Safe European home

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Safe European home European war and interdependence
Healey, Steven Brock
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Thesis (M.A.)--University of Colroado Dernver.
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Department of Political Science
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by Steven Brock Healey.

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SAFE EUROPEAN HOME: EUROPEAN WAR AND INTERDEPENDENCE by Steven Brock Healey B.A., University of Colorado Denver, 2006 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Political Science 2012


ii This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Steven Brock Healey has been approved for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences by Lucy C. McGuffey Chair and Advisor Ja na Everett Thorsten Spehn October 4 2012


iii Healey, Steven Brock (M.A., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences ) Safe European Home: European War and Interdependence Thesis directed by Associate Professor Lucy C. McGuffey ABSTRACT In early Au gust 2008, Georgia invaded its province of South Ossetia and sparked a brief interstate war when Russia decided to defend its provincial neighbors in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The European Union (EU), mainly represented by the Council Presidency of Frenc h President Nicholas institution and its intervention is judged as a qualified success. Before a ceasefire put forth by the EU was imple mented, Georgia had sustained heavy casualties compared to Russia and its government was swiftly crippled. Left to its own devices, it is nearly inconceivable that the Georgian leadership could have gained better terms in the ceasefire negotiations than th ose terms that the EU negotiated on its behalf. When hostilities ended, the Georgian government remained intact with its formal sovereignty upheld while Russian troops evicted themselves from non se cessionist territory.


iv This thesis argues tha crisis was surprisingly successful and was dependent on the institutional association and economic ties between the EU, Georgia, and Russia. The prospect of eventual EU membership yoked the Georgian leadership to the reform expecta tions that the EU set forth. Georgia believed that its destiny lay in Europe and that eventual yet distant membership was a relatively plausible outcome based on statements and actions by Ge orgian officials and their EU counterparts. The possibility of EU membership for Georgia constituted a enlargement scheme to translate functions of regional stability and conflict management to the Georgian nation willingness to negotiate with the EU was a function of that and its members, as well as an embryonic but functioning form o f EU association. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Lucy C. McGuffey


v DEDICATION To Cara, who met me at the finish line.


vi ACKNOWLEDG MENT S I would like to thank Lucy McGuffey for her kind and unfl agging support for this project. Her attention, input, and navigation of the thesis process have been invaluable. Also thanks to Thorsten Spehn and Jana Everett for their critical input during the lat t er stages of the project. The thesis is tighter and more relevant due to their efforts. Finally, the genesis of the thesis was developed after reading the work of three scholars I greatly admire: Timothy Snyder, Anne Applebaum, and the late Tony Judt. unparallele planted the seed of an idea that resulted in the following work.


vii TABLE OF CONTENTS Preface....................... ...... ...................viii CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION ........ ......... ... ............ ... ... ....1 An Unusual War................. ...... ................8 Research Question.................... ...... .........12 Research Design and Thesis Structure ....... ...... ... 14 II. FRAMEWORKS...................................... ..... 20 Theor etical Framework........................ ...... .20 Empirical Framework........................... ...... 25 EU Georgian Russian Interdependency....... ..... 27 Russian Georgian Relations and War, 2003 2008... ........ ........... ........ .... 50 III CONCLUSIONS.................................... .... .67 REFERENCES ......................................... .... 77


viii PREFACE "In Central and Eastern Europe, membership of 'Europe' was the only possible option. Don't be seduced by those w ho tell you it was better under the old system, they were warned. The pain of transition will have been worth it: Europe is your future." (Judt, 2005) "European integration has always depended upon a certain kind of historical brinksmanship. Each major s tep forward has contained the seeds of a future problem, which can only be solved at some future point by another step." (Snyder, 2012)


1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION There is a significant body of scholarship published on the foreign policy of the Europea n Union (EU) and the postmodern and normative non state international actor. Much of this scholarship particularly questions the EU's ability to influence the internal and external policies of global st ate actors with regard to conflict management and the promotion of regional stability. A subcategory of that larger realm of work concerns the EU's unique normative power to influence the policies of non EU member nation states on the European continent th at possess established institutional ties to the EU and are perhaps striving to gain an ambitious yet uncertain path to eventual EU membership. This process could be broadly described as the EU's integration scheme, or the process of European state attr action to the EU, furnished by the EU's institutional inclusion and co through enlargement and association (Christou, 2002). Some (Asmus, 2008; Hillion, 2010) argue that among all the foreign policy tools in the EU's gr owing but still largely


2 confined kit, the partnership and enlargement scheme has been the most intrinsically effective tool in consummating the post World War II European integration project, making the continent more peaceful and stable than ever before b y bringing the states of Europe closer than ever before. It has served a mutually beneficial purpose for most of Europe, providing regional stability for the current members of the EU while applicant countries use the integration process to build modern an d functional states (Eastern Approaches, 2012b). conflict management. Western and Central Europe's interstate relationship infrastructure has be en a blueprint for other more recent but far less politically and economically integrated regional organizations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the African Union (AU), and Mercosur in South America. Since the establishment of t he European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957, no EU member states have gone to war against one another and the region comprising Western and Central Europe is arguably the most pacified in the world. Hostile conflict between EU member states has become suc h a remote


3 possibility so as to be considered implausible, as unlikely in the previous half century as war was certain between the revolving European powers in previous epochs. Where nationalist and racial and anti Semitic purges, migratory dislocation, and economic misery once plagued the former 'bloodlands' of Europe, ethnic heterogeneity and relative prosperity have become the default conditions for most citizens within the EU's ever expanding borders (Snyder, 2010). Some attribute this phenomenon to the normative ability and competency of the EU to wield a form of institutional 'soft power' in declaring those states in the European space that it wishes to attract, chooses to partner and do business with, and perhaps admits into its club of broadly con sensus driven, center left social democracies (Moravcsik, 2009). The institutional relationship structure of the EU manifests itself in several different forms depending on each individual country and its importance to the EU. Some countries are slated for accession, some countries are relegated to a holding pattern for future membership consideration, and some countries simply have no hope or desire of ever joining but still retain skeletal and formal agreements with the EU due to geographic proximity


4 In turn, those prospective member and partner states are attracted to the EU not only by the enviably prosperous and equitable single mark et that comes with membership of o r association with ideals of culture, iden tity, and nation state behavior that the EU projects abroad. Th o se are normative ideals that shared sense of security in, and peoples' regional identification with, spaces and socially constructed regi ons that transcend the cultural and civilization borders" (p. 1). No country outside of Western Europe has ever declined EU membership once it has been offered, and the support of EU membership is typically a common denominator that bridges the often radic al differences between political parties among many European governments. The enticement of membership has undoubtedly shaped a great deal of the EU's varied relations with the rest of non EU member Europe. This was most obviously demonstrated by the so called 'fifth wave' accession grouping of Central and Eastern Europe in 2004 and 2007, when the EU accepted 12 new members into the club. Most of those new member states possessed a miserable Cold War history that isolated them politically, economically, and culturally from the


5 wealthy and mature democracies in Western Europe. They were attracted by the enormous advantages of economic subsidization and democratic consolidation that are just two of the prizes of EU membership rewarded for candidate 'conditi onality,' the assorted political, economic, and legal hurdles that prospective EU members must overcome before formal accession takes place (Schimmelfennig & Sedelmeier, 2004). greatly as a result of the and Eastern Europe. Whereas prior to eastern enlargement Europe, enlargement and association offered the EU's c ore members in Western Europe the inclusive ability to simultaneously modernize and constrain the historical laggards in Eastern Europe. Countries outside the EU looking to get in receive generous modernizing endowments on the road to accession but they ar e also politically constrained by the terms of accession. Upon accession, they are coerced to become model European social democracies by the threat of sanctions or ostracization from fellow member states


6 If the EU's acceptance of the fifth wave access ion grouping could be considered a foregone conclusion, perhaps an implicit acknowledgment that the expensive inclusion of those countries within the Union would be a late apology Yalta in 1945, then the EU's relations with its new eastern frontier was an entirely different puzzle. Western Europe had no historical precedent for integrating the states of the Western Balkans, Cauc asus, and Black Sea regions. Th o se countries were poorer, weaker, and more politically problematic than the countries that had been integrated earlier during the fifth wave accession (Asmus, 2008). They also had a notorious reputation for poverty and profligate corruption since the end of the Cold War, raising fears of failed st ates on the EU's new border barring a coherent plan for substantial engagement and partnership that at least raised the prospect of eventual membership with strict adherence to the conditionality criteria (Malek, 2006). Did the enticement of enlargemen t and economic association now extend to influencing the policies of the non EU member countries on the new eastern fringe of the European continent, especially in the 'high' politics of


7 foreign policy? After 2007, non EU member states in Europe could be s aid to fall into three distinct, but not necessarily mutually exclusive, categories: 1 those countries of the Western Balkans slated for EU accession in the next enlargement phase (Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania); th ose countries on the opposite end of the spectrum who were openly or at least passively antagonistic to the EU's championing of liberal social democracy in Europe (Russia, Armenia, Belarus); and finally those countries that had strong ties to the EU and de sire for membership but were objectively not yet ready for the conditionality criteria that accession demanded (Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan). 2 It is the se final two categories in which the thesis is most interested. Specifically, it i s con cerned with the EU Georgian Russian relationship and the theoretical reasoning underpinning the symbiotic and normative interaction between a n institutional non state actor and opposing sovereign states during an unusual and modern European 1 Excluding Turkey and tightly integrated but non EU member states and micro nations in Western Europe like Norway, Iceland (until 2009) and Switzerland deciding to forgo membership for the foreseeable future. 2 The objective conditionality criteria being the acquis communautaire the EU's legal basis for member state accession.


