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Full Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?journalCode=ceas20 Download by: [Univerzitni Knihovna Ostravske] Date: 20 May 2016, At: 00:13 Europe-Asia Studies ISSN: 0966-8136 (Print) 1465-3427 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ceas20 Conflict Transformation and Civil Society: The Case of Nagorno-Karabakh Vincenc Kopecek, Tomas Hoch & Vladimir Baar To cite this article: Vincenc Kopecek, Tomas Hoch & Vladimir Baar (2016) Conflict Transformation and Civil Society: The Case of Nagorno-Karabakh, Europe-Asia Studies, 68:3, 441-459, DOI: 10.1080/09668136.2016.1147528 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2016.1147528 Published online: 19 May 2016. Submit your article to this journal View related articles View Crossmark data

Conflict Transformation and Civil Society: The Case of Nagorno-Karabakh

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Full Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found athttp://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?journalCode=ceas20

Download by: [Univerzitni Knihovna Ostravske] Date: 20 May 2016, At: 00:13

Europe-Asia Studies

ISSN: 0966-8136 (Print) 1465-3427 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ceas20

Conflict Transformation and Civil Society: The Caseof Nagorno-Karabakh

Vincenc Kopecek, Tomas Hoch & Vladimir Baar

To cite this article: Vincenc Kopecek, Tomas Hoch & Vladimir Baar (2016) ConflictTransformation and Civil Society: The Case of Nagorno-Karabakh, Europe-Asia Studies, 68:3,441-459, DOI: 10.1080/09668136.2016.1147528

To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2016.1147528

Published online: 19 May 2016.

Submit your article to this journal

View related articles

View Crossmark data

EUROPE-ASIA STUDIESVol. 68, No. 3, May 2016, 441–459

Conflict Transformation and Civil Society: The Case of Nagorno-Karabakh

VINCENC KOPECEK, TOMAS HOCH & VLADIMIR BAAR

Abstract

If Armenian and Azerbaijani negotiators ever agree on the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh, it will not necessarily resolve the long-running conflict, because any peace treaty would require the consent of the Karabakh Armenians, whose political representatives are currently excluded from peace negotiations. It is difficult to imagine the Karabakh Armenians consenting to such a treaty without a change in their perception of the Azerbaijanis. According to the theory of conflict transformation/peacebuilding, Nagorno-Karabakh’s civil society should be able to make a contribution to this change. Using the example of four Nagorno-Karabakh civil society organisations, this study shows how they positively or negatively influence conflict transformation.

AFTER THE ARMISTICE WAS SIGNED BETWEEN ARMENIAN AND Azerbaijani forces in May 1994, the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has ceased to attract the attention of the world’s journalists in print media or broadcast news. However, it has not ceased to occupy negotiators from the two conflicting nations, mediators from third parties, representatives of civil society and academics. Even though almost 20 years have elapsed since the armistice, the conflict has still not been settled by the signing of a peace treaty which would address key issues such as the international status of Nagorno-Karabakh. There is therefore still considerable potential for the situation to escalate into a new armed conflict, threatening to destabilise the entire Caucasian and Caspian region (German 2012). A re-escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict would also have a considerable impact on the security of the Western world, whether through the potential military involvement of Turkey or Russia or in consequence of the interruption of Azerbaijani oil supplies to Europe. Although much has already been written about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, there are still some aspects of it that remain relatively understudied. Despite several valuable contributions by Ghaplanyan (2010), Mikhelidze and Pirozzi (2008), Simão (2010); Berg and Mölder (2012); and Geybullayeva (2012), one such aspect is the role of civil society in the transformation of the conflict.

This study focuses on civil society in Nagorno-Karabakh and its role in the transformation of the conflict. It assesses the potential willingness of civil society to participate in the

ISSN 0966-8136 print; ISSN 1465-3427 online/16/3000441–19 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2016.1147528

2016 University of Glasgow

This article has been prepared as a part of the grant project De Facto States in Northern Eurasia in the Context of Russian Foreign Policy (GACR 15-09249S), financed by the Czech Science Foundation. We would also like to thank the editors of the journal for their patience and the two anonymous reviewers for their positive and useful comments.

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implementation of any peace agreement, which may require significant concessions from the present-day political representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh. The article adds new insights to the existing body of work on this aspect of the conflict by offering a critical discussion of the prevailing theory which assumes that civil society organisations will have a positive impact on the transformation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict (and on ethnic conflicts in general). The article shows that while there are civil society organisations which support conflict transformation (as far as possible), there are also those that work in the opposite direction.

After a brief introduction to the conflict and some notes on the methodology of our field research in Nagorno-Karabakh, we proceed to a critical discussion of the concept of peacebuilding and the conflict transformation paradigm. The core of the article consists of an analysis of the current state of Nagorno-Karabakh civil society, accompanied by short case studies which analyse the role of selected civil society organisations in the transformation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

The Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region (Nagorno-Karabakhskaya avtonomnaya oblast’—NKAO) was established in the early 1920s as a result of the conquest of the South Caucasus by Bolshevik troops and the transformation of the formerly independent republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan into Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs), which were subsequently incorporated into the Soviet Union. Despite the overwhelmingly Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh, it was incorporated into the Azerbaijan SSR. The borders of NKAO were definitively set in 1923, when it became an ethnic Armenian enclave within the Azerbaijan SSR, lacking direct contact with the Armenian SSR (Saparov 2012).

The Armenian side considered the incorporation of Nagorno-Karabakh into Azerbaijan to be an injustice, but the Soviet regime was able to stave off Armenian demands for a revision of the 1923 borders until the mid-1980s. With the rise of Gorbachev and the gradual liberalisation of political life in the Soviet Union, the Armenian demands for a revision of the borders intensified, while the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh quickly ignited nationalist sentiments among the Armenian population. Rising tensions resulted in armed clashes between the two national communities during the last years of the Soviet Union—not only in Nagorno-Karabakh itself, but also in the Armenian SSR and the Azerbaijan SSR, which were home to substantial Azerbaijani and Armenian minorities respectively. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, clashes between irregular armed forces escalated into a full-scale war in 1992. Armenian forces gained the ascendancy, not only taking control of the majority of NKAO but also occupying large areas to the west and south of it, thus bringing the border of Nagorno-Karabakh into contact with Armenia and Iran. In May 1994, a truce ended the ‘hot’ phase of the conflict; this truce has lasted until the present day, though exchanges of fire continue along the line of contact between the two armies. The entire Azerbaijani population fled from the territory conquered by Armenian forces, and because it was impractical for Armenia to annex the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh due to the constraints of international politics, the internationally unrecognised Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR),1 which declared

1Lernayin Gharabaghi Hanrapetut’yun in Armenian. The name ‘Artsakh Republic’ (Arts’akhi Hanrapetut’yun), which reflects the historical Armenian name of the region, is also used.

