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Douglas Biow, Director MEZ 3.126, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-3470

Secession

Secession Redux: Lessons for the EU

Several EU states and potential EU candidates face secessionist movements, violent and otherwise. To assess recent lessons for policymakers, on 1 March 2013, the University of Texas at Austin convened a one-day symposium, "Secession Redux," co-sponsored by the LBJ School of Public Affairs, the EU Center of Excellence, and the Center for European Studies, and funded mainly by a grant from the EU. Below are the program, rapporteur's summary, speaker bios, and links to videos of all the panels and to selected presentations.

Introduction

  • Prof. Alan J. Kuperman, UT-Austin

Click here for Introduction video

Panel 1: Yugoslavia – Kosovo

  • Gordon N. Bardos, president, SEERECON
  • Edward Joseph, Senior Fellow, Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University
  • Gerard Gallucci, ex-UN Representative in north Kosovo
  • Discussant – Prof. Zoltan Barany, UT-Austin

Click here for Panel 1 video
Gerard Galucci Paper
Edward Joseph Paper

Panel 2: Georgia – S. Ossetia / Abkhazia

  • Prof. Julie George, Queens College, CUNY
  • Eric Rubin, