Defusing a Ticking Bomb? : Disentangling International Organisations in Samtskhe-Javakheti
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Original versionWorking Paper, NUPI nr 646. NUPI, 2003
This article examines how various organisations divide and coordinate their conflict prevention and development aid in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region of southern Georgia, and how that coordination might be improved. There have been numerous early warnings of impending violent conflict and calls for conflict prevention in Samtskhe-Javakheti. Counter-claims have, however, been asserted that the region’s problem is in fact not one of potential violent ethnic conflict, but rather one of poverty and peripherality, and that exaggerated, uncoordinated early warning might in fact inflate conflicts that were not initially acute. At one point it seemed that the Samtskhe-Javakheti case would provide an example of uncoordinated and one-sided focus on conflict prevention and early warning on the part of international organisations, and its potentially detrimental consequences. An overview of the activities of the organisations, however, shows the contrary. A critical, sensitive and deconstructive perspective is already incorporated into their approach, and their activities are well coordinated. More formalised institutions are nonetheless needed to ensure the inclusion of large multilateral actors such as the World Bank and Council of Europe in the process, and consistent coordination in other regions too.