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independence for the first time in September 1991, has come into de facto existence. In practice, however, NKR forms a single economic and international-political unit with Armenia (Cornell 2001, p. 108).2

Given that the Azerbaijani side refuses to deal directly with the Karabakh Armenians, the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan have monopolised the subsequent talks on a peace treaty, with the assistance of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Russia, the USA and the EU.3 This situation has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that the chief negotiators are the presidents of two internationally recognised countries, with their own international obligations, allies and trading and political partners. This ensures that some degree of external pressure can be exerted on the negotiations. So far this has not proved to be a decisive factor, either because the pressure has not been strong enough or because Russia—basically preferring the status quo—has not applied any such pressure at all (Kaldor 2007, pp. 171–75; Ismailzade 2011, pp. 5–6). The disadvantage of this negotiation model is that both the political elite of NKR and Karabakh civil society are outside the main negotiations. This fact limits the capacity of Karabakh civil society to be a key player in the track II diplomacy (see below) (de Waal 2010, pp. 168–72; Gamaghelyan 2010, p. 36). Following the rejection of a proposed land swap4 in 2001–2002 (Libaridian 2004, pp. 261–63), it can be expected that if Yerevan and Baku, with the participation of the international community, agree on a peaceful resolution to the dispute, the likely core of the peace treaty would be Nagorno-Karabakh’s abandonment of any claim to ‘independence’, and almost certainly the return of Azerbaijani refugees.5 The position of both the political elite and civil society in Nagorno-Karabakh will be crucial for the acceptance of any such peace plan (Broers 2005, p. 71; Ghaplanyan 2010, p. 90; de Waal 2010, pp. 168–72).

Methodology

The case studies discussed in this article are mainly based on primary data obtained through participant-observation and interviews with representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh civil society organisations, acquired as part of field research conducted in Nagorno-Karabakh in October and November 2009. The respondents were chosen using the snowball sampling method, which is widely used especially when studying sensitive topics or specific groups which necessitate contacts with insiders (Biernacki & Waldorf 1981; Browne 2005; Noy 2008). The key factor therefore was to find gatekeepers who could help the authors gain access to Nagorno-Karabakh civil society and facilitate contacts with other respondents. Based on preliminary biographical research, we selected as our first gatekeeper (Gatekeeper 1) the leading representative of a major civil society organisation from Stepanakert (the capital of NKR), who has a considerable international reputation in the field of conflict transformation

2For more about the history of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, see O’Ballance (1997), Croissant (1998), Goltz (1998), Cornell (2001, pp. 61–141), de Waal (2003), Cheterian (2012), Geukjian (2012), Souleimanov (2013).

3For a recent overview of the Karabakh peace process, see Ditrych (2006), de Waal (2010), Harutunian (2010), Huseynov (2010), Ismailzade (2011).

4As a result of the planned land swap, Azerbaijan was to give up the Lachin corridor, connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with the Armenian Republic, while Armenia was to cede a strip of land in the Aras River valley, thus providing Azerbaijan with a land connection to its Nakhchivan enclave.

5Interview with a leading NKR politician, Stepanakert, 19 October 2009.

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and peacebuilding. As part of a semi-structured expert interview, Gatekeeper 1 provided the authors with detailed information about Nagorno-Karabakh civil society, as well as contacts with relevant civil society organisations operating in Stepanakert. During our stay in Nagorno-Karabakh, we also contacted Gatekeeper 2, a representative of a smaller civil society organisation from Shushi (the second largest city in NKR), who facilitated interviews both with respondents outside Stepanakert and with representatives of the part of civil society which, while not primarily engaged in conflict transformation, nevertheless has a role to play in this field (see below). The interview with Gatekeeper 2 was likewise conducted as a semi-structured expert interview.

The aim of the other recorded interviews was to obtain information on the activities of specific civil society organisations. In order to ensure comparability in the scope and focus of the interviews, they were also conducted in a semi-structured form, though in parts of the interviews the respondents were not prevented from expressing themselves more extensively about the issues under investigation. Participant-observation formed a further important part of the research. The authors were fortunate in that they were well received by the majority of the researched group and were able to participate directly in events such as press conferences, meetings, discussion evenings, informal sessions or meetings with students and academics.

Given the sensitivity of the research topic, we have not published the names of the people interviewed. We do, however, with three exceptions, give the names of the organisations that formed the object of the field research. Those mentioned by name are a university, a major cultural organisation and an organisation specifically dealing with conflict transformation; they are all unique in Nagorno-Karabakh and they all present their activities to the general domestic and foreign public on their websites, so there is no point in concealing their identities. On the other hand, we chose not to name two smaller Nagorno-Karabakh non-governmental organisations (NGO) and one Yerevan-based NGO, whose activities we do not want to put at risk through this text.

Our intention was to conduct interviews with representatives of all types of civil society organisations discussed in the theoretical section of this study (see below). However, the snowball-sampling method did not allow us to reach all selected civil society organisations, mainly because several respondents mistrusted us in our capacity as researchers focusing on ‘suspicious’ activities such as peacebuilding and cross-border communication with the Azerbaijani side. Thus, the primary information obtained through interviews and participant-observation in October and November 2009 has been supplemented (or triangulated) from other sources, mainly from the official statistics of NKR, reports by NGOs or local/regional media.

Peacebuilding, conflict transformation and civil society

Conflict studies suffer from a certain terminological ambiguity. Analogous phenomena or processes are frequently given different names, but the meanings of terms often overlap. Our study faces this terminological confusion in the use of the terms ‘peacebuilding’ and ‘conflict transformation’. We understand peacebuilding, a term coined by Galtung (1975), as a ‘wide range of activities that both precede and follow formal peace accords’ (Lederach 1997, p. 20). The character of these activities reflects the way in which the very concept of conflict is

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perceived. There are essentially three paradigms, summarised by Hugh Miall (2004, pp. 3–4) within three clusters: conflict management, conflict resolution and conflict transformation.

According to the paradigm of conflict management, an escalation of conflict into an armed phase is perceived as the direct result of irreconcilable differences between the values and interests of two communities. The predisposition to violence stems from the existing institutions and historical relations, as well as from the established distribution of power. Resolving such conflicts is deemed unrealistic; the best that can be done is to manage the conflict and reach a historic compromise. Conflict management therefore strives to reach an agreement through appropriately chosen intervention mechanisms. By contrast, the conflict resolution approach assumes that a possible compromise agreement requires the discovery of the roots of the conflict and the transformation of the parties’ approach to the conflict; in other words, the parties must stop viewing the conflict as a zero-sum game and must instead embrace specific constructive measures that are beneficial to both parties in the conflict (a win–win solution). Finally, the conflict transformation approach holds that contemporary conflicts very rarely enable the simple reformulation of positions and the achievement of solutions from which everyone can benefit. It is therefore necessary, first of all, to completely transform relationships and interests and their manifestations in that part of society that supports the continuation of violent conflict. It is understood that conflicts are transformed gradually through a series of small or large changes, and that the key role is played by representatives of civil society who have an interest in peaceful conflict transformation.

For the purposes of this study, we employ John Paul Lederach’s concept of peacebuilding, which is based on the last of the paradigms outlined above, that is, conflict transformation. According to Lederach, peacebuilding is ‘a comprehensive concept that encompasses, generates, and sustains the full array of processes, approaches, and stages needed to transform conflict toward more sustainable, peaceful relationships’ (Lederach 1997, p. 20). Lederach sees peace as a social construct that can only be achieved by both sides of the conflict switching from negative mutual relations to positive ones; the endeavour to achieve this transformation is not a priori tied to a particular phase of the conflict cycle (Lederach 1995).

FIGURE 1. LEDERACH’S MODEL OF PEACEBUILDING.Source: Authors, according to Lederach (1995).

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In developing the concept of peacebuilding within the paradigm of conflict transformation, Lederach (1997) presents society as a pyramid (see Figure 1) composed of three segments: the base consists of the general population (citizens), the middle segment consists of civil society organisations, and the upper segment consists of the official political representation. There should be communication channels between the relevant segments of the conflicting parties in order to enable dialogue and the transformation of their mutual relations. In addition to the track I diplomacy conducted through official channels, there is also the track II diplomacy conducted by civil society organisations; finally, there is the mutual communication between the citizens of both conflicting parties at the bottom level of the pyramid. Moreover, channels of communication should also exist between the various segments of the pyramid so that the different levels of communication do not remain isolated. Lederach’s transformational model of peacebuilding sees civil society organisations as important partners in conflict resolution. According to Mikhelidze and Pirozzi (2008), it is particularly relevant in those situations where the official representatives of the conflicting parties are unwilling or unable to make concessions in their demands—as has been precisely the case in Nagorno-Karabakh for almost 20 years.

In summarising the importance of civil society in conflict transformation, Ropers (2002) lists the following activities: the emergence of alternative media through which the public can be informed about the conflict; monitoring elections and activities associated with the democratisation and the development of human rights; youth work; support for reform of the education sector and initiatives geared to peace education; the creation of a culture of peace, that is, incentives to overcome the culture of war through art, music, films and cultural events; initiatives for interfaith dialogue; initiatives for demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration; the protection of vulnerable people and ensuring the safety and reintegration of minority groups or refugees. Similar lists of the activities of civil society organisations in conflict transformation are also given by other authors (Fischer 2006, pp. 6–7; Mikhelidze & Pirozzi 2008, pp. 6–15).

The main task of peacebuilding within the conflict transformation paradigm is therefore to achieve a positive peace and a stable social equilibrium in order to prevent new disputes from escalating into armed conflict. The role of civil society organisations in achieving this goal is, of course, subject to critical evaluation (Fischer 2006, pp. 8–13). Yet, one somewhat neglected aspect is the fact that researchers usually only observe those civil society organisations that actively and purposely assist in conflict transformation. It is understandable that authors who study specific conflicts mostly do not focus on civil society organisations that have nothing in common with peacebuilding activities. However, in our opinion, research generally fails to consider the fact that civil society organisations can not only help in settling a conflict, but can also help to reignite it. The implicit assumption of the positive impact of civil society organisations on conflict transformation is, after all, consistent with the prevailing discourse of civil society, as discussed below.

Civil society is a relatively ambiguous term. Various political thinkers have in the past attributed various forms and functions to it, and even today there are multiple conceptualisations of civil society. In this study, the term is understood in its minimalist form (Pérez-Díaz 1998), based on the ideas of Dahrendorf and Habermas, conceptualised by Reichardt (2004). Thus, we understand civil society as a system of autonomous entities existing independently of the state, allowing different ideas and interests to compete. In the tradition of Habermas

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(1989), however, the sphere of free communication shall be also considered as a part of civil society—whereby we would like to emphasise that civil society need not always take the institutionalised form of standard NGOs, but may also consist of various discussion platforms, think tanks, epistemic (academic) communities, the informal (legally unencumbered) activities of citizens, free media and independent journalists, all of which can be summarised under the broader term of civil society organisations.

Thus, if we understand civil society as the sphere of free communication, where different interests and ideas compete, it cannot be described as a rational player per se with clearly articulated interests and noble goals (Foley & Edwards 1996; Carothers & Barndt 1999; Chambers & Kopstein 2001; Mácha 2003). If we relate it to the concept of peacebuilding, it is obvious that in addition to those civil society organisations that promote conflict transformation, there may also be civil society organisations with completely different interests, which hinder conflict transformation or directly fan the flames of conflict; this is a fact that cannot be ignored when studying peacebuilding.