8 interstate war. As the thesis hopes to demonstrate, EU Georgian Russian relations in particular prove to hold critical relevance for the EU's paradoxical ability to perform as a significant and influential non state actor among unallied sovereign state actors in Europe. An Unusual War Imagine a seemingly archaic anomaly of interstate relations in Europe during its relatively peaceful interlude following the Cold War a ground war pitting two neighboring states directly against one another. Country #1 rgest state by land area, a regional superpower and natural resource giant. While slowly recovering from a lost decade of economic mismanagement and oligarchical plundering, it is led by a former officer of the Soviet KGB with creeping authoritarian instin cts. Country #2 is a small and emerging, but habitually corrupt, electoral democracy less than two decades removed from Soviet rule. It is now angling for closer ties with Western Europe and the United States only five years after a democratic and generall y non violent revolution that deposed its former government. Country #2 commits a rueful error by preemptively attacking a separatist enclave within its own


9 internationally recognized bord ers. Country #1 has supported secessionist movement s in the encla ve since the end of the Cold War, arming rebels with light weaponry and even issuing illegal passports to its citizens in defiance of international law. Following the preemptive attack, Country #1 cites this as a pretext for an invasion of Country #2, clai ming it is defending the enclave's population from a genocide that it has no evidence for and a proposition that the international community considers preposterous. Country #1 quickly overcomes oppositional forces in the enclaves and makes territorial gain s while Country #2's military is exhausted and nearing depletion. Rather than quickly suing for peace through direct negotiations, as states traditionally have done, Country #2 engages the EU to mediate the crisis and restore its territorial sovereignty In less than two weeks formal hostilities end, territorial incursions are largely repelled from the non secessionist territories, and its government is stabilized after a global donor conference organized by the EU injects its economy with urgently neede d spending capital. This was the scenario during the week of August 7 16, 2008, when Georgian ground forces attacked the town of


10 Tskhinvali in the separatist enclave of South Ossetia and encountered fierce Russian resistance. Russian ground forces im peded further Georgian advances into South Ossetia and countered quickly by penetrating deep into Georgia's non secessionist sovereign territory, stopping short of the capital of Tbilisi. South Ossetian militia forces supportive of Russia spread the confli ct throughout the Georgian theater, also drawing in militants from the neighboring and co separatist enclave of Abkhazia. Five experienced significant casualties. A ceasefire was negotiated on August 12 between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. This diplomatic trifecta official heads of state of the belligerent nations plus France would not have seemed exceptional but for a key aspect. French President Sarkozy was acting in his official capacity as a representative of the EU, since France at that time chaired the Presidency of the Council of the EU. That role, colloqui ally known as the six month rotational presidency of the EU, granted France


11 the prerogative of setting the provisional EU political agenda during its term in office. As the sole major international actor to actively intervene in the crisis, the EU deleg ation that travelled to Moscow and Tbilisi when fighting commenced was led by French President Sarkozy, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, and then EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy (HRCFSP) Javier Solana. 3 The d elegation presented a six point peace plan that was quickly accepted by the belligerent parties in Georgia and Russia after some revisions negotiated by the EU. The peace plan established the ceasefire terms that formally ended military combat in Georgia, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia. The ceasefire terms stipulated: 1) no recourse to the use of force; 2) a definitive cessation of hostilities; 3) free access to humanitarian aid and return of refugees; 4) the requirement that the armed forces of Georgia wit hdraw to their permanent positions; 5) that the armed forces of the Russian Federation withdraw to the line where they were stationed prior to the beginning of hostilities; 6) a 3 T reaty merged this post with the European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighborhood Policy to create a new post, titled the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.


12 future international debate on the status of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and wa ys to ensure their lasting security (Kramer, 2008). Research Question The research question becomes: if the EU could be proven effective in its intervention during the 2008 Russian Georgian War, what was the main determinant for that intervention and d id this constitute a normative ability of regional stability and conflict management on the part of the EU as an international actor? If a non state institutional actor, the EU, were proven surprisingly effective in its political intervention during an int erstate war between two sovereign European nation states, Georgia and Russia, it would create an interesting puzzle for international relations (IR) studies and might offer a potential challenge to neorealist assumptions of non state actors and their effic acy in influencing the behavior of state actors in a global order traditionally negotiated by hard power. This thesis seeks to examine the dependent variable of EU interventionary efficacy as an international non state actor by determining the extent of th e EU's influence via its relationships with Georgia and Russia.


13 The initial hypothesis is that the EU's interventionary efficacy was dependent on a form of soft power that was facilitated by a regime of European state interdependence that imposed polit ical and economic constraints on the belligerent parties to the conflict and thereby resulted in a cessation of hostilities in Georgia and its provinces. This so called regime of interdependency was composed of the EU's need for regional stability in the S outh Caucasus in order to project its democratic norms and values throughout the European continent. It entailed the EU holding out the distant but plausible hope of membership to a reformist Georgian government attempting to distance itself from Russia's sphere of influence and continue its creeping post Rose Revolution trajectory of adopting EU norms a nd values of state behavior. Th o se behavioral norms primarily involved the use of multilateral political diplomacy as the principal means of conflict manage ment. For its part, Russia was willing to negotiate with EU agents due to its economic dependency on European consumer markets and its close intergovernmental ties to the largest EU member states, particularly France and Germany. European interdependence c ould be considered a neoliberal institutionalist (hereafter referred to simply as


14 neoliberal) function of the EU's soft power functionality expressed through its association agreements and enlargement scheme, which exploited Georgia's attraction to the EU Research Design and Thesis Structure This thesis is a qualitative research analysis using a case study to develop theoretical observations on the EU's normative ability to influence the behavior of Eu ropean non EU member nation states during active warfare. The case study method uses the isolated example of the 2008 Russian Georgian War an inductive approach "which focuses on understanding the dynamics present within single settings" (Eisenhardt, 1989 p. 534) This thesis seeks to apply th o se isolated dynamics gleaned from the case study to a reformulated hypothesis of EU political intervention based on its model of European interdependency, which offers the ambitious but plausible prospect of eventua l membership to countries like Georgia and constrains another European power such as Russia from more overt forms of belligerence against its smaller neighbor. For a number of reasons, I have decided upon the EU's political intervention during the 2008 Russian Georgian War as a case study. First, the conflict was a rare occurrence


15 in modern European warfare an interstate war. War in Europe is not exceptional the continent has certainly experienced its share of hostile conflicts since the end of the C old War, most obviously in the Western Balkans during the 1990s. However, those conflicts were mainly ethno nationalist and internal in origin and prosecution. They were not truly interstate conflicts. A modern European interstate conflict offers a rare op portunity to examine the EU's hypothetical soft power and its relational impact upon the top echelon of states' leadership and to determine the states' response to the EU's bilateral and multilateral political intervention. Caro (2012) observes the crucial axis between the study of power during points of stress and crisis: A way to gain insight into the most fundamental realities of any form of power is to observe it during its moments of deepest crisis, during its most intense struggles, when, under maxi mum stress, its every resource must be brought to bear. (p. 68) Second, the war is a terminated conflict at present date and its consequences and repercussions can be viewed clearly in hindsight. Although most hostile conflicts are never truly terminate d within four years, and the case


16 study will show that the Russian Georgian conflict is no exception, these two countries are formally no longer at war. This terminated nature allows a view of the conflict from beginning to end. As the case study will show the EU and other international actors were unusually thorough in documenting the genesis and resolution of the conflict. Th o se documentations overall are well sourced, balanced, and provide the researcher with an invaluable archive of empirical material and analysis only four years later. Finally, Georgia and Russia are very important to the EU's external relations, the security of its hypothetical future borders, and the overall concept of the EU as a viable international actor. Popescu, Leonard, and Wilson (2008) argue: "The Georgian conflict is a direct threat to a European project that seeks to replace old paradigms like the balance of power, spheres of influence, and military conquest with integration, negotiation, and the rule of EU's relationship with Georgia and Russia and importance within the South Caucasus region raises the question of where Europe 'ends,' as Georgia shares a border with Turkey, a long time EU member candidate country (Lynch, 2006). Excluding Kaliningrad, Russia shares a long and non contiguous border


