This land is our land : the viability of territorial partition as a solution to ethnic conflict
Baskar, Sabala Siva
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This paper seeks to answer the question: Under what geographic, demographic, and military conditions is territorial partition more likely to prevent war recurrence between ethnic groups? To answer this question I conducted a qualitative case study of four post-World War II partitions: India/Pakistan (1947), Azerbaijan/Nagorno-Karabakh (1994), Cyprus/Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (1974), and Moldova/Transnistria (1992). My general finding was that territorial partition is more likely to prevent war recurrence between ethnic groups if it creates a "complete" demographic and territorial separation, defensible borders, and a balance of material power between successor states. However, the cases of Cyprus/TRNC and Moldova/Transnistria suggest that the absence of one factor does not have to spell disaster if the other factors can compensate. In short, since partition theory is based on the concept of the ethnic security dilemma, it follows that partitions should be implemented in a way that actually addresses each group's fear of attack. In this paper I highlight three conditions that can help mitigate the uncertainty that drives the security dilemma. I conclude with a set of recommendations aimed at policy makers who are either considering territorial partition as a conflict resolution strategy, or trying to maintain peace between two newly partitioned territories.
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