This paradox is well documented in some authors’ attempts to define NGOs as basic forms of civil society organisations. In the conceptualisation of the term ‘NGO’, many scholars in the field of international relations, such as Pamela Aall, use the World Bank’s definition6 and see NGOs as ‘private, self-governing, non-profit institutions dedicated to alleviating human suffering, promoting education, economic development, health, environmental protection, human rights, and conflict resolution, and encouraging the establishment of democratic institutions and civil society’ (Aall 2000, p. 124). This restrictive approach is avoided by Lester Salamon, who sees NGOs as ‘self-governing private organisations, not dedicated to distributing profits to shareholders or directors, pursuing public purposes outside the formal apparatus of the state’ (Salamon 1994, p. 109). Based on Salamon’s definition, the term ‘civil society organisation’ is understood in this study as an organisation which is non-governmental, autonomous and non-profit (with the exception of media and schools, which may generate profits depending on their legal form) and which pursues goals of a public nature—potentially including the mutually beneficial goals of broader groups defined socially or geographically (such as, refugees, war veterans, disabled people). Legally, civil society organisations can include both traditional NGOs and other legal forms of non-profit organisations, including informal organisations.

Civil society and the transformation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Civil society in NKR is affected by certain highly specific features of the Nagorno-Karabakh polity: its relative isolation from the outside world, its prevailing subordination to one general goal, its slow and painful democratisation, its limited size and its limited financial resources. The relative isolation of NKR’s civil society stems from the de facto character of NKR itself;7 the republic lacks international recognition and is in fact dependent on military, political and economic support from Armenia and the Armenian diaspora (Panossian 2001, pp. 148–57; ICG 2005, pp. 9–15; Ismailzade 2011, pp. 5–7; Koinova 2011; Minasyan 2011).

6The World Bank considers NGOs to be ‘private organisations that pursue activities to relieve suffering, promote the interests of the poor, protect the environment, provide basic social services, or undertake community development’ (Aall 2000, p. 124).

7For a discussion of de facto states, see for example Pegg (1998), Lynch (2004).

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NKR’s subordination to one general goal is explained by Broers (2005, p. 78), who describes it as a single-issue regime. NKR lives under the constant threat of renewed fighting, and its principal objective is to maintain its own existence and to achieve international recognition. There is consensus on this issue throughout society, and all other concerns are subordinate to this.

NKR is also striving for democratisation, since this process is considered to be one of the tools for achieving international recognition (the democracy-for-recognition strategy) (Caspersen 2011; von Steinsdorff 2012). Democratisation has been largely unsuccessful according to the assessment contained in the Freedom in the World database, where NKR’s overall score fluctuates between ‘partly free’ and ‘not free’ (see Table 1; Smolnik 2012). Civil liberties, however, remain at a steady level of 5 (on a scale from 1—best to 7—worst), which indicates that, despite significant restrictions, civil society in NKR does exist (Ghaplanyan 2010, pp. 94–5). Moreover, Nagorno-Karabakh peacebuilding activities tend to reinforce its position as a constructive player (Broers 2014).

Another specific characteristic of civil society in Nagorno-Karabakh is its size. According to official statistics, the population of NKR is about 140,000,8 with more than half of the inhabitants concentrated in the capital of Stepanakert and its surrounding area (the Stepanakert, Shushi and Askeran regions); this is where most of the Karabakh civil society organisations are located (see Table 2). The advantage of being such a small community is the relative proximity of civil society organisations to both the people and their political representatives. The disadvantage, however, is that limited economic opportunities in NKR make civil society considerably dependent on foreign sources of income.9

The basic types of civil society organisations that can be encountered in NKR are NGOs. Foreign observers estimate the total number of NGOs in NKR at 80; however, only a small proportion of these are actually operating (Gusep 2004; Broers 2005, p. 71). The Office of the NKR in the USA provides a list of ‘NGOs in Artsakh’ containing 47 entries.10 In 2012 the official statistics listed 37 entities in the altogether ambiguous category of ‘fund’ and 173 entities in the equally ambiguous category of ‘social organisation’ (NKR Statistical Service 2012, pp. 290–91). Only a few of the NGOs, ‘funds’ or ‘social organisations’ are actively working in the field of conflict transformation as anticipated by the theory. Nevertheless, in our opinion, almost every civil society organisation can be part of the conflict transformation process, whether in a positive or a negative way.

8The number of inhabitants of NKR may, however, be considerably smaller due to high emigration (ICG 2005, p. 4; Kaldor 2007, p. 177).

9Discussion with three members of the Nagorno-Karabakh Committee of the ‘Helsinki Initiative-92’ (NKC HI-92), Stepanakert, 16 October 2009; see also Simão (2010, p. 20).

10ʻNon-Governmental Organizations in Artsakhʼ, Office of the NKR in the USA, not dated, available at: http://www.nkrusa.org/country_profile/ngo.shtml, accessed 20 October 2014.

TABLE 1THE NAGORNO-KARABAKH REPUBLIC ACCORDING TO FREEDOM IN THE WORLD

Notes: 7 is the worst grade, 1 is the best grade; F—free country; PF—partly free country; NF—not free country.Source: Freedom House (2012).

1993 1995 1998 2000 2003 2008 2010 2012

Political rights 7 6 5 5 5 5 6 6Civil liberties 7 6 5 6 5 5 5 5Status NF NF PF NF PF PF NF NF

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For the purpose of the research, we divided Nagorno-Karabakh NGOs into three clusters and tried to reach at least one NGO from each cluster. We also focused on other forms of civil society organisations—above all the media, academia and informal groups or platforms. The NGO clusters are as follows: NGOs actively and purposely working in the field of conflict transformation; NGOs working in fields directly connected to the conflict (such as, associations of war veterans, associations of the relatives of missing or fallen soldiers, organisations protecting refugees, youth associations of political parties), yet whose primary goal is not to transform the conflict but to represent or protect the interests of their members; and all other existing NGOs focusing on sectors of society which are not directly connected with the armed conflict (for example, cultural organisations, sports federations, associations of disabled persons).

