Confidence-Building and Conflict Settlement: The Case of Transdniestria

Project coordination: Dr. Nadja Douglas and Prof. Dr. Stefan Wolff (University of Birmingham)

This project focuses on a review of the broad spectrum of confidence-building measures (CBM) that were applied during past efforts towards progress in the Transdniestrian settlement process.

The  lack  of  progress  towards  a  settlement  of  protracted  conflicts  on  the  territory  of  the  former Soviet Union is variously attributed to local intransigence and geopolitical blockage. This has given rise to  the  idea  that  a  meaningful  settlement  process  needs  to  address  both  of  these  issues  by  building  bridges  across  local  divides  in  the  protracted  conflicts  and  across  the  deepening  divide  between Russia and the West.

In the context of this project, we examine the dynamic between the international and local arenas. We will do this by developing testable hypotheses about the impact of the former on the latter in the context of confidence-building. By means of analysing past CBM, a particular focus is laid on economy and trade on the one hand and security policy as well as military transparency on the other hand. Methodologically, the project is based on a profound document analysis, process tracing of two different periods (2010 to 2012/3 and 2013/14 to today), qualitative interviews with various stakeholders involved in the negotiation process and co-variation of events on the local and international level.