post-Soviet Russia', section 'Post-Soviet – Neighborhood'). In December 2016, this article ranked third in the most read articles of the Caucasus Survey (includes articles published after 25 June, 2011), http://www.tandfonline.com/action/showMostReadArticles?journalCode=rcau20&
- NEW! Helena Rytövuori-Apunen, The Depth of Borders beyond the State: Analytical, Normative and Epistemic Challenges of Study, pages 175-193 in in Cengiz Günay & Nina Witjes (eds), Border Politics: Defining Spaces of Governance and Forms of Transgressions. Springer 2017,
- NEW! Steven Parham, China’s Borderlands. The Faultline of Central Asia. London and New York: I.B.Tauris 2017 (www.ibtauris.com).
Conference panel (‘After Outside Presence Wanes: Negotiating Borderlands and Locating Security in Central Asia’) at the ABS 2014 World Conference, Joensuu, Finland and St. Petersburg, Russia, 9-13 June, 2014, http://www.uef.fi/en/abs2014world/etusivu
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