The Georgian-Russian Conflict: a Turning-point?

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Series Details No.2, 2010
Publication Date 29/01/2010
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Does the conflict between Georgia and Russia in August 2008 really stands for a turning-point as often argued, and if so what has changed and with what consequences? Has the Caucasus conflict been of a ground-breaking importance with power politics back on the agenda, or has it rather stood out as a minor incident and an unintended conflict soon to fade into oblivion?

In order to pass judgment on such questions and to arrest some of the more profound dynamics of the discourse waged, an interpretative frame is developed and utilized in probing the subject-positions of the European Union, the United States and Russia in the context of the debate. The paper argues that rather than being a turning-point the conflict has been conducive to the emergence of a meeting-point particularly in the sphere of US-Russia relations whereas the EU is experiencing considerable difficulties in trying to stay in tune with the more general outcome of rapprochement. The conflict indeed shook the world, but it did so in an unexpected manner and the reverberations still continue to unfold.

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