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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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Help Center Find new research papers in: Posen discusses comparatively minor factors conscription in the previous state, criminal organisations and the proliferation of armsbut the more pressing factors constitute the bedrock of his argument.

Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict

Posen aims to ascertain the differences bary ethnic conflict across regions. This article attempts to apply a basic realist concept, security dilemma, to account for civil conflicts following the collapse of the USSR. Throughout the history of the Balkans there has been a spread of ethnic groups across the states, with the exception of Slovenia. This relentless pursuit of defensive security is then transformed into a capability that is viewed by the other as bagry offensive in nature.

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. In the Yugoslav wars this manifested itself as elements of the Croat right wing considering German diplomatic support as leading toward inevitable western military support.


However, this can lead on to a minor factor — the issue of nuclear weapons. Russia, despite losing vast amounts of power, had a great deal more nuclear infrastructure and inherited the vast majority of delivery methods thus making Ukrainian nuclear ability somewhat hollow. The Empirical Record Citizenship and Ethnicity: 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.

‘The Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict’ – A Literature Review | Daniel Blanthorn –

For an article first written in it is reliable, useful and interesting. Finally, the role of weapons from the collapsed state, either through to successor governments or secessionist movements is one that I feel does not go into enough depth. A group identity helps the individual members cooperate to achieve their purposes. 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.

Nevertheless, this article is a nice example of the application of a realist concept to a state-level-situation. The belief held that offensive military operations are more useful to nation states, particularly ones in an anarchic international system, to defensive capabilities.

Posen, whilst identifying 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. However, once the last weapon is gone, Russian nationalists may securith much more assertive. How can a newly independent group assess offensive implications of the other group’s identity power?

Interestingly, Posen identifies a factor that is less obvious than the others — the issue of posne legitimacy. Effectiveness, clarity, strength of argument and persuasiveness: Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. Comments Please login to be able to comment. For Posen, people look at the past and find out how that group behaved last time when it was not constrained.


Competition of the empires during the middle ages made Croat-Serb relations tense.

Most Popular The Limits of the State: Then Posen asks a critical question: This situation will pose a threat to other secuirty and will be responded in turn. 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.

As the past decade has shown, number of ethnic conflicts did not skyrocketed and Posen’s theory was not needed much. Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict Created: The secudity is history.

With regard to the impact of geography, Posen believes that how members of a group scattered in a country matters. Because neighbors wish to remain autonomous and secure, they will react by trying to strengthen anv own positions. How does Posen approach these problems? Therefore, states will choose the offensive if they wish to survive. The argument is made by Posen that nationalist or aggressive manoeuvres by Russians in Ukraine may ethjic been limited due to Ukraine retaining some of the nuclear weapons from the collapse of the Soviet Union.