The limits of EU conflict management in the case of Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Richard G. Whitman, Stefan Wolff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter explores EU conflict management in the case of the two separatist conflicts that have plagued Georgia and Georgian-Russian relations for most of the post-Soviet period. The focus on these two cases is justified in that it offers an excellent case study on the dangers associated with unrecognised statehood left poorly managed in a region of significant geostrategic importance. It also illustrates vividly the fundamental premise of this book, namely that in order to explain the effectiveness of EU conflict management, we need to look to EU capabilities and the specific conflict context to which they are applied. We proceed in three steps. The chapter begins with a brief background on the two conflicts and then provides an overview of EU-Georgia relations from the early 1990s to the aftermath of the Georgia Russia war of August 2008. It then examines the EU’s capabilities and how they were brought to bear in relation to Georgia’s two separatist conflicts, and the multilayered context of the two separatist conflicts that forms the background against which the EU sought to play a role in managing them. In conclusion, we offer some brief thoughts about the balance of factors that account for the ultimate failure of conflict management efforts in this case.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe European Union as a global conflict manager
EditorsRichard Whitman, Stefan Wolff
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780203115039
ISBN (Print)9780415528559, 9780415528726
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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