Another type of civil society organisations that can be observed are the media. In our study we provide only a brief characterisation of the media sector in NKR, based on secondary sources. A comprehensive and in-depth analysis of the NKR media’s role in the transformation of the Karabakh conflict lies beyond the scope of this article. However, even the analysis of the secondary data suggests that the NKR media’s impact on the transformation of the conflict is limited. The main reason for this is the lack of independent media. The most important Nagorno-Karabakh media are pro-government and are subject to political censorship. This is the case with regard to the public television station Arts’akh TV and the most widely read Nagorno-Karabakh daily Azat Arts’akh (Free Artsakh) (Mikhelidze & Pirozzi 2008, pp. 36–7; Ghaplanyan 2010, p. 99). Besides Azat Arts’akh, most printed periodicals are published either weekly or at less frequent intervals, and are often issued by political parties (Aparazh—The Rock; Hayrenik—The Motherland; Arts’akh Komunist—Artsakhian Communist), the army (Martik—The Fighter), war veterans’ organisations (Pashtpan Hayrenyats—Defender of the Motherland) or local authorities. All of these media basically follow the same line, resulting from the single-issue nature of the NKR regime. An exception to the widely available mass media is the private station Radio Armenian (Radio Hay), which devotes a proportion of its broadcasting time to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (Grigoryan 2010). Other independent information channels are represented by print periodicals with a small circle of readers, such

TABLE 2THE POPULATION OF NAGORNO-KARABAKH CITIES AND REGIONS (2011)

Source: NKR Statistical Service (2012, pp. 35–37).

City and regionPopulation of regional capital

(in thousands)Population of region

(in thousands)

Stepanakert/Stepanakert Region 53.4 53.4Martuni/Martuni Region 5.8 24.0Martakert/Martakert Region 4.3 19.8Shushi/Shushi Region 4.2 5.5Hadrut/Hadrut Region 3.4 12.6Askeran/Askeran Region 2.2 18.0Berdzor (Lachin)/Qashatagh

Region1.8 8.5

Qarvachar (Kelbajar)/Shahumyan Region

0.6 2.9

Nagorno-Karabakh Republic 144.7

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as the Russian-language monthly Chto Delat’ (What Is To Be Done) issued by the political analyst Murad Petrossian (Chauffour 2004). The independent online daily KarabakhOpen.com, first published in 2006, ceased to appear several years ago. The most important centre of independent journalism in NKR is the Stepanakert Press Club (Stepanakert Press Club) which until 2008 published the daily Demo (Freedom House 2010), and since 2009 has released the monthly The Analyticon (Analitikon), available online in Armenian, Russian and English and focusing primarily on domestic and foreign policy issues.

Besides NGOs, our field research focused mainly on academia and informal groups and platforms. At the time of the field research in 2009, the academic sector in NKR consisted of the Artsakh State University and six smaller private universities and branches of Armenian and Russian universities. By 2012, however, the number of universities had fallen to just four (according to official statistics), and the number of students enrolled in universities fell from more than 7,000 in 2007 to about 5,000 in 2012 (NKR Statistical Service 2012, p. 91).

In addition to education, universities provide a forum for discussing public affairs, and some of them become involved in the media scene through their own journals. The universities, together with several independent media and some NGOs, help to create space for informal groups—which are difficult to investigate, for obvious reasons. According to our observations, these informal associations proved to be quite closely interconnected with the officially registered NGOs and to consist mostly of students, but also of regular participants in events organised by NGOs, such as discussion clubs, lectures, workshops, courses and exhibitions. We managed to conduct interviews with representatives of academia, as well as holding discussions with university students. Moreover, we were allowed to take part in a meeting of an informal discussion platform.

Case studies

From the first cluster of NGOs—that is, those that purposely and actively work in the field of conflict transformation—we selected the Nagorno-Karabakh Committee of the ‘Helsinki Initiative-92’ (NKC HI-92). This NGO is undoubtedly the most active Karabakh NGO striving to transform the conflict, a fact which is evident from the NGO’s website, articles in the media or academic studies. Legally, this is a typical NGO, whose core consists of a charismatic leader, several employees/members, and a wider network of volunteers and supporters. At the end of the 1980s its founders were involved in a movement attempting to achieve secession from Azerbaijan; however, in their own words, they strove to use peaceful means to pursue this goal. In 1992, when the conflict escalated into violence, they founded NKC HI-92 in an attempt to help bring about the cessation of hostilities. NKC HI-92 does not dispute the actual outcome of the war—that is, NKR de facto statehood—but it considers a positive and lasting peace with Azerbaijan to be the desirable result of the peace process, something which can only be achieved by eliminating stereotypes and establishing mutual relations.11

The activities of NKC HI-92 are concentrated in several areas as defined by Ropers (2002)—in particular, support for the democratisation of political life in Nagorno-Karabakh and stronger human rights, followed by the creation of a culture of peace (especially through educational events), youth work and, to a lesser extent, the creation of alternative channels

11Interview with a member of NKC HI-92, Stepanakert, 15 October 2009 and discussion with three members of NKC HI-92, Stepanakert, 16 October 2009.

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of information. Funding for these projects is obtained from various sources—from the government of the self-proclaimed NKR, small local foundations supporting youth activities, and foreign donors (IKV Pax Christi, Wilde Ganzen, Interchurch Organisation for Cooperation and Development).12

Of all the Karabakh civil society organisations, NKC HI-92 is the most successful one at implementing projects which seek to establish cooperation with the Azerbaijani side. In the eyes of its members, the activities of the organisation, aimed at connecting both sides of the conflict, constitute the core around which it was formed.13 In 1994 and 1995, NKC HI-92 was able to bring representatives of Azerbaijani NGOs to Stepanakert, and in 2001, 11 members of NKC HI-92 embarked on a visit to a sister organisation, the Human Rights Centre of Azerbaijan (HRCA) in Baku. The visit met with protests from the radicalised part of Azerbaijani civil society, and no meetings with Azerbaijani opposition politicians took place (Mikhelidze & Pirozzi 2008, p. 36).14 These bold but not fully thought-out actions opened the way for NKC HI-92 to implement more sophisticated projects supported by international funding. Their goal was to establish communication between Karabakh Armenians and Azerbaijanis—both through personal meetings in Baku, Stepanakert or on neutral soil in Tbilisi, and other activities such as discussion evenings and workshops. These projects comprised ‘Seeds of Peace’ (implemented with Democracy Monitor in Baku), ‘Peace House’ and ‘Trust-Building’ (together with the Helsinki Citizens Assembly in Ganja), and ‘Yellow Tulips’ (part of a broader Karabakh–Azerbaijani–Georgian–Dutch collaboration), which took place in 2004 and focused mainly on the issue of missing persons. In the words of one of the leaders of NKC HI-92, these projects (of which ‘Seeds of Peace’ was still active in 2013)15 were inhibited in particular by problems on the Azerbaijani side—though not because of a lack of interest from partner organisations, but rather due to the restriction of their activities by the Azerbaijani authorities.16 Society in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh is, after all, somewhat freer than that in Azerbaijan; furthermore, as the ‘victor’ in the war, the Armenian side also displays a greater readiness to communicate with the ‘loser’. Such a tendency is either directly supported or at least tolerated by the Armenian political elite. Conversely, Azerbaijani society, in view of its country’s military defeat, remains obstinate, and any communication between Azerbaijani civil society organisations and the Armenian side is largely viewed by the Azerbaijani authorities as undesirable. The lesser degree of civil and political freedom in Azerbaijan also forces locally independent civil society organisations to focus primarily on supporting internal democratisation, which in turn increases repression by the state authorities (Simão 2010, pp. 19–20).