17 with four EU member states. Furthermore, i f Georgia's current geographic distance from the EU makes its territorial sovereignty a somewhat distant spectacle, a cause for concern rather than a matter of critical import, surely Turkey's potential accession would make the EU a direct stakeholder in Georgia's external affairs and territorial integrity. If the EU were determined unable to politically intervene to resolve the invasion of a fel low European democracy in Georgia it might cast the EU's role as a normative international actor into serious doubt. The thesis is divided into three chapters. The following theoretical framework of the second chapter entails an overview of a pillar of IR theory, neoliberalism, and its competing approaches from neorealism in regards to the EU's external relations its institutional framework for association in particular. Chapter two will also introduce the empirical framework of the thesis which requires an examination of two separate variables. The hypothesis assumes that EU Georgian Russian interdependency formed the pretext for the EU's successful intervention during the Russian Georgian War. The case study should sh ow that Georgia's ambitious desire of eventual EU membership was a plausible long term outcome and that the EU, represented


18 both supranationally in Brussels and intergovernmentally among the individual member states, shared this desire. Georgia's associati onal agreements with the EU should demonstrate that the country's externa l relations were tangibly and positively affected by the EU's desire for peaceful conflict management in the South Caucasus. The case study should also demonstrate that Russia's depen dency on the EU's energy consumer markets may have hindered that country's belligerency towards Georgia during the lat t er stages of conflict, thereby paving the way for the EU brokered ceasefire that eventually ended the war. I wil l also cover Russian Georgian r elations during the critical five year period leading up to the case study. This time period began in 2003 immediately following Georgia's Rose Revolution when Mikheil Saakashvili was elected President. The period ended just before war between Russia and G eorgia co mmence d in August 2008. I will briefly examine the separatist conflicts in Georgia's Abkhaz and South Ossetian provinces, presented as the main pretext s for conflict between Russia and Georgia. The hypothesis claims that the EU was sur prisingly successful in its intervention during the Russian Georgian War. Chapter two will examine the case study of the


19 conflict as it pertains to the EU's involvement and diplomacy. Partly for the hypothesis to hold, the case study should show that the E U actually was effective in its intervention during the war, with success being defined at a minimum as the EU being the primary external actor responsible for the political solution that put an end to major combat operations between Georgia and Russia; th at the EU diplomatically evicted Russia's arm y from Georgian territory and prevented the secession of Abkhazia and South Ossetia thereby upholding Georgia s territorial integrity In the third and final chapter, I will draw conclusions and reformulate the initial hypothesis.


20 CHAPTER II FRAMEWORK S Theore tical Framework The EU's diplomatic intervention on behalf of Georgia in its war against Russia presents an interesting case study for IR theory that challenges neorealist assumptions of international relations. Widening and deepening European integrati on, and the resultant pacification of the European continent, has typically provided a challenge for neorealism regarding the concepts of sustained cooperation, relative gains, interdependence, international institutions, and balance of power, among others ; thus the institutional capabilities of the EU remain under theorized and neglected in the neorealist canon (Collard Wexler, 2006). Krotz and Maher (2011) observe: "Until almost the end of the twentieth century, theorizing on European integration remained fairly aloof from the main developments in general IR theory" (p. 556). Pedersen (2002) states that the EU, whose most influential member state is a militarily neutered Germany, is a perplexing institution for neorealist theorists: A particular puzzle for realists is why major states should want to pursue regional


21 institutionalization... major states may advance their interests through non coercive means by applying a strategy of cooperative hegemony which implies an active role in regional institutiona lization. (p. 677) According to neorealist stereotyping, Biava, Drent, and Herd (2011) state that the EU's external relations have been limited by a number of generalities critical to the neorealist conception of power. It has no strategic culture, due to its reliance on win win outcomes and a lack of hard power to achieve political objectives. A consensus driven regional perspective dominates its interests and priorities. As a result, it is a postmodern actor in a global order still governed by the hard p ower of state actors defining and seeking the achievement of relative gains. While neoliberals focus on state cooperation and integration for the purpose of accumulating absolute gains without regard for the gains or losses of other international actors, n eorealists assume that states act with self regard for the accumulation of gains relative to the results that other international actors achieve (Powell, 1991).


22 Like neorealism, neoliberalism is grounded in the twin realities of power and self intere st. However, neoliberalism diverges significantly from realism in its conception of the stature of institutions and other non state actors in the international order that governs those realities and interests (Keohane & Martin, 1995). Neoliberal criticism of neorealism centers especially on the latter's perceived overarching focus on military and economic factors while overlooking the independent influence of normative paradigms such as culture and identity (Etzioni, 2007). Neoliberalism begins with a ba sic set of assumptions. According to Keohane (1984), nation states possess costs and benefits of alternative courses of action in order to maximize their utility in view of these ). If state elites do not anticipate self interested benefits then cooperation is unlikely and the institutions that foster cooperation are unlikely to provide information, reduce transaction cost s, make commitments more credible, establish focal points for


23 coordination, and in general facilitate the operation of Both realism and neoliberalism begin from the assumption that the absence of a sovereign auth ority that can make and enforce binding agreements creates opportunities for states to advance their interests unilaterally and makes it important and difficult for states to cooperate with one another. (p. 43) cooperation among sovereign states difficult and leads to competition and conflict for resources and influence (Grieco, 1988). Industrial powers all share a common pursuit of industry and profit and will seek whatever methods would maximize this motive most efficiently (Keohane, 1984). According to Sterling Folker (2000), was based on ability to effectively obtain given collective interests in given environmental circumstances, and tha t as Neoliberalism counters the neorealist view of IR theory by asserting that cooperation between state actors is possible even on narrow and self interested assumptions (Spehn, 2005). Crucial


24 treat states like rational egotists operating in a world in which agreements cannot be hierarchically enforced, and that institutionalists only expect interstate cooperation to occur if states have significant common int (Keo hane & Martin, 1995, p. 39). Th o se common interests can be expressed through culture, identity, and norms. Nolan (1998) defines norms as "shared institutions and mores" or "international legal and moral principles and mechanisms." The European theater is especially indicative of th o se characteristics. Keohane and Martin (1995) continue transaction costs, make commitments more credible, establish focal points for coordination, and in general Summarily, institutions are efficacious instruments for greater cooperation (Jervis, 1999). Another of neoliberalism's essential critiques of overempha sizes conflict and underestimates the capacity of 486). Neoliberalism allows for both supranational and/or intergovernmental institutions such as the EU, UN, and NATO to foster cooperation and mutual t rust among state and


25 other non state actors, making it possible to overcome the often narrow and myopic self interests of states. Empirical Framework In this section I will introduce the empirical framework of the thesis, which primarily encompasses the case study and a review of the belligerent and allied actors in the case study and their intertwining relationships the EU, Georgia, Russia, and the separatist Georgian provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The antagonistic post Rose Revolution relat ionship between Georgia and Russia led the former to pursue a close institutional framework with the EU and subsequently led to further political conflict with Russia, a dynamic that eventually culminated in the 2008 war. T his chapter will assess the E U Georgian Russian institutional framework covering the period from the post Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003 up to the immediate aftermath of the war in 2008. The section will particularly focus on the EU's conditionality regarding Georgia's external re lations and conflict resolution strategies that impacted the EU's influence during the war in 2008 and maintained Georgia's trajectory of adopting EU norms and values in the hope of gaining a viable p ath towards


26 membership. I will also review Georgia's pos t Rose Revolution relationship with Russia. This was a mostly antagonistic relationship prior to the revolution, showing improvement just after Saakashvili's election in 2003, but returning to the contentious form that shaped the conditions for bellicosity and war. The constant factors in the relationship were conflict over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, persona l animosity between the Georgian Russian leadership, natural resource disputes, and Russian intransigence over the progressively close ties between Geo rgia, the EU, and the United States. As the final piece of the institutional framework of the EU Georgian Russian triumvirate, I will review the tentative, suspicious, but economically fruitful relationship between the EU and Russia. As the final piece of the overall empirical framework, this chapter will provide an overview of the case study, the 2008 Russian Georgian War. Particularly important to the review are the events pertaining to EU intervention and its assistance to the Georgian government in o btaining terms during ceasefire negotiations that would salvage its government from collapse and protect its territorial


