Caucasus Edition


International Negotiation
Volume 15, Number 1, 2010
Publisher: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, an imprint of Brill
More information.

Table of Contents

Overcoming the Nagorno-Karabakh Stalemate
Authors: Hopmann, P. Terrence (1); Zartman, I. William (2)
Affiliations: 1: Professor of International Relations and Director, Conflict Management Program, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), TheJohns Hopkins University, 1740 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA; Email: 2: Jacob Blaustein Professor Emeritus, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University, 1740 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington. DC 20036, USA, Email:
Six authors of the younger generation – three from Armenia and three from Azerbaijan – examine the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh in a joint effort to overcome their heritage of stereotypes and hostility. While their proposals vary, there is some creative overlap, and all of them recognize the obstacles as four standard characteristics of intractable conflicts: no salient solution, no ripeness, profitability, and no Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA). From these obstacles stem some ideas for creative progress, if not immediate solutions.

Mountainous Karabakh: New Paradigms for Peace and Development in the 21st Century
Author: Huseynov, Tabib
Affiliations: Baku, Azerbaijan, Email:
This article analyzes the Karabakh conflict’s peace process and suggests a set of approaches to guide future progress. Proceeding from an interest-based framework, the research examines ways to reconcile the power, rights and interests of the conflicting parties. It is argued that a serious shift in the approaches and policies of both the conflicting parties and also the mediators is needed to achieve a breakthrough in the talks. In broader and long-term perspective, stable and sustainable conflict resolution requires the establishment of a power-sharing arrangement that would be based on equal and horizontal relationships between Armenians and Azeris at both sub-national (Mountainous Karabakh), and national (Azerbaijan) levels, and combines this power-sharing arrangement with regional integration.

Rethinking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: Identity, Politics, Scholarship
Author: Gamaghelyan, Phil
Affiliations: Imagine Center for Conflict Transformation, 16 Whites Avenue, Suite 51, Watertown, MA 02472, USA, Email:
This article builds on the author’s research concerning the role of collective memory in identity-based conflicts, as well as his practical work as the co-director of the Imagine Center for Conflict Transformation and as a trainer and facilitator with various Azerbaijani-Armenian dialogue initiatives. It is not a comprehensive study of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, but presents a general overview of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, what has contributed to its failure, and which areas require major rethinking of conventional approaches. The discussion does not intend to present readers with a set of conclusions, but to provide suggestions for further critical research.

The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: Moving from Power Brokerage to Relationship Restructuring
Author: Harutunian, Ruben
Affiliations: 10761 Mist Haven Terrace, Rockville, MD 20852, USA, Email:
The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh represents the failure of mediation efforts in the context of a prolonged and successful ceasefire which has created disincentives for compromise. Today’s difficult negotiation atmosphere originates from perceiving the conflict as primarily an ethnic problem couched in the rhetoric of a territorial dispute. Further, a prolonged and successful ceasefire has entrenched powerful economic and political interests on both sides which stand to gain from continued limbo. With this in mind, the Minsk Group should shift its focus to the implementation of confidence-building measuresbetween the authorities on both sides as well as the three societies involved. Secondly, the Minsk Group co-chairs can no longer just serve as peace brokers, but must be co-signers to the negotiated agreement, emphasizing their role as guarantors of a long-term peace between Armenians and Azeris. Finally, any long-term agreement will have to include aspects of mutual economic development, cross-cultural exchange, and socio-political understanding.

Empowering and Engaging Civil Society in Conflict Resolution: The Case of Nagorno-Karabakh
Author: Ghaplanyan, Irina
Affiliations: University of Cambridge, Department of Politics and International Studies, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RX, UK;
Civil societies in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh have become alienated from the actual process of conflict resolution and need to be engaged in the political bargaining of the issue. This article addresses the importance of engaging civil society more deeply in this process. Only by empowering citizens through greater awareness and engaging civil society will the political elites from all sides of the conflict be forced to act more responsibly and participate in a more sincere and significant dialogue based on compromise rather than threats. To break the current deadlock, a new citizen-based initiative is needed based on a willingness to humanize the alleged enemy, consider options other than war, realize that the lives of immediate family members are at stake, learn about the benefits of compromise, and engage in reconciliation processes.

Nagorno-Karabakh Negotiations: Though the Prism of a Multi-Issue Bargaining Model
Author: Ziyadov, Taleh
Affiliations: Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy (ADA) and University of Cambridge, 88 Shamil Azizbeyov Street, Baku, Azerbaijan AZ 1009,
This article examines various phases in the Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan using a Multi-Issue Bargaining Model – a modified version of the traditional bargaining model. It offers micro-level and phase-by-phase analysis of the negotiation process, mediation efforts and proposed mechanisms for the settlement of the NK conflict. Issues on the negotiation table and the evolution of the Azerbaijani and Armenian positions over time constitute a central focus of the article. The multi-issue model is applied to each negotiation phase in the NK conflict from 1994 until 2009.

Paradigms of Political Mythologies and Perspectives of Reconciliation in the Case of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict
Author: Gahramanova, Aytan
Affiliations: 9-th microrayon, Adil Mamedov str 135, apt.9, Baku, Azerbaijan, Email:
Abstract: It is widely held that reconciliation follows conflict resolution. However, in the case of “frozen” conflicts, where the negotiation process is protracted and reconciliation is postponed for years, negative transformations take root. In this respect, attention to the past cannot be overestimated. How the past is framed in the domestic public sphere is an indicator of potential positive or negative transformation. By analyzing the frames of political mythology, the elements of ethnic identity and the historicisms based on divergent narratives of the political discourse in rivaling Armenia and Azerbaijan, this article argues that discourse transformation is vital to a successful reconciliation process where the role of mid-level leaders is crucial. While political mythology forces events by creating a context for negative transformation of the conflict, peacebuilding can support a protracted pre-settlement phase (‘no peace, no war’) and can also facilitate the conflict settlement process through positive transformation. In order to cope with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, at least in its relational aspect, the whole discourse infrastructure must be transformed. For this to happen, peacebuilding must be linked to reconciliation goals.

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