From the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, NKC HI-92 has been implementing more projects directed inwardly towards Nagorno-Karabakh, and focused particularly on transforming the Karabakh Armenians’ perception of Azerbaijanis and improving the possibility of vertical communication between different segments of Karabakh

12Interview with a member of NKC HI-92, Stepanakert, 15 October 2009. See also the website of NKC HI-92, available at: http://www.hca.nk.am/, accessed 5 December 2014.

13Interview with a member of NKC HI-92, Stepanakert, 15 October 2009.14‘Azerbaijanis Protest Karabakh Armenian Delegation’s Baku Visit’, Central Asia–Caucasus Analyst, 6

September 2001, available at: http://www.cacianalyst.org/?q=node/605, accessed 18 August 2009.15‘Our Work’, NKC HI-92, 2013, available at: http://www.hca.nk.am/index.php?do=static&page=our_work,

accessed 10 February 2013.16Discussion with three members of NKC HI-92, Stepanakert, 16 October 2009. See also HART (2014, p. 15).

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society (as indicated in Lederach’s pyramid). In the case of transforming the perception of the enemy, this includes providing courses in Azerbaijani and Turkish, which the representatives of NKC HI-92 think will prove useful when Azerbaijani refugees return to Nagorno-Karabakh. Of a lighter nature are evenings to acquaint local residents with Azerbaijani cuisine. Contributing to the improvement in vertical communication between different segments of Nagorno-Karabakh society are projects aimed at expanding the activities of local NGOs (capacity building), education for democracy and human rights, or discussion panels to which the representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh civil society organisations and individual political parties are invited.17

While NKC HI-92 is currently primarily focused on projects within NKR, the Conflict Transformation and Peace-Building Resource Centre (CTPBRC) has taken over the initiative in face-to-face meetings between Karabakh Armenians and Azerbaijanis. It was through the CTPBRC that representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh youth attended the March 2011 PeaceJam conference in Bradford, where they met their Azerbaijani and Armenian peers. This first meeting was followed by other joint activities of the conference participants in Armenia. However, CTPBRC differs greatly in character from NKC HI-92. Although it operates in Stepanakert, it was founded by the Armenian Centre of National and International Studies in Yerevan and the American Civil Society Institute, so instead of being considered a member of Nagorno-Karabakh civil society, it is more like a consortium of international NGOs operating on a local level (Cumbo 2011; CSI 2011; Lonsdale 2011).

From the second cluster of NGOs, those that are not purposely engaged in the conflict transformation, but whose activities are closely related to the conflict itself, we selected an organisation operating outside Stepanakert which represents refugees in one of the NKR’s regions. The organisation uses the word ‘refugee’ in its name, though its head admits that it is in fact very difficult to determine who is a refugee and who is an internally displaced person. This is mainly because individual ‘refugee’ families have very different origins, coming variously from: Azerbaijan itself (especially Baku and the surrounding area), from where they fled to avoid ethnic violence at the end of the 1980s; the Shahumyan district, which the NKR claims from Azerbaijan but does not control militarily, and from where the Armenian population fled during the Soviet–Azerbaijani operation Koltso (Ring) in 1991; the territories belonging to the original NKAO, from where the inhabitants fled during the 1992–1994 war, but have not returned to their original place of residence for various reasons;18 or other Soviet republics, where Armenians often lived in mixed marriages, but ended up in Nagorno-Karabakh after the dramatic collapse of the Soviet Union.19

The leaders of this NGO and the ‘refugees’ who were interviewed consider the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict basically settled as a result of the war in 1994, and think they will no longer return to their homes, which remain on the Azerbaijani side of the ceasefire line. The NGO therefore focuses primarily on resolving the legal status of the refugees, often unclear due to the complicated circumstances of their arrival, as well as on issues such as housing and finding employment. It has no contacts with like-minded organisations on the Azerbaijani

17‘Our Work’, NKC HI-92, 2013, available at: http://www.hca.nk.am/index.php?do=static&page=our_work, accessed 10 February 2013, and discussion with three members of NKC HI-92, Stepanakert, 16 October 2009.

18For instance, a small part of the former NKAO is controlled by Azerbaijani forces.19Interview with a leader of an NGO protecting the interests of refugees, Nagorno-Karabakh, 2 November

2009; interview with a refugee family, Nagorno-Karabakh, 2 November 2009.

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side, nor does it think it is worth cultivating such contacts, because it sees no sense in trying to assist dialogue across a ceasefire line.20

A similar opinion was expressed by a representative of an NGO protecting the interests of relatives of fallen and missing soldiers.21 Unfortunately, the representative in question refused to give an in-depth interview that would clarify his/her stance. Nevertheless, the visit to the Memorial Museum (Hushatangaran), situated in Stepanakert and run by the same NGO, offers a telling explanation. The museum is a tribute to the heroes and fallen soldiers of the Nagorno-Karabakh war (known in NKR as the Karabakh Liberation War), carefully tended by their mothers and other relatives. The Azerbaijani side is presented as the enemy and the aggressor, whereas the Armenians are presented as liberators and freedom fighters. Despite the fact that, for example, war veterans in Armenia and Karabakh share similar problems with their counterparts in Azerbaijan (such as insufficient health care, inadequate pensions and a generally unfavourable financial situation),22 the Karabakh NGOs we observed which protect the interests of war veterans, relatives of fallen soldiers or refugees have not yet taken the opportunity to foster challenging yet desirable communication with their Azerbaijani peers.