27 integrity by preventing the independent sovereignty of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. EU Georgian Russian Interdependency Few proponent transition from authoritarian despot to zealous reformer developments. The Baltic states aside, Georgia is clearly the best run ex Soviet state. Membership of the Eu ropean Union is distant, but not unimaginable. Only 20 years ago Georgia was wracked by civil war and destitution. Only 10 years ago it was a sleazy, sleepy fief. Only four years ago its very existence as an independent state was at risk, following the war with Russia. (Eastern Approaches, 2012c) However, it is not immediately obvious that its close association with the EU since the Rose Revolution is even partly responsible for this change. What institutional framework anchored the relationship between Georgia and the EU, imposing a regime of conditionality that would reward Georgia for adopting standards of good governanc e and stable external relations while checking Russian belligerence towards Georgia by


28 tying its exports to European consumer markets? Could Georgia plausibly expect its burgeoning but tenuous relationship with the EU since its return to democracy in 2003 to conclude with eventual membership, however distant that goal might appear? Is there evidence that the EU expected its relationship with Georgia to reach beyond structure to involve eventual bilateral relations, including possible membership? How did the institutional framework prepare the EU for its intervention during the wa r in 2008? Before the war in 2008, the EU's intervention in Georgia's conflicts, both internal and external, had been considered exceedingly indirect (Zagorski, 2010). The concept of intervention has different contextual definitions that are primarily d ependent on whether said intervention is considered coercive in nature. Thomson (1995) writes: "The decision to intervene coercively is taken by states whose aim is not to destroy a sovereign state but to prop it up or depose a particular government" (p. 2 29). However, the case study will argue for a definition of intervention by the EU as a function of political mediation and diplomacy by an international actor


29 that attempted to steer state actors in Georgia to make decisions related to conflict management that were agreeable to EU elites and their institutional norms and were consistent with the EU's normative approach to external state relations. In 2003, an EU Security Strategy (EUSS) suggested that the EU should take a stronger and more active intere st in the problems of the South Caucasus region (European Council, 2003). However, its conduct towards the region since Georgia's revolution in 2003 up to 2008 implicitly gave the impression that the EU was not prepared to directly challenge Russia's claim s to supremacy in the region. The EU was also reluctant to more fully engage as a result of the sporadic conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan that plagued the region during the 1990s. The report CEIIG, 2009) in these terms: Over the years there was a gradual increase in European involvement in Georgia, which may be called forthcoming in terms of economic aid, politically friendly on the bilateral side, cooperative but cautious on conte ntious political issues and...mostly


3 0 distanced in terms of military support and sensitive security issues. The Georgia EU Action Plan within the European Neighborhood Partnership (ENP) governed EU Georgian relations dating from 2006. The ENP is an asso ciation and partnership agreement structure between the EU and countries in its geographic proximity and self declared theater of interests. This area included a southern group that encompassed many of the Arab countries of North Africa and the Middle East and a separate eastern group covering Eastern Europe, of which Georgia was a member. The ENP regulated the EU's external relationships within three distinct and mutually exclusive categories, as described by Landaburu (2006): 1) a precursor to accession for former ENP countries, such as the current enlargement grouping in the Western Balkans; 2) an alternative for countries that had expressed interest in EU membership but were inherently not prepared for accession. This grouping included Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, and Azerbaijan; and 3) those countries that were within the EU periphery but were not North Africa and the Middle East, including Israel and th e Palestinian Authority in the West B ank.


31 The ENP was an attempt at a normative approach from the EU towards the partner countries, providing an institutional framework for region building and cooperative security practices (Adler & Crawford, 2004). The key goal of the ENP was political co nditionality that would link the potential future establishment of EU/ENP partner country bilateral relations with state stability and higher standards of democracy in ENP partner countries (Schimmelfennig, 2005). The EU's associational agreements and enla rgement criteria are an explicit form of conditionality that partner countries like Georgia must satisfy to be in compliance and progress to greater forms of association with the EU. Tocci (2008) observes that "positive conditionality entails the promise o f a benefit in return for the fulfillment of a predetermined condition" (p. 882). While the benefit for fulfillment of the EU's enlargement conditionality is the promise of membership, the benefit for fulfillment of its partnership conditionality is often unclear and leaves the relationship between the EU and partnership countries in an almost constant state of flux and uncertainty over progressive forms of bilateral relationship building.


32 However, The ENP was also a defensive measure against further imm ediate enlargement, an implicit recognition by the EU that the fifth wave of enlargement had created new eastern frontier looked west for the institutional inclusion that their neighbors had just achieved. Korosteleva (2011) writes: Given its unprecedented geographical and political expansion into the former socialist bloc, the policy (ENP) sought to address two critical strategic issues: to avoid drawing new dividing lines in Europe and to promote stability and prosperity within and beyond the new borders of the Union. (p. 1 2) At the time, EU officialdom (Europa, 2010a) described the approach that ensures that the whole of the EU is committed to deeper relations with...neighbors. At the same time, it allows...development (of) tailor made relations with each member country, the framework for its ag reement with Georgia focused on the following areas of state behavioral norms critical to Georgia's external relations: strengthening democracy,


33 establishing the rule of law, protecting human rights, promoting conflict resolution, and regional cooperation with its state and non state institutional neighbors (Europa, 2010b). That commitment towards Georgia included the possibilities for deeper cooperation in matters of foreign and security policy and, most relevant to the case study, the twin issues of regio nal stability and conflict management (Europa, 2006). Since the case study is concerned with determining the efficacy of the EU's intervention during and immediately after the Russian Georgian War in 2008, the thesis is primarily concerned with the concept of interstate conflict management. There is no agreed upon definition of conflict management on the part of the EU but Whitman and Wolff (2010) write that a consensus definition exists among EU officials that it "involves assisting the parties to a confli ct to achieve agreement on a mutually acceptable institutional framework within which they can deal with disputes by political means rather than through recourse to violence" (p. 2). A distinction should be made between conflict resolution and conflict pre vention, as this case study is definitively a study of conflict resolution. Conflict resolution involves the reestablishment of peace after attempts at conflict


34 prevention have failed and before hostilities are formally undertaken. The ENP's Action Plan for Georgia was an attempt to ensure that Georgia settled its external conflicts and include promoting multilateral nation state cooperation in the foreign policy arena, especially in the areas of the peaceful settlement of conflicts, and t he ENP created 'soft external guarantees' that Georgia's reform process would continue regardless of which government were elected into power (Gogolashvili, 200 9). The EU's intent was to maintain the pace and measure of Georgian reforms regardless of whether the mercurial Saakashvili remained in office or was replaced by a successor administration. The institutional framework of the ENP hoped to ensure that Georg ian political reforms become a 'third rail' of the country's political party lines and a promise that would not be breeched by partisanship or realigning elections. In 2012, party was defeated in parliamentary elections, incoming Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili (Eastern Approaches, 2012d


35 no debate on foreign policy. It is Europe, Euro Atlantic part, Georgian civil society viewed the ENP as a means to consolidate democracy, hedge against the revival of authoritarianism, embark on sustainable economic development, and empower Georgia to assert its independence and resolve its conflicts, both externally and within the provinces (Tocci, 2008). The ENP also included a strong commitment from the EU to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Although South Ossetia and Abkhazia both desired secession from Georgi a since Georgia's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, they wanted very different outcomes in governance. While South Ossetia wished to fold itself into the Russian Federation, Abkhazia wished to form an independent state separate from Russia and Ge orgia. Every Western government and organization that claimed to be a stakeholder in the region, particularly the United States, the EU, and NATO all considered South Ossetia and Abkhazia indissoluble of Georgia, and opposed any attempts to change their st atuses (Eastern Approaches, 2012a).


