In recent years Inter-Governmental Organizations (IGOs) have confronted increased criticism as to their role in conflict management and peacebuilding. With the UN Security Council largely blocked by great power competition, the OSCE in an institutional crisis and the European Union not yet living up to its ambition in the security domain, the impact and effectiveness of classical multilateral organizations on issues of war and peace is indeed doubtful. Consequently, in many conflict scenarios either individual states or “minilateral” ad hoc-formats, such as the Normandy Format in the conflict in Ukraine, haven taken on increased responsibility for conflict management.
Notwithstanding this larger picture, especially regional organizations such as the EU and African Union are involved in ever more conflicts, where they act as mediators, operate civil and military missions and employ a range of other instruments in pursuit of conflict management and eventual resolution. Thereby, a complex picture emerges, in which different actors such as individual nation states and alliances as well as several IGOs and (I)NGOs are present in the same conflict scenario. In ideal cases, those different players act in concert with each other using synergies and putting their instruments to the best effect. In opposite cases they might block and compete with each other, which might lead to ineffective or even counterproductive conflict management outcomes.
The seminar is based on the core questions of 1) what instruments and strategies do different IGOs apply in different conflict scenarios?; 2) how effective are individual IGO’s in the sphere of conflict management and peacebuilding?; and 3) how and with what results do they cooperate with other IGOs and state- or non-state actors in the field? For this purpose a range of case studies, from Afghanistan, Congo, Lybia, Mali, Ukraine to Sudan and Syria will be analyzed. Special attention will be given to the UN, the EU, NATO and the OSCE, while other regional organizations will also be covered. Before the case studies, the seminar will lay the groundwork for comparative analysis by studying major theoretical texts on IGOs and conflict management, and by looking at each of the IGO’s historical development, decision-making, resources, and contemporary role-definition.
Chuka Enuka, Regional International Organizations as Conflict Managers: The Limits and Capabilities, in: African Research Review, Jg. 10, Nr. 2 (2016), S. 16-30.
Hylke Dikstra (et.al.), The EU’s Partners in Crisis Response and Peacebuilding : Complementarities and Synergies with the UN and the OSCE, in: Global Affairs, Jg. 4, Nr. 2-3 (2018), S. 185-196.
Debidatta Aurobinda Mahapatra, The Mandate and the (In)Effectiveness of the United Nations Security Council and International Peace and Security: The Cases of Syria and Mali, in: Geopolitics, Jg. 21, Nr. 1 (2016), S. 43-68.
Andrea Warnecke, Can International Organizations be Peacebuilders in Intra-State Conflicts?, in: Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, Jg. 14, Nr. 4 (2020), S. 634-653.
Stefan Wolff/ Oya-Dursun Özkanca (Hrsg.) (2013), External Interventions in Civil Wars. The Role and Impact of Regional and International Organizations, London: Routledge.