From the third cluster—all other NGOs working in fields that are not directly connected to the conflict itself—we observed a branch of the Naregatsi Art Institute (Naregatsi Arvesti Institut—NAI) in the formerly Azerbaijani-dominated city of Shushi, which was heavily damaged in the fighting and is still living with the consequences of the war today. The city experienced a dramatic decline in population after the Azerbaijani residents fled, from 15,000 in 198923 to 4,200 in 2011 (NKR Statistical Service 2012, p. 37). Also, many residential and historic buildings remain in a derelict state. Thanks to the rich cultural history of Shushi, the former capital of the Karabakh Khanate, the Nagorno-Karabakh government has made the city the cultural capital of NKR, and has relocated its Ministry of Culture to there from Stepanakert. One of Shushi’s historic buildings, renovated with the help of several ethnic Armenian funds (such as the Jinishian Memorial Foundation—Jinishian hishataki himnadramy), was also chosen as the headquarters of the Karabakh branch of the NAI. This cultural NGO has been operating in Yerevan since 2000 and in Shushi since 2006, and basically performs two types of activities. The main part of the NAI’s daily operations consists of educational programmes for young people, particularly courses on a wide range of arts, from painting and sculpture to theatre, dance, film and photography, as well as summer camps and English language courses. In addition to working with young people, the NAI is attempting to bring a broad range of cultural life back to Shushi through exhibitions, concerts, festivals and other events.24

In terms of the theory of conflict transformation, the NAI can be perceived as an NGO dedicated both to working with young people and to using art to help to overcome the culture of war. The NAI is indeed a very professional organisation with high-quality cultural programmes; however, its activities cannot be described as ‘transformational’. For example,

20Interview with a leader of an NGO protecting the interests of refugees, Nagorno-Karabakh, 2 November 2009; interview with a refugee family, Nagorno-Karabakh, 2 November 2009.

21Informal discussion platform, Stepanakert, 20 October 2009.22‘Armenia & Azerbaijan: Karabakh Vets Share Similar Problems’, Eurasianet, 12 July 2012, available at:

http://www.eurasianet.org/node/67235, accessed 24 October 2014.23‘Vsesoyuznaya perepis’ naseleniya 1989 g. Chislennost’ gorodskogo naseleniya soyuznykh respublik,

ikh territorial’nykh edinits, gorodskikh poselenii i gorodskikh raionov po polu’, Demoskop Weekly, no date, available at: http://demoscope.ru/weekly/ssp/sng89_reg2.php, accessed 16 February 2013.

24Interview with NAI staff, Shushi, 18 October 2009. See also the NAI website, available at: http://www.naregatsi.org, accessed 5 December 2014.

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its work makes almost no reference to the Azerbaijani history of the city, even though both Armenians and Azerbaijanis consider Shushi to be ‘theirs’ (de Waal 2003, pp. 188–93), making the city’s fate one of the most important questions to be resolved in any settlement of the Karabakh conflict (Panossian 2001, p. 153). The prevailing discourse, which the authors noted during interviews not only in Shushi but also elsewhere in Nagorno-Karabakh,25 downplays the Azerbaijani history of Shushi in line with the NAI’s practice, and considers it to be historically an Armenian city. Should a peaceful solution to the conflict be found and should the Azerbaijani refugees come home, the largest number of those willing to return to the former NKAO would apparently head to Shushi. However, they would find a city that is in no way ready for them, and it is difficult to imagine how such a situation would be feasible at all.

To the best of our knowledge, there is no cooperation between Nagorno-Karabakh NGOs protecting the interests of such social groups as disabled or mentally ill people, despite the fact that representatives of similar NGOs based in the Armenian Republic or in Azerbaijan occasionally meet during international events. However, as we were told by a representative of an Armenian NGO focusing on mental health, which also runs projects in NKR, NGOs of this kind focus exclusively on their own specialist fields, and they have neither the will nor the capacity to do any ‘extra work’ in the field of conflict transformation.26

In our study, academia is represented by the private Mesrop Mashtots University (MMU), founded in Stepanakert in 1996, which provides education in management, engineering and social sciences. Despite its geographic and political isolation, MMU holds conferences with foreign participation, establishes contacts with foreign universities through the Mesrop Mashtots Scientific Educational Fund, and publishes a scholarly journal, the Mesrop Mashtots University Bulletin (with articles in Armenian, Russian and English). It also has an information monthly for students and the public and organises summer camps for young people from NKR and abroad.27

Even though it cannot be ruled out that there are people among the students and teachers at MMU with a critically fair approach to the Karabakh conflict and the possibilities of resolving it, MMU as a whole cannot be regarded as a civil society organisation with a predominantly positive approach in the field of conflict transformation. For example, the summer camps organised by the MMU serve to promote NKR and the Armenian view of the Karabakh conflict,28 while the scholarly publications from Mesrop Mashtots University do not attempt to provide any critical analysis in this regard. Rather, they offer the opinions of the Armenian side (M. Arutyunyan 2012), focus on the Armenian or Russian history of Karabakh (Balayan 2009; Babayan 2011; G. Arutyunyan 2012), or analyse the rise and development of NKR (Arutyunyan 2009; Abramyan & Vardanyan 2012).

The final type of civil society organisation we researched in NKR was informal groups. We had the opportunity to observe an informal discussion platform that occasionally meets on the premises of a Stepanakert-based NGO, and we participated in a discussion with a group of students from the MMU. In discussions with the authors of the article, students of the MMU generally expressed their support for peace negotiations with Azerbaijan; however, they

25For example, discussion with students of MMU, Stepanakert, 20 October 2009.26Interview with the representative of an Armenian NGO, Yerevan, 13 October 2009; online communication

with the same person, 20 September 2014.27Interview with the senior manager of MMU, Stepanakert, 19 October 2009. See also the website of the

university, available at: http://www.mashtots.nk.am/, accessed 5 December 2014.28Interview with the senior manager of MMU, Stepanakert, 19 October 2009.

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considered the Karabakh conflict to have been settled once and for all. The prevailing opinion seemed to be that the negotiations should not focus primarily on reconciling two feuding societies, but rather on the recognition of NKR’s independence. Most students also rejected the return of Azerbaijani refugees and any territorial concessions to Azerbaijan by NKR.29

The topic of the informal discussion platform we observed was the planned (at that time) Armenian–Turkish rapprochement.30 To the best of our knowledge, the group consisted of NGO representatives, members of political parties (or their youth associations), a journalist and several citizens who were not officially engaged in any NGO. We were told that the topical relevance of the subject for discussion, and the announced presence of foreign guests, had raised the turnout to 15 people, but that all of the participants regularly attend similar meetings. Most of the discussants expressed concerns about the potentially negative impact of the rapprochement on the support provided by the Armenian Republic to NKR. In their view, rapprochement with Turkey could lead to an Armenian betrayal of NKR in exchange for a dilution of Russian influence in the Armenian Republic and the re-establishment of relations with Azerbaijan.31 Regarding the conflict itself, the participants in the discussion echoed the arguments we heard from all of the research subjects we observed, taking the stance that the conflict is over and that the only possible solution is the recognition of NKR’s independence. However, there were some differences among the participants regarding the question of the return of Azerbaijani refugees. Whereas participants representing the youth association of a political party flatly rejected any suggestion of this, other participants did not rule out the possibility of eventual return, meaning that some form of communication over the line of contact is desirable.32

Conclusion

Our research in Nagorno-Karabakh revealed that the theory of peacebuilding within the conflict transformation paradigm, and the model of track II diplomacy in particular, are based on slightly misleading assumptions for which there is not sufficient evidence in the observed reality. Instead of the widespread notion of civil society as a rational actor which makes a positive contribution to the transformation of the conflict, we offer a rather different concept of civil society—as a set of distinct and often divergent interests which can not only help to transform the conflict, but which may also oppose its peaceful solution.

This claim is based on the example of Nagorno-Karabakh, where—despite the rather authoritarian character of the polity—local civil society is a relatively free sphere, in which several dozen civil society organisations of various types operate. These civil society organisations basically agree on the core values of NKR statehood, including the fact that the independence from Azerbaijan achieved during the 1992–1994 war is now a fait accompli.

29Discussion with students of MMU, Stepanakert, 20 October 2009.30The accord between Armenia and Turkey, which was to normalise mutual relations, was signed in October

2009. Because the accord did not include any recognition by Turkey of the Armenian genocide, ethnic Armenians organised worldwide protests, accusing the Armenian government of treason. Moreover, Turkish President Erdogan stated that the ratification of the protocol was dependent on the solution of the Karabakh conflict. In 2010, the ratification process of the accord was suspended (Kardas 2010).

31This was, however, a widespread concern, expressed also by a leading NKR politician interviewed by the authors in Stepanakert, 19 October 2009.

32Discussion with an informal group, Stepanakert, 20 October 2009.

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This way of thinking considerably limits the activities of Nagorno-Karabakh civil society organisations in conflict transformation, as has been demonstrated in our case studies.

The Nagorno-Karabakh Committee of ‘Helsinki Initiative-92’, which is the boldest and most active of the Karabakh civil society organisations in conflict transformation, has been able to implement a number of peacebuilding activities during the last 20 years, including establishing contacts with Azerbaijani partner civil society organisations. Due to problems on the Azerbaijani side, mostly caused by Azerbaijan’s authoritarian regime, NKC HI-92 today focuses more on projects within Nagorno-Karabakh itself, aimed at building democracy, developing human rights and strengthening the capacity of Nagorno-Karabakh NGOs.

Other civil society organisations that we observed support the transformation of the Karabakh conflict only indirectly or not at all. Mesrop Mashtots University, while helping to create Nagorno-Karabakh’s future elite, does not purposefully engage in peacebuilding activities; in fact, as a whole the university rather opposes conflict transformation. The Naregatsi Art Institute is contributing to the cultural revival of war-torn Shushi, but it too downplays the city’s Azerbaijani history, thereby adopting a stance consistent with the wider discourse in Karabakh Armenian society. An unnamed NGO devoted to helping refugees does not consider peacebuilding activities to be something in which it should be involved, and the views of its members concerning the conflict in Karabakh are no different from the views of Mesrop Mashtots University students or the employees of the Naregatsi Art Institute. NGOs focusing on various social and health-related issues also do not seem to have any contacts with the Azerbaijani side, and thus they are not involved in the track II diplomacy. Finally, our limited experience with the Nagorno-Karabakh media and the informal part of the civil society again supports our conclusions regarding the ambiguous nature of the civil society organisations’ activities.

The lessons learned from the case of Nagorno-Karabakh civil society should be reflected in further research on conflict transformation and track II diplomacy. Besides civil society organisations that purposely try to make a difference, field research should also investigate other civil society organisations operating in various sectors understood as being inherent to peacebuilding, or those civil society organisations which actively hinder peacebuilding activities. The only way to fully cover the relatively understudied topic of the role of civil society in conflict transformation is to understand the reasons why some civil society organisations do not take part in track II diplomacy or even hinder it—and, as a next step, to change the motivations of these civil society organisations and involve them in these processes.

The fact that there are civil society organisations operating in various sectors which are inherent to peacebuilding, or civil society organisations which even oppose conflict transformation, should also be taken into account by policy makers. Whereas NGOs actively taking part in transformational activities and projects enjoy some degree of support from the international community, more attention should be paid to those civil society organisations that focus on issues not directly connected with the conflict itself. Involving these NGOs in regular projects with partners from the opposing society could offer a way of harnessing the potential inherent in the limited number of civil society organisations which are committed to the culture of peace and distributing this potential into other sectors of society.

ViNCeNC KoPeCeK, Department of Human Geography and Regional Development, Faculty of Science, University of Ostrava, Chittussiho 10, 710 00 Ostrava, Czech Republic. Email: [email protected].

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ToMAs HoCH, Department of Human Geography and Regional Development, Faculty of Science, University of Ostrava, Chittussiho 10, 710 00 Ostrava, Czech Republic. Email: [email protected].

VLAdiMiR BAAR, Department of Human Geography and Regional Development, Faculty of Science, University of Ostrava, Chittussiho 10, 710 00 Ostrava, Czech Republic. Email: [email protected].

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