36 The disputed statuses of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are often referred to as frozen conflicts. Frozen conflicts in the context of the Georgian separatist provinces are unresolved territorial and nationalist disputes r esulting from the sudden breakup of the Soviet Union. The cases of Abkhazia and South Ossetia date back even further to the Russian Revolution. These frozen conflicts have been deescalated artificially, but their disputed statuses give cause for sometimes violent tension between the citizens in the provinces and governments of the territorially weakened host nations (Kapitonenko, 2009). Both Abkhazia and South Ossetia were considered officially frozen conflicts from the end of the Cold War up to August 2008 when war officially broke out between Russia and Georgia and they then became active conflicts. They could be considered 'refrozen' when the EU's ceasefire was put into effect, leaving their ultimate statuses unresolved for an indefinite length of time. Georgia and the provincial authorities in South Ossetia nearly went to war in 2004 over Georgia's attempts to impose its authority in the province. Welt (2010) writes that the trigger to the 2004 conflict is a widely shared opinion: restrictions on trade and movement that Georgia


37 imposed in South Ossetia. The EU attempted half hearted measures to mediate the conflict but was mostly unsuccessful. Coppieters (2007) writes that: The impatience of the post revolutionary Georgian leadership along with the lack of progress in the political negotiations, and with the high economic (and, especially, fiscal) cost of the lack of control over the transfer of goods between Georgia and Russia through South Ossetian territory, led to harsh measures. Freedom of trade was restricted by a number of means. resolution policies had four different objectives for prevention (diplomatic efforts to forestall the possibility of hostile actions by involved parties), conflict transformation (aligns the parties' differences in more compatible ways), international conflict management (making external actors more responsible for containment of violence), and conflict settlement (achie vement of an institutional framework for final settlement). The ENP committed Georgia to peaceful conflict


38 provinces, as well as its external neighbors like Russia (Weisensee, 2010). Popescu (2007) views the ENP Action Plan as containing a two pronged approach to the settlement of Georgia's secessionist conflicts. First, it aimed to make Georgia more attractive to South Ossetia and Abkhazia. This would be achieved by supporting Georgia's transition f rom authoritarianism to electoral democracy, particularly by strengthening internal reforms that would demonstrate a form of soft power, thereby attracting the separatist provinces towards Georgia rather than the perceived authoritarianism of Russia. I rel y on Keohane and Nye's (1998) definition of soft power as "the ability to achieve goals through attraction rather than coercion. It works by convincing others to follow or getting them to agree to norms and institutions that produce the desired behavior" ( p. 6). The soft power expressed through enlargement and association agreements is especially attractive to small states in Eastern Europe who lack sufficient hard power capabilities and might view the EU as a 'security regime' to hedge against intrusion fr om Russia and other perceived threats in the Near East (Charillon, 2005). Second, the EU would directly target the economies of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and directly lessen their dependence on Russia.


39 Since the adoption of the ENP Action Plan in 2006, th e EU had been the biggest financial donor to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) accompanied the ENP a funding arm of the ENP that sought to offer financial assistance in supp ort of the goals For the time period immediately following independence up to the establishment of the ENP in 2006, total grants from the European Commission to democratically elected Saakashvili government, who was mentioning EU membership as a goal of his government, ENPI assistance to Georgia doubled for the period 2003 2006 compared to the previous three year period (Demirag, 2004). Given the inner turmoil in Georgia during the years immediately following independence, th o se grants mostly went towards humanitarian assistance and food aid. As the country's civil war ebbed and its government and civil society became more stable, EU grants became more targeted in turn, with funds going towards technical priorities, such as agricultural assistance and im proving food security (Europa, 2010 b ).


40 There are differing views on the impact of the ENP on the triangular EU Georgian Russian relationship since its adoption. Haukkala (2008) argues that Russia viewed the ENP as an intrusion into its traditional sphere of influence and sovereign prerogatives, while simultaneously realizing that the partnership framework was a practical solution for the EU's relations with the increasingly chaotic governments of the former Soviet Union. While the EU prizes its supranational and intergovernmental characteristics for providing its security, Russia locates its security in traditional sovereignty and realpolitik (Walski, 20 10). However, Zagorski (2010) views the ENP as a much more benign factor in the EU Russian relationship, arguing that the ENP encompassed so many countries and regions and a broad collection of policy agendas that Russia had difficulty discerning the in centives that might promote it into becoming an authentic stakeholder in the process. The Eastern Partnership (EaP), adopted in 2009, was designed in part to combat that issue by creating an eastern dimension in Russia's sphere of influence that Russia wou ld have to respond to as a stakeholder. Though ontier and its requisite commitment


41 to and investment in the region was suspect, the ENP can also be seen in hindsight as an ingenious m ethod of halting enlargement after the 2004/ 2007 membership class es while simultaneously expanding the EU's normative ideals to the countries in the South Caucasus. The ENP would halt enlargement to those countries potentially eligible for the time being, while also providing an institutional framework for democratization and liberalization that the acquis communitaire enforced on the accession process (Edwards, 2008). In this respect, the ENP might represent a form of 'mechanical borrowing' from the enlarg ement process, but with the stick of an institutional framework lacking the actual carrot of membership (Kelley, 2006). Looked at from this angle, the ENP lacked the comprehensiveness and conditionality to promote reforms in Georgia, which is relatively po or and rife with internal and domestic disputes. It sought to be a normative replacement for enlargement, but the EU risked losing creditability and legitimacy without an institutional framework that provided a real path to eventual membership for countrie s like Georgia stuck in the ENP (Haukalla, 2008b). When Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007 as the final pairing of the fifth wave of enlargement, their


42 accessions were seen as representing a lowering of the bar for the EU's conditionality regime (Noutcheva, 2008). Both countries' domestic politics caused a lagging of sorts to meet the accession criteria and they clearly were not ready for membership on January 1, 2007. The enlargement rounds of 2004 and 2007 created an expectation gap between the EU and the ENP partners in Eastern Europe left outside of the EU that further enlargement would take place and involve the South Caucasus, Georgia being perhaps the foremost potential candidate country (Bechev & Nicoladis, 2010). While the EU realized that further enlargement would h ave to take place to ensure its viability as an inclusive institution that encompassed virtually all of democratic Europe, it needed two things in the immediate term: a way to slow down the pace of new membership applicatio ns that would ensue from Eastern Europe based on the conditionality laggards of Romania and Bulgaria, plus a new institutional framework to differentiate the South Caucasus and Black Sea regions from the rest of the ENP, particularly excluding those countr ies in the Arab world with little ambition and practically no likelihood of ever joining the EU. To fill th o se gaps, Georgia was singled out in May 2008, shortly before its war with Russia, along with Ukraine,


43 Moldova, Armenia, and Azerbaijan for inclu sion in the EU's Eastern Partnership (EaP). 4 Whereas the ENP sought to bring many of the benefits of EU membership to non member states in the European theater, the EaP was a more targeted eastern dimension of the ENP, delivering further integration in the guise of institution building, visa agreements, free trade, energy security, and regional development all hallmarks of democratic governance and development (Mller, 2011). Although some viewed the EaP as the obvious next step in the eventual EU mem bership of countries included in the group, others insisted that the EaP was merely a concession prize to those countries in lieu of actual accession (Verdun & Chira, 2011). Some (Christou, 2010) also argued that the EaP like its predecessor, would again be incapable of delivering the stated objectives of stability and security to Georgia without a plan for more serious engagement that at least discussed the possibilities for membership. Whereas the ENP and EaP represent a hodgepodge of political condition ality between the EU and partner countries, the accession process is a bilateral process that deeply involves the EU Commission and the governments 4 The EaP negotiations were not conclud ed until 2009.


44 of member candidate countries. Haukkala (2008 ) observes: "The (EU) uses its economic and normative clout to create a set of highly asymmetrical bilateral relationships between itself and the candidates, based on an entirely one sided projection of norms and values" (p. 41). Georgia's associational agreements with the EU up to 2008 integrated the country close r with the EU than perhaps with any other country in the ENP. However, EU membership was still a distant possibility in 2008 and the EU had not hinted that formal accession talks were close to forthcoming. However, there was reason to ascertain that the EN P and the newly announced EaP, combined with signals from the EU Commission and individual member state governments, all provided a realistic path from regional association status to eventual membership candidate status for Georgia that might have influenc ed its government to seek and accept EU intervention during the war in 2008. Overall, Georgia sought reforms greatly in part to meet the conditional objectives of EU accession criteria that were defined in the EU's 'fifth wave' of enlargement in 2004 and 2 007 (Gogolashvili, 2009). The government of President Mikheil Saakashvili clearly believed in the summer of 2008 that its eventual destiny


45 lay in reformist Eastern Europe and not with that of its former Soviet co republics in the South Caucasus and Cent ral Asia. Upon entering office after the country's Rose Revolution in 2003, Saakashvili (2004) grandiosely stated Nazis signifying the first wave and the fall of the Iron Curtain marking the second. with the small economic successes of Estonia in Eastern Europe and Singapore in Asia Pacific ("Saakashvili," 2 011). Government buildings in Tbilisi displayed the EU flag next to the Georgian national flag, directly symbolizing a progression from the country's past and present to its future hopes of someday joining the European fraternity to its west (Leonard & Gra nt, 2005). Put to a vote, a hypothetical accession treaty in Georgia would likely garner overwhelming support. In a public opinion poll conducted in Georgia in 2009, 79.3% of those surveyed stated that they would vote for Georgian membership of the EU (Ml ler, 2011). Georgia is positively different from other ENP and EaP countries with regard to the plausibility of eventual


46 accession. Georgia is the only member of the former Soviet republics to have genuine aspirations of becoming fully democratic (King, 2004). Other EaP countries stuck between the EU and Russia, particularly Ukraine and Belarus, have used the friction and competing interests of the EU Russia relationship to extract concessions from both sides. Georgia instead has plotted a course of near ritual compliance with EU conditionality since Saakashvili's election in 2003. Two years before the war and intervention, Papava and Tokmazishvili (2006) write that: being facilitated by t economic, structural, institutional, and political decisions to work precursor to its acceptance of comprehensive EU engagement during the war in 2008, Georgia appealed to the EU in a formal agreement in 2006 in an effort to quell its internal divisions and its row with Russia and thereby take a more active role in con flict resolution, defined in th o se instances as reconstruction, reconciliation, and security guarantees (Tocci, 200 8). Although the Saakashvili government had proven to be erratic and impulsive at critical times, sometimes reverting back to Georgia's


47 autocratic history, the EU in 2008 had reasonable confidence that it could intervene on the country's behalf without fea r of being used as a tool in the Georgian Russian bilateral relationship. What prevented Georgia's readiness for EU accession during the summer of 2008? Although Georgia offered the only credible democracy in the South Caucasus region, the government's escalation of its secessionist conflicts in 2008 seriously hindered its forward momentum in meeting EU conditionality and jeopardized its claim to state stability, which was a prime component of EU member state accession (Asmus, 2008). Nodia (1995) notes G historical: Disdain for compromise, its lack of interest in solutions to economic or other mundane problems, its disregard for political reality and attachment to historical revivalism and fantasies regarding gradualism, and its admiration for heroic aesthetical gestures. (p. 124) Tocci (2008) argues that the EU institutional framework failed in its main task of changing the essential nature of Georgian state behavior. "Despite the extension of the ENP


48 to G propensity for brinkmanship and unilateral measures as a means to settle its conflicts." Georgia's claim to be a European state is also debatable, as its cultural values are very different from the European d emocracies to its west (Asmus, 2008). Further hindering Georgian membership was the uncertainty that a refusal by the EU to offer membership to Georgia would halt Georgian reforms. Georgia had eagerly sought to meet the conditionality expectations set forth in the association agreements without being assured of eventual accession. Although the EaP sought to function as a replacement for actual accession, merely a normative change agent to Georgian state behavior in the guise of social learning, Georgia had not yet openly complained of being excluded from formal membership talks. Therefore, the EU's short term need to offer engagement beyond the EaP was not obvious (Asmus, 2008). the EU itself. After the enlargements of 2004 and 2007, the counter argument to further EU enlargement, led most prominently by French rightwing nationalists, was gaining ground. The EU's acceptance of Hungary, Romania, and


49 Bulgaria gave ammunition to skeptics that the E U accession process was incapable of transferring norms and values from Western Europe's rich democracies to their relatively poor and corrupt cousins in Eastern Europe. Anti enlargement voices argued that the EU could more effectively engage its neighbors through regional association agreements aimed at cooperation and 'social learning' that stopped short of full accession. French rightwing opposition to further enlargement was further stoked by its elites' fears of increased immigration in France due to r elaxed work and travel restrictions in the EU's Schengen area, introducing an influx of unappreciated Eastern European migrant workers (Erlanger, 2012). and its member states was more tenuous and complicated. Not content to become part of the ENP along with its smaller neighbors in Eastern Europe, Russia instead opted to form an agreement with the EU titled 'Common Spaces,' focusing on EU Russian cooperati on in the areas of economics, justice, security, and education.


50 1). While the Europeanization of Rus sia through institutional agreements could probably be considered an abject failure up to the war in 2008 EU Russia economic interdependence would become a far more intertwined form of association. As of 2009 Russia would compensate for 36% of s imports, 31% of its crude oil imports, and 30% exports, 70% of its gas exports, and 50% of its coal exports went to the EU (European Commissi on, 2011). Russian Georgian Relations and War 2003 2008 As a poor, small, and tenuous democracy in a rough neighborhood of often large, resourc e rich, militaristic, and authoritarian states, Georgia attempted to carve out a unique and self determinate space in the South Caucasus after its independence in 1991. Since the 2003 Rose Revolution, Georgia had been especially solicitous of the century geographic hegemony in the South Caucasus. Georgia was merely one of 15 countries formed after the breakup of the Soviet Union, but it was a crucial link in building an


51 ambitious common economic space among the former Soviet states that the Russians were trying to impose on the region (Filippov, 2009). Kag an (2008) ruminates that: Georgia's unhappy fate is that it borders a new geopolitical fault line that runs along the western and southwestern frontiers of Russia...a geopolitical power struggle has emerged between a resurgent and revanchist Russia on one side and the European Union and the United States on the other. The Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev era Russia has been a study in clashing scholarly perception and Kremlinology. Interpretation has varied greatly about the nature of the regime in Mos cow. It has been alternately described during the past decade as a normal, developing, middle income capitalist country (Shleifer & Treisman, 2004), an apathetic and de facto disenfranchised electorate led by a cynically entitled and colossally corrupt rul ing class (Remnick, 2011), or a czarist quasi the black cowl of Russian Orthodoxy is draped over an increasingly xenophobic, tyrannical, expansionist, and Tsygankov and Tarver Wahlquist (2009) view Russian Georgian relations from 2003 up to the war in 2008 as a


52 study in interstate relationship deterioration through four distinct stages. The relationship evolved from a brief interlude of mutual good intentions after the Georgian revolution in 2003 to the lowest point of 2008. The first of both nations expressed an interest in renewed presence in Georgia, combined with Saakashvili's interest in developing renewed ties with the West, moved the relationship away from cooperation to one of 'passive containment' by Russia. Passive containment would involve occasional verbal warnings from Moscow to Tbilisi and material support from Moscow to Abkha zia and South Ossetia in support of the separatists. Further tensions in 2007 moved the relationship to the third stage of 'active containment,' when diplomatic confrontations ended most formal government links between the countries. The fourth stage culmi nated in the 2008 war. Mikhelidze (2009) observes that the 2008 war proved that Russia had its own claims over the South Caucasus and was willing to demonstrate its readiness to militarily confront the Saakashvili regime over this prerogative. Shortly a fter the 2008 war, some of Russia's political elites began


53 referring hyperbolically to the Georgian invasion of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as 'Russia's 9/11' (Allison, 2008). Like Chinese hawkishness over Taiwan or Indo Pakistani nuclear brinkmanship over Kashmir, Abkhazia and South Ossetia were objectively meaningless territorial prizes used by the Russians to demonstrate a subjectively larger point. Through the war it wished to make clear to the international community that the South Caucasus was clearly and definitively in the Russian sphere of influence. In opposition to the EU's efforts to reorient Georgia's governance procedures towards the 'European way,' Russian officials spoke of a competing reorientation for Georgia they termed the 'Northern way' ( Papava, 2008). Rahman (2009) writes that the root cause of the overall Georgian Russian conflict was due to the transitional nature of their respective democracies. While Georgia's politics, economy, and tourism sectors all benefited from being associat ed with Eastern Europe and its rapidly modernizing and developing countries, Russia's sclerotic political system and stagnating economic model depended on enforcing an outdated 20th century imperial model that attempted to recapture the resource production of neighboring countries. Along with Ukraine, Belarus, and


54 Kazakhstan, Georgia was just one of several countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia that had been made to submit to Russian attempts at natural resource expropriation. Partly to blame for the two countries' poor relations after 2003 was the personality clash between Vladimir Putin and Mikheil Saakashvili. Both Putin and Saakashvili were competing to vie for the leadership of the 'post Soviet space' in Eastern Europe (Levy, 2009). While Saak ashvili wanted to rapidly transfer the Georgian geopolitical space to Eastern Europe fully intact, Moscow wanted to prove that Georgia was still very much a satellite state of Russia, if not a puppet of the Putin Medvedev regime. Creating a pretextual conf lict over South Ossetia and Abkhazia might serve as a vehicl e for accomplishing that point. Myriad explanations have been provided by scholars for explicating the immediate genesis of the war between Georgia and Russia during the spring and summer of 20 08. Among all of the considerations, mutual distrust and miscommunication are widely believed to be mainly responsible for setting the belligerent parties on a course for immediate and non reversible conflict. Allison (2008) synthesizes the competing claim


55 Two quite contrary narratives are in circulation. Russia claims that its operation and subsequent security measures in Georgia have been sui generis and essentially retaliatory an ad hoc, exceptional, though large scale, respon se to a Georgian attack in the intervention in Georgia, has principally served as a means of coe rcion and a device to expedite military intervention in that country for other strategic purposes. (p. 1145 46) Friedman (2008) offers a similar explanation that government and its eventual acquiescence to Western assert its perceived supremacy in the South Caucasus and objectives with hard power: It is very difficult to imagine that the Georgians l aunched their attack against U.S. wishes. The Georgians rely on the United States, and they were in no position to defy it. This leaves two possibilities.


56 The first is a massive breakdown in intelligence. If this was the case, then it points to the central reality of this situation: The Russians had changed dramatically, along with the balance of power in the region. They welcomed the opportunity to drive home the new reality, which was that they could invade Georgia and the United States and Europe could n ot respond. (p. 3) Two indirect regional incidents were critical to sparking Russia's ire and apprehension towards Georgia and the EU in the spring and summer of 2008. The first incident occurred in the Western Balkans in February when Kosovo declared i ndependence from Serbia. Russia feared that particularly in the North Caucasus. As a consequence, n but a majority of the international community, and critically a great majority of EU member states, were determined to recognize Kosovo's independence. Russia was equally determined to make an example of Georgia instigating a proxy fight over South Oss etia and Abkhazia, an instigation for which Georgia was likely to impetuously retaliate, increased


57 pressure on both governments. Sensing Moscow's eagerness to press for the recognition of the provinces' independence and widespread support for independence within the provinces themselves, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1808. The resolution reaffirmed unanimous support within the Council for Georgia's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. It strictly expressed a prohibit ive stance towards any attempts to change the borders of Georgia and Russia in the South Caucasus. openness to this proposition, was another move that Russia fiercely opposed. Georgia's proposed me mbership of NATO would have created a 4th NATO member along Russia's long and non contiguous western border. The U.S. administration of George W. Bush was strongly supportive of Georgia's NATO aspirations but the EU felt that Georgia's inclusion would be u nnecessarily provocative and declined to support Georgia's sponsorship. Negotiations for Georgia's NATO membership fell apart shortly before the war in the summer of 2008 (Verdun & Chira, 2011). In May 2008, foreign ministers from five EU member states Slovenia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Sweden


58 visited Georgia in a symbolic show of support. Slovenia held the six month rotational presidency during the first half of 2008 and Georgian President Saakashvili warned the delegation that Russia intended to invade and occupy Abkhazia. Abkhazia claimed that it had shot down several unmanned surveillance aircraft belonging to Georgia. The visit would be considered an overall failure, as there was no obvious result or statement of solidarity from the EU, eit her as a whole or even from the combined delegation. As a consolation, the Lithuanian minister made a joint statement with his Ukrainian counterpart, criticizing Russia for increasing tension in the region and threatening Georgia's territorial integrity by supporting the secessionist claims of Abkhazia ("EU Backs Georgians in Russia Row," 2008). War ultimately commenced on August 7, 2008, when Georgia launched its surprise attack in South Ossetia. Combat typically involved ground forces and armored tank divisions. Georgia's predicament before the enactment of the ceasefire was increasingly dire. Compared with Russia's 64 troop casualties, Georgia's military suffered 162 combat deaths in just a few days. Russian armored divisions had penetrated deep beyond South Ossetia and Abkhazia into


59 Georgian territory, nearing the capital of Tbilisi. Barring Georgian casualties might likely have been far greater. On August 11, 2008, President Sarkozy offered mediation on behalf of the EU with the condition that Georgia and Russia declare a truce before or at the moment of his arrival and that Russia would not invade and occupy the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. Both truce was only temporary and hostilities soon recommenced while the ceasefire was being negotiated and Sarkozy shuttled between Tbilisi and Moscow attempting to gain an agreement on terms (Wiesensee, 2010). Ceasefire negotiations formally began on August 12, 2008, whe n Sarkozy presented a peace plan that contained six points of hoped just contained four points but Russian President Medvedev insisted on adding an additional two points that would contextualize the statuses of the p rovinces by making their postwar sovereignty more ambiguous. Georgian President Saakashvili requested that the additional two points be added as an aside in parentheses but the Russians insisted on their full enclosure within the agreement. Eventually, Sar kozy was able to gain a concession from the Georgian


60 leader and the two points remained intact within the final ceasefire plan. Sarkozy later called Medvedev for compliance with the final draft of the ceasefire document and threatened to convene the Eur opean Council if an agreement could not be pressure. The final six point agreement was approved and Russia started its withdrawal from Georgian positions on August 22, excluding negotiated buffer zones in and near Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Other international actors were quick to give credit to the EU for its rapid response to the crisis. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice officially described the negotiated ceasefire as being "negotiated by Fren ch President Sarkozy, clarified further by President Sarkozy to President Saakashvili, and then backed by the European Union" (U.S. Department of State, 2008). Quickly after fighting ensued, Russia moved to unilaterally recognize the independent soverei gnty of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. On August 12, 2008, the EU and all of its 27 member states categorically protested the move and called on all nations to do likewise. Once again, the EU strongly stated support for Georgia's territorial


61 integrity and ins isted that the provinces remain a part of Georgian territory. Saakashvili ("Saakashvili Accuses Russia of Trying to Redraw the Map," 2008) used the incident to draw his country's battle into the hypothetical 'European space,' and draw Georgia closer toward s its allies in the EU, stating: Georgia was part of a broader, pre meditated plan to redraw the map of Europe. Russia has violated all treaties and all agreements that it has previously signed. Today, by it s actions, the Russian Federation is seeking to validate the use of violence, direct military aggression and ethnic cleansing to forcibly change the borders of a neighboring state. However, Russia implied that its decision to recognize the provinces' i ndependence was reversible and conditional by calling on the West to reverse its decision to recognize Kosovo. The EU and the United States stated that their decision to support Kosovo's sovereignty, along with support for Georgia's territorial integrity, was non negotiable. Eventually, Russia was only able to gain initial support for its position from its ally in Nicaragua, who immediately provided recognition for the


62 disputed provinces, later followed by Venezuela and the tiny Pacific island nations of Na uru, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. On September 1, 2008, the EU protested over the provincial territory in violation of the ceasefire agreement. The EU threatened to postpone its Partnership and Cooperation A greement (PCA) with Russia until all troops had returned to the borders established before hostilities began in August 2008. As a result, the Russian leadership struck a clever compromise. Russian troops evicted themselves from the non secessionist territo ries in Georgia but heavy reinforcements were left in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The EU relented in its objections and the PCA was eventually resumed ("Charlemagne", 2008). On September 8, 2008, further diplomatic troubles ensued over Russia's continue d occupation of the buffer zones created by the six point agreement, which stipulated that Russia and Georgia must return to their pre conflict military positions. Russia now rejected this requirement, declaring that its recognition of Abkhazia and South O the ground and necessitated the reversal of that stipulation. As a result, Sarkozy threatened to walk out of


63 negotiations and offered to deploy a monitoring mission, later known officially as the Eu ropean Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM), to replace Russian troops in the buffer zones. Russia eventually agreed to withdraw from the buffer zones and to allow the EU to deploy its monitors. The EUMM was deployed the following month (Harding, 200 8) (Wiesensee, 2010). The EUMM is still in effect as of this writing, having been extended four times, and is set to expire on September 14, 2013 Over 200 combined active EU monitors serve from every EU member country barring Cyprus (IIFFMCG CEIIG, 2009) (EUMM, 2011). Two months after the EU's implementation of the ceasefire, there was concern that Russia might move to militarily back up its assertion of Abkhazia and South provinces and perhaps non pro vincial Georgian territory as well. On October 15, 2008, the EU instigated international discussions in Switzerland, as stipulated by the six point agreement. The EU left the discussions with a tangible policy result when it was able to form the Incident P revention and Response Mechanism (IPRM). The IPRM was established to provide the exchange of information on security incidents between Russia, Georgia, and the de


64 facto authorities of South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and the EUMM. The IPRM was intended as a politi cal rapid response instrument that might forestall the costly mistakes of August 2008 caused by the antagonistic and non communicative ignorance of politicians in both Moscow and Tbilisi ("Georgia Russia: Learn to Live like Neighbors," 2011). Due to the August war, an economic downturn in post war Georgia seemed inevitable. Tourism halted to a standstill, international aid was slow in being reintroduced into the country, and the Saakashvili government was under scrutiny for its role in escalating the con flict during the previous summer and imperiling the economy and Georgia itself as a functioning and viable nation state. In response to according to EU officials, was to "mobilize a critical mass of external assistance to support the country in the reconstruction of damaged infrastructure, reintegration of internally displaced peoples and in accelerating Georgia's recovery from the impact of the Aug u st 2008 conflict on its on behalf of the EU's efforts and the Saakashvili


65 government received a temporary reprieve. The U.S. government of President George W. Bush released a statement applauding the EU's efforts in restoring stability to Georgia and pledged an additional $1 billion in assistance (U.S. Department of State, 2008). established a fact finding commission to present a report on the caus es, justifications, and consequences of the so Abkhazia. This commission, known officially as the Independent International Fact Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia (IIFFMCG), and known unofficial ly as EU member state) Swiss diplomat and further staffed by 30 European military, was to compile an authoritative third party account of the conflict in th e hopes of avoiding a sequel conflict in the future (IIFFMCG CEIIG, 2009). It presented its report in 2009 and it was considered the definitive account of the established an ambitious tone for EU diplom acy and intervention in their introduction, acknowledging that the


66 engagement with its external neighbors: This is the first time in its history that the European Union has decided to intervene acti vely in a serious armed conflict. It is also the first time that after having reached a ceasefire agreement the European Union set up a Fact Finding Mission as a political and diplomatic follow up to the conflict. (p. 2) Furthermore, a 2010 descriptive analysis of EU foreign policy towards Georgia and Russia during the conflict is a author (Weisensee, 2010) points to 16 specific cases of EU dipl omatic actions, statements, and their results in Georgia and its provinces from 1999 2009. In 8 of those cases, the author determined that the EU had achieved However, the EU in the other 8 cases was judged to have had


67 CHAPTER III CONCLUSIONS A conundrum existed in EU foreign policy from the end of the Cold War leading up to the Russian Georgian War of 2008. This problem, crucial to the dependent variable, could be summarized as the institutional argument over the assimilate and influence its neighbors in Russia and the former Eastern bloc in their acceptance of EU norms and values, particularly with regard to e stablishing peaceful interstate relations and conflict management strategies. In other words could the EU, led by its richest and most influential member state in Germany, most effectively project its norms and values through further enlargement and deepen ing political integration in Eastern Europe; or could a confluence of the EU's largest and wealthiest states in Western Europe, led by a cautious and tentative French German political alliance, infect their eastern neighbors with social norms and values th rough regional associational agreements and economic entanglement in a membership static EU with little or no further enlargement beyond the nations who would join in 2004 and 2007?


68 At the start of the 21st century, Germany was solidly winning this argu ment. If a European nation state knocked on the door of the EU in Brussels and met the criteria for EU accession, defined at a minimum as a country in Europe considered by the current EU members in Western Europe to be culturally European and electorally d emocratic, engagement and passive coercion would be fashioned by co opting their interests through enlargement rather than merely engaging them through association agreements. Applebaum (2009) explains the historical progressivism that defined this pattern : founders -Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy were nations whose elites felt deep guilt about their wartime aggression or collaboration. For some, the sacrifice of a part of their sovereignty seemed a small price to pay for the chance to become A reunified but still militarily neutered Germany arguably needed a large and politically integrated EU in order to project German power without raising residual postwar anti German sentiment. For Germany, enlargement could be fashioned as a form of peaceful institutional


69 capture of the states of Europe to enforce its postwar tradition of fiscal discipline and social democracy. Germany might rely on its position a s the head of a European bloc of diverse and economically robust economies for its political influence while Europe would rely on German economic power to power its political influence. Others, however, have been more skeptical of the ambition to form a pan European union of liberal democracies enveloping the continent and providing the institutions and mechanisms that might normalize relations between peoples who had experienced centuries long feuds and bloody grievances. Even during the 1970s, when European political integration was in its infancy, French philosopher Raymond Aron (Holmes, 2009) cryptically la grande histoire from the history that is written in letters of blo As for France, its government certainly needed its sometimes edgy alliance with Germany to project its waning influence in Europe and abroad Declining birth rates, its national inclination for early retirement and generous social spending, and its reliance on British and American defense spending all combined to reverse its political and


70 economic standing. While it is possible to see the soft power of the EU projected meaningfully without France, the French state without the institutional backing o f the EU, at least the backing of an EU led by France and Germany, might recede into the background in determining the outcome of regional and global affairs. In fact, it would be natural to question the legitimacy of France's sole prerogative in President Sarkozy's intervention during the war between Georgia and Russia. Had France not held the Council Presidency in August 2008, it is difficult to imagine that it could have intervened effectively on its own without the foreign policy apparatus of the EU and the myriad interests, priorities, and soft and hard power capabilities of the other collective member states. While I argue that the relationship between Georgia and the EU was especially symbiotic, this would also characterize the relationship between th e EU and France. While France and its President led the diplomatic charge that resulted in order to demonstrate a plausible interest in the Sout h Caucasus that it could not demonstrate alone. Likewise, the armed state to


71 provide the implied threat advantage it needed to successfully intervene during the war without reliance on American or British help. As the empirical framework makes clear, the EU was quite effective in its self determined role as the sole actor mediating the Russian Georgian crisis. However, its success must be hedged by some important limiting factors. First, the EU was unable to ev occupying status in the provinces after the ceasefire was sovereignty and territorial integrity were not completely restored relative to their positions before the wa r. The EU was only able to secure a commitment from Russia that it secessionist territory, an albeit notable outcome but an outcome that fell short of achieving luence accomplished little to change the statuses of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as frozen conflicts. Their statuses remained frozen after the war officially ended and their governments remained as committed to secession as ever before. Abkhazia and South O


72 their territory, thereby emboldening their claims to independence. Finally, while EU intervention during the war was positively effective, it was also heavily reliant on the French Council Presidency. President Sarkozy was able to overcome Georgian objections to stipulations in the ceasefire agreement and was able to counter Georgian demands. On several occasions detailed in the empirical fr amework, Sarkozy was able to bring the Georgian leadership back from the brink whenever Saakashvili altered from the EU's mandated course of conflict resolution. By pushing so hard for an end to hostilities, Sarkozy not only secured a better outcome for Ge orgia in the postwar environment but also saved its government from collapse and prevented the secession of the provinces and their formal realignment with Russia. The EU Presidency of Slovenia in the first half of 2008 was a study in contrast to the compa ratively far greater influence of the French Presidency that began in July of that year. It is useful to note the contrast in influence the EU Presidency held when led by a large, rich Western European country like France as opposed to a poor new member st ate like Slovenia. In


73 reliant on the abilities of a large member state in Western Europe and it is questionable whether it would have been as effective if led by a smaller and less militarily developed nation than France. could be considered a success, that success was predicated on its soft power ability to attract the Georgian propens ity for conflict and instab ility. What are instances of th o se institutional restraints? Perhaps engaging a third party like the EU in the settlement of internal and interstate disputes with its neighbors, participating fully in fact finding missions, and a llowing peacekeepers to ceasefire had been established all instances of Georgian behavior in the case study. Although it is nearly unthinkable that a current EU member state could be involved in a ho stile interstate conflict outside of NATO, multilateral, or peacekeeping missions (after all, this was the original selling point of the post World War II agement and state behavior once war commenced aided the EU in its


74 ambitions for regional stability and prepared Georgia for eventual EU membership, no matter how distant a prospect that might be. A French foreign minister argued after the war that the Russ ian Georgian conflict was as important for EU diplomacy as the adoption of the euro was for European economic politics (Jouyet & Coignard, 2009). As the adoption of the euro led to greater political integration in Europe, so too might the EU's intervention lead to greater EU influence in the EaP sphere and result in greater overall stability in European interstate relations. power approach towards Georgia and Russia is to contrast its approach to Rus Allison (2008) terms Russia's 2008 offensive as 'coercing Georgia to peace.' In other words, Russia engaged its neighbor in the traditional manner of a sovereign nation state protecting its interests and attempting to impo se a both to draw Georgia from its course of engagement with the EU and for Georgia to relinquish its sovereignty over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russia threatened military measures, imposed a reg ime of light sanctions, engaged in


75 internal affairs all common measures taken by coercive state regimes in the global order of the 20 th century. Only until the unexpected intervention by its Europea n Union trading partner did it back down from further aggression during the war. imposition of economic punishments on the Georgian economy, the EU could be said to have countered with a strategy aimed at attracting Georgia to peace. Although the EU was insistent that Georgia maintain an active policy of conflict management in its relations with Abkhazia and Rose Revolution policy never wavered from positive conditional ity to threat of sanctions for non stability. The EU consistently used its soft power characteristics to attract the Georgian leadership and demonstrate a Western tinged alternative future to t status of being trapped within the Russian sphere of influence and subject to the whims and From a neoliberal perspective, the future EU might face the challenge of forming a soft power approach based o n interdependence that both protects and advances its current


76 also constraining its potential adversaries like Russia from meddling in (or even invading) potential member states like Georgia. This membership to countries like Georgia and increasing the continuing enlargements into the Western Balkans indicate that the EU accepts the enlargement scheme as a key tool of its foreign policy and soft power. Rather than simply and partners through organizations like the UN, the EU has co opted th o se countries enlargement and close political and/or economic association.


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