The Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict. Authors; Authors and affiliations. Barry R. Posen Nuclear Weapon Military Power Ethnic Conflict Military Capability. Posen first discusses security dilemma and then uses this concept to explain two cases: Why Croats and Serbs fought a war, and why Ukraine. 24 Posen, Barry, ‘The Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict’, Survival, 35 (), pp. 27–47 CrossRef | Google Scholar, esp. pp. 27–

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Please login to be able to comment. It seems that he assumed that the fall of imperial regimes will bring about an anarchical political environment in many countries where ethnic conflicts will be very likely.

Outside intervention in the affairs concerning at least one nuclear power is, therefore, even more unlikely. Technological and geographical dilfmma are analysed by Posen in the article.

The geographical proximity of the securify states to Western Europe also contributes to the reluctance of both to act in an aggressive manner page But in the other case Ukraine knew that compared to Russia it batry be more difficult to find allies. This competition will continue to a point at which the competing entity has got more power than needed for security. Comments Please login to be able to comment. This is a useful approach. Click here to sign up.

‘The Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict’ – A Literature Review | Daniel Blanthorn –

First, when offensive and defensive military forces are more or less identical, states cannot signal their defensive intent by the kinds of military forces they choose to deploy. The collapse of central government, be it in Belgrade or Moscow, requires the emerging groups particularly irregular forces to calculate risk. Conversely, the conflict between Ukraine and Russia was almost absent of foreign intervention coonflict the subsequent effect of this intervention, perceived or otherwise due to a lack of external involvement or political baggage in the region.

For Posen, people look at the past and find out how that group behaved last time when it was not constrained.

Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict

This situation will pose a threat to other entities and will be responded in turn. In the Yugoslav wars this manifested itself as elements of the Croat right wing considering German diplomatic support as leading toward inevitable western military support. Posen argues that Croatia overestimated the reliability and influence of the Federal Germany as an ally.


This assessment was made by the Croats during the Operation Storm.

However, this can lead on to a minor factor — the issue of nuclear weapons. Posdn Center Find new research papers in: Competition of the empires during the middle ages made Croat-Serb relations tense. A group identity helps the individual members cooperate to achieve their purposes. With regard to the impact of geography, Posen believes that how members of etnnic group scattered in a country matters.

Serbs outnumbered the Croats only two to one and enjoyed no economic advantage.

Then Posen asks a critical question: In his piece for Survival, Posen seeks to explain the stark variations in ethnic conflict across regions. The Balkans, particularly the three way conflict between Serbs, Croats and Bosnian Muslims Serb and Slovene conflict receives a brief mention, but due to the extremely short and sharp nature of that conflict it is not explored furtherand tension between Ukraine and Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union are his focal points.

The answer is dilem,a. In the Balkans there are numerous instances across the previous centuries, most ehtnic in WW2 and the Croat decision to classify Serbs as minorities in Croatia. Whilst Ukraine did inherit nuclear weapons after the collapse of the USSR, it is a matter of some debate as to how etjnic of a capability they inherited and how useful these would have been in a confrontation with Russia.

Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. The argument is made by Posen that nationalist or aggressive manoeuvres by Russians in Ukraine may have been limited due to Ukraine retaining some of the nuclear weapons from the collapse of the Soviet Union. The technological study is solely in regard to nuclear weapons capabilities disregarding conventional arms and how these supersede factors such as historical grievances, ethnic grouping and criminality in contributing to regional tensions and how they exacerbate the security dilemma.

But during the communist war and famine ofUkrainian president blamed the bolshevicks, not the Russians.

Ultimately; Posen is convincing in providing definitive answers to the original aim of his work; explaining the variance in ethnic conflict through the security dilemma and the individual factors within. The Empirical Record Citizenship and Ethnicity: Log In Sign Up. Throughout the history of the Balkans there has been a spread of ethnic groups across the states, with the exception of Slovenia. When empires collapse, some groups will have greater offensive capability because they will be surrounding other groups.


Whilst Germany did support Croatia, this support was not in the form of military intervention. This approach would, however, not be sufficient in explaining the Yugoslav Wars as a whole, or the relationship between Russia and Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union mainly due to the role of liberal international organisations but it is more than reliable for these two examples.

Skip to main content. The Balkan Wars dominated popular discourse and a great deal of western foreign policy of the s, and in recent years a conflict has developed in the Ukraine with multiple complex issues. He argues that there are two factors affecting offense-defense balance: Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict Created: He believes that technology is a rare determinant of the balance. The ideal time for them to strike, therefore, is shortly after the collapse of centralised power but before the international community chooses to intervene page Relative power is difficult to measure and is often subjectively appraised; what seems sufficient to one state’s defence will seem offensive to its neighbors.

No clear bias in relation to the events is apparent which is unusual for pieces relating to the Yugoslav Wars. Interestingly, Posen identifies a factor that is less obvious than the others — the issue of foreign legitimacy. Security is viewed as the sole aim for states, thus increasing military spending and procurement. Whilst this omission can be attributed to Posen focusing on the actual ethnic violence and how it manifested in a region, as opposed to a global war between Serb, Croat and Bosniak, an insight into the diaspora communities would be useful particularly in regard to the historical grievances argument.

This is a fair assessment page Posen first discusses security dilemma and then uses this concept to explain two cases: However, once the last weapon is gone, Russian nationalists may become much more assertive.