The Making of Informal States: Statebuilding in Northern Cyprus and Transdniestria

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SearchWorks Catalog Stanford Libraries. The making of informal states : statebuilding in Northern Cyprus and Transdniestria. Responsibility by Daria Isachenko. Physical description xiii, p. Series Rethinking peace and conflict studies. Online Available online. Full view.

Green Library. This activity is thus defined not by a project, but by the making use Levi-Strauss, In brief, bricolage is a mix- ture of methods and tools that may appear disorganized, yet is a creative and a constructive process. This practice is exemplified by walking in the city. Poaching the city, by taking short-cuts, a walker evades the whole concept of a city as well as the strategies of city planners Certeau, The value of the insights provided by Certeau is two-fold.

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First, the conceptual distinction between strategies and tactics is conceived not in terms of individuality but as a relation, thus complementing the notion of figuration. Second, this approach serves best to broach the very subject of informal states, given their assumed passivity and ambiguous status. It is important to note that the ideas of bricolage and poaching are applied not only in order to characterize the nature of statebuilding processes in these informal states but also as a methodological approach fol- lowed in this work.

The examination of the two cases is not based on a hard-core comparative approach. Instead, the analysis focuses on particular empirical events and theoretical aspects which play a significant role in the making of these informal states. The rationale behind the choice of case studies was practical in nature: Transdniestria is one of the least known, and Northern Cyprus one of the best known informal states.

Due to my knowledge of the Russian language the fact that one of the cases would be a post-Soviet one was clear from the outset. My eye fell on Transdniestria, since it is a relatively little researched area, in comparison with other post- Soviet cases such as Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia. Transdniestria appeared on the scene in the early s as the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse. Its secession was triggered by an emerging nationalist movement in Moldova, which among other things sought to join Romania. In September , the Transdniestrian leadership declared independence.

In spring , the situation escalated into war between Moldova and paramilitary groups in Transdniestria, which ended with the intervention of the Russian 14th Army.

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The Cyprus conflict dates back to the s, when the decoloni- zation struggle started among Greek Cypriots against British rule. This in turn provoked tensions between the Greek Cypriot majority and the Turkish Cypriot minority.

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The Republic of Cyprus, established in , did not last long; the ten- sions resulted in inter-ethnic violence, the military intervention of Turkey in , and eventually in the unilateral declaration of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in There are significant differences between the two selected cases, which concern the dimension of armed conflict as well as the scope of international attention that these post-conflict spaces have attracted.

Furthermore, whereas Transdniestria is still seeking international rec- ognition, the new leadership of the TRNC officially renounced this goal in These important differences notwithstanding, it is their con- tinuing politically ambiguous status that unites the two informal states in question. In addition, both cases are similar in their historical con- texts, such as the rearrangement of territorial order and the reactionary nature of their secession.

In the case Loizidou v. The Loizidou case also served as a precedent in the case involving Transdniestria, Moldova, and Russia, where the ECHR, refer- ring to the same principle of extraterritoriality, identified Russia as the ruling authority over Transdniestria ECHR, The scope of the external involvement and its impact on the statebuilding projects are the central issues that this work aims to elucidate.

Whereas the history of these conflicts has been well documented, the post-conflict trajectory of these informal states has received less attention, with a few notable exceptions. These sources include semi-structured interviews with local officials, representatives of political parties, journalists and NGO activists, academics and local observers, as well as representatives of interna- tional organizations. The examination of public discourse was com- plemented by textual data such as local and regional press as well as publications produced by local authorities.

Furthermore, during the field work in both places, I could also experience the very practices of staging unrecognized sovereignty. In Transdniestria I could observe democracy in the making, when in early June a number of political parties started to emerge, marked by official summits and celebrations of these seemingly historical events. The significance of these episodes is discussed in detail toward the end of this book.

The study starts with a review of organizing concepts from theories of international relations: state, sovereignty, and territoriality.

With the help of the existing literature Chapter 1 traces how statehood became a sovereign territorial ideal, and what implications this ideal had on the emergence of informal states as well as on their study in the academic milieu. The aim is to situate this work within a broader field of international relations. The chapter further elaborates on the conceptual tools used in this study. It explains the key concept of figuration and its relation to strategies and tactics. The intent is to demonstrate the relevance of these concepts for the analysis of informal states as well as for international relations. The value of this approach is that it allows a flexible conceptualization of power.

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Using the cases of Northern Cyprus and Transdniestria, the author examines state-building as practiced by informal states. Exploring symbolic and economic. Buy [ THE MAKING OF INFORMAL STATES STATEBUILDING IN NORTHERN CYPRUS AND TRANSDNIESTRIA BY ISACHENKO.

Most importantly, it provides a way of dealing with territorial order without falling into its trap. Having prepared the necessary conceptual ground, I further pro- ceed with a narrative account of the historical trajectories and state- building practices of the two case studies. Chapter 2 reconstructs the history of armed conflict, stressing the political context, the outbreak of violence, and its role in subsequent developments.

It thus focuses on the questions how and why independence was declared and what role external actors played in these events. In the next two chapters I examine the symbolic and economic sides of informal statecraft.

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Chapter 3 is concerned with the ways local authorities have been trying to create a state image and how this image is perceived by the local audience. The aim is to explore what effect these practices have on internal political dynamics and power relations. As the analysis of symbolic and economic dimensions will dem- onstrate, the statebuilding projects of informal states are marked not only by political rivalries with competing visions for both the content of state image and the form of statehood but also by a heavy reliance on the support of external states.

The considerable involvement of sponsors in turn has contradictory effects, enabling as well as disabling sovereignty claims of informal states. The focus is placed in particular on the interests of sponsors in sustaining the existence of these informal states. The aim of the chapter is to address the limits of geostrategic reasoning which dominates the explanation of the involvement of sponsors and to highlight the efforts of local actors to engage their sponsors in their statebuilding projects.

What will be illustrated is that the involvement is characterized by two main factors: the emotional attachment of former empires to the lost territories and the multiplicity of actors involved in the policy-making process. These very factors in turn enable local authorities of informal states to advance their own agenda. Chapter 6 is devoted to the striving of local authorities to promote their quest for statehood in the international arena.

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The aim is thus to identify the practices by means of which they attempt to engage in international politics. In this chapter I first explore their discursive tactics and how they make use of global discourse, more precisely its norms and values of sovereignty and democracy.

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Then I look at how they try to evade international isolation by practicing diplomacy in their own, unrecognized way. Ultimately, at issue are the effects that this pursuit for recognition has on their domestic legitimacy. The work concludes with a summarizing overview of figurations, highlighting the empirical particularities of the two cases studies as well as the theoretical benefits this approach has for the analysis of informal states.

The final remarks are concerned with the implica- tions of the statebuilding practices of informal states for the theories of international relations.