The objective of this article is to provide an analytical framework for addressing the sources of great power regional involvement and its effects on regional conflicts. The thesis of the article is that variations in the degree of intensity of conflicts and the likelihood of successful conflict resolution in different regions are affected by the character of great power involvement in these regions. Our argument is that although great power involvement or noninvolvement cannot cause or terminate regional conflicts, it can either intensify existing local conflicts or mitigate them. We will propose causal linkages between balances of great power capabilities and interests, types of great power involvement in regional conflicts, and patterns of regional conflicts. The study will distinguish among four types of great power involvement in regional conflicts: competition, cooperation, dominance, and disengagement. The empirical section will examine the application of these propositions in seven historical illustrations, representing the four patterns of great power involvement in regional conflicts. All the illustrations will deal with one conflict-ridden region - Eastern Europe and the Balkans, in successive historical periods from the post-Napoleonic era to the post-Cold War era. Because of the variety of patterns of great power involvement in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, this region is uniquely suited to examine the propositions derived from the theoretical framework. Drawing on both the theoretical deductions and the historical illustrations should make it possible in the last section to discuss briefly the implications of the proposed framework for regional conflict management or mitigation in the Balkans in the post-Cold War era.
|Number of pages||36|
|Journal||International Studies Quarterly|
|State||Published - Mar 1997|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations