Regional Conflicts in the Western Balkans and the Caucasus Revisited: Comparison of Kosovo to South Ossetia and Abkhazia

Vladimír Đorđević


One of the things that the Western Balkans and the Caucasus have in common is an extremely challenging legacy of the past. The dissolution of two multinational states – the Soviet Union and Socialist Yugoslavia in the beginning of 1990s – led to ethno-nationalist conflicts on a large scale. While the Yugoslav crisis ended in 1999 after the FRY was bombed by NATO during its Kosovo campaign, the Caucasus still remains a conflict-ridden region where Russian and Western influences keep colliding. The purpose of this article is to present an analytical comparison of the three respective regional conflicts – Kosovo, Georgia and South Ossetia – by enumerating and analyzing similarities and differences between them, as this proves to be one of current and more intriguing issues of the contemporary international political scene. The article aims at providing answers to two different issues: Did Kosovo’s independence influence the establishment of a specific political pattern applicable to other disputed regions; and to what degree are the cases in question comparable to each other?

Bibliografická citace

Đorđević, V. (2010). Regional Conflicts in the Western Balkans and the Caucasus Revisited: Comparison of Kosovo to South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Středoevropské politické studie, 12(1), 22-44. Získáno z

Klíčová slova

Abkhazia; Comparison of Kosovo to South Ossetia/Abkhazia; Ethno-nationalist conflicts in South Ossetia/Abkhazia; Kosovo; NATO’s intervention in Kosovo; South Ossetia; US Foreign Policy;

Plný Text:


Zobrazit literaturu Skrýt literaturu

Acheson, N. (2008): Russia Has Called Our Bluff over Countries We Can’t Defend, The Observer, 17th August 2008.
Belfast Telegraph Report (2009): Venezuela Recognizes Separatist Regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Belfast Telegraph Report, 11th September 2009, on-line text .
Bellamy, A. J. (2002): Kosovo and International Society, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.
Bieber, F. – Daskalovski, Z. (2003): Understanding the War in Kosovo, London, Frank Cass Publishers.
Bissett, J. (2001): NATO’s Balkan Blunder, Mediterranean Quarterly, Vol. XII, No. 1, pp. 39-50, on-line text .
Cincotta, H. (2008): Russia’s Use of Kosovo Analogy for Georgia False, Experts Say,, 25th September 2008, on-line text .
Cohen, A. (2008): The Russian-Georgian War: A Challenge for the US and the World, Research Report, The Heritage Foundation, 11th August 2008, on-line text .
Constitutional Framework for Provisional Self-Government of United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), 15th May 2001, on-line text .
Daalder, I. – O’Hanlon, M. E. (2000a): The United States in the Balkans: There to Stay, The Washington Quarterly, Vol. XXIII, No. 4, pp. 155-170.
Daalder, I. – O’Hanlon, M. E. (2000b): Winning Ugly – NATO's War to Save Kosovo, Washington, Brookings Institution Press.
Danish Institute of Political Affairs (1999): Humanitarian Intervention: Legal and Political Aspects, Kopenhagen.
European Parliament Document (2006): Briefing Note on the ‚Frozen Conflicts’ in the South Caucasus, the General Situation in the Region and its EU-Relations, Directorate-General for External Policies of the Union – Directorate B Policy Department, on-line text .
Friedman, G. (2008): The Russo-Georgian War and the Balance of Power, Stratfor Global Intelligence, 12th August 2008, on-line text .
Haub, J. S. (2003): Justice in Kosovo: Seeking a Return to Law and Order, Oregon State Bar Report, February/March 2003, on-line text .
Hunter, Z. M. et al. (2007): Implications of an Independent Kosovo for Russia’s Near Abroad, Washington, Center for Technology and National Security Policy of National Defense University.
ICG Report (2006): Abkhazia Today, on-line text .
ICISS (2001): The Responsibility to Protect, Report of the International Commission on Intervention and Sovereignty, Ottawa, International Research Center.
International Crisis Group Report (2007): Georgia’s South Ossetia Conflict: Make Haste Slowly, June 2007, on-line text .
Isakovic, Z. (1999): Diplomacy and the Conflict in Kosovo — Notes on Threats and Fears, 40th Annual Convention, International Studies Association, Washington D.C., February 1999 (posted 26 August 1999), on-line text .
Janjic, D. (1995): National Identities, Movements and Nationalism of Serbs and Albanians, Balkan Forum, Vol. III, No. 1.
Jansen, G. J. (1999): A short history of Kosovo, Fort Collins, Colorado State University, on-line text .
Joyner, C. – Arend, A. (1999/2000): Anticipatory Humanitarian Intervention: An Emerging Legal Norm? Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. X, pp. 27-59.
Kaufman, S. (2008): United States Pledges $400 Million at Kosovo Donors’ Conference,, 11th July 2008, on-line text .
Kaufman, S. J. (2001): Modern Hatreds: The Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War, Ithaca, New York, Cornell University Press.
King, C. (2004): Tbilisi Blues,, 25th August 2004, on-line text .
King, C. (2008a): Introduction (Checking Russia), Foreign Affairs, Vol. LXXXVII, No. 6, p. 1.
King, C. (2008b): The Five-Day War: Managing Moscow after the Georgia Crisis (Checking Russia), Foreign Affairs, Vol. LXXXVII, No. 6, pp. 2-11.
Kissinger, H. (1994): Diplomacy, New York, Simon & Schuster.
Krieger, H. (2001): The Kosovo Conflict and International Law: An Analytical Documentation 1974–1999, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Latawski, P. C. – Smith, M. A. (2003): The Kosovo Crisis and the Evolution of Post-Cold War European Security‎, Manchester, Manchester University Press.
Layne, C. (1999): Blunder in the Balkans: The Clinton Administration’s Bungled War against Serbia, The Cato Institute Policy Analysis, No. 345.
Lutovac, Z. (1997): Options for Solution of the Problem of Kosovo, Review of International Affairs, Vol. XLVIII, No. 1056.
Mackinlay, J. – Sharov, E. (2003): Russian Peacekeeping Operations in Georgia, Regional Peacekeepers: The Paradox of Russian Peacekeeping, Tokyo, New York, United Nations University Press.
Mandelbaum, M. (1999): A Perfect Failure; NATO’s War against Yugoslavia, Foreign Affairs, Vol. LXXVIII, No. 5, pp. 2-8.
Nichol, J. (2008a): CRS Report for Congress RL 33453 – Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Political Developments and Implications for US Interests, Congressional Research Service.
Nichol, J. (2008b): CRS Report for Congress RL 34618 – Russia-Georgia Conflict in South Ossetia: Context and Implications for US Interests, Congressional Research Service.
O’Hanlon, M. E. – Haass, R. N. – Daalder, I. (1999): The Kosovo War: Is There an Endgame? Brookings Foreign Policy Event, Washington, DC, 14th April 1999, on-line text .
Oliker, O. (2008): Kosovo and South Ossetia More Different than Similar, RAND Commentary, The RAND Corporation, on-line text .
Radio Free Europe – Radio Liberty (2007): Former US Ambassador (R. Holbrooke) Discusses Georgia, Kosovo, 21st March 2007, on-line text .
Ramet, S. P. (1992): Nationalism and Federalism in Yugoslavia 1962–1991, Bloomington, Indianapolis, Indiana University Press.
Reuters Report (2008): US Secretary of State C. Rice Comments on Current Situation in Georgia While Visiting West Bank On, World Bulletin, 26th August 2008, on-line text .
RIA Novosti Report (2008): Nicaragua Recognizes South Ossetia and Abkhazia, RIA Novosti, 4th September 2008, on-line text .
Sahin, S. B. (2009): The Use of Exceptionalism Argument in Kosovo, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, Vol. XI, No. 3, pp. 235-255.
Schäffer, S. (2009): The Kosovo Precedent – Directly Applicable to Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Caucasian Review of International Affairs, Vol. III, No. 1, pp. 108-110.
Schnabel, A. – Thakur, R. C. (2000): Kosovo and the Challenge of Humanitarian Intervention, Tokyo, New York, Paris, United Nations University Press.
Sestanovich, S. (2008): What has Moscow Done? Foreign Affairs, Vol. LXXXVII, No. 6.
Simma, B. (1999): NATO, the UN and the Use of Force: Legal Aspects, European Journal of International Relations, Vol. X, No. 1, pp. 1-22.
Spiegel International (2008): The West Begins to Doubt Georgian Leader, Spiegel International, 15th September 2008, on-line text .
Statistical Yearbook of Georgia, 2005, Tbilisi: Department for Statistics.
Suhrke, A. et al. (2000): Report on Kosovo Refugee Crisis, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Report, on-line text .
Suny, R. G. (1994): The Making of the Modern Georgian Nation, Bloomington, Indiana University Press.
Talbott, S. (2008): Russia’s Ominous New Doctrine, The Washington Post, 15th August 2008, on-line text .
Tiraspol Times (2007): Vladimir Putin: “Kosovo is Not Any Different from Trans-Dniester”, Tiraspol Times, previously on-line text . *Note: The existence of this newspaper was terminated during the summer of 2008.
Toal, G. (Gearóid Ó Tuathail) (2008): Russia’s Kosovo: A Critical Geopolitics of the August War over South Ossetia, School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia Tech, Draft version, (forthcoming Eurasian Geography and Economics, 2009, Vol. L, No. 1), on-line text .
Tsakadze, R. (2003) Georgia: Mother’s Employment and Children’s Poverty in Georgia, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre and MONEE Country Analytical Report, Tbilisi, on-line text .
Tsuladze, G. – Maglaperidze, N. – Vadachkoria, A. (2002, eds): Demographic Yearbook of Georgia: 2001, Tbilisi, Georgian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Demographic and Sociological Research.
Udovicki, J. – Udovicki, J. R. (2000): Burn This House: The Making and Unmaking of Yugoslavia, Durham, Duke University Press.
UN Report Number S/2004/822 of the Secretary General on the Situation in Abkhazia, 18th October 2004, on-line text .
Vickers, M. (1998): Between Serb and Albanian: A History of Kosovo, New York, Columbia University Press.
Williams, P. R. (2008): No Comparison between Kosovo and South Ossetia, The Georgian Daily, 20the August 2008, on-line text .
Zimmermann, W. (1999): Origins of a Catastrophe: Yugoslavia and Its Destroyers, Revised Edition, New York, Three Rivers Press.
Zunes, S. (2008): US Role in Georgia Crisis, Foreign Policy in Focus, 14th August 2008, on-line text .
Zürcher, C. (2007): The Post-Soviet Wars, New York, New York University Press.

All electronic sources were accessed in the period between June 2008 and March 2010.

Copyright (c) 2010 Vladimír Đorđević

Creative Commons License
Tato práce je licencována pod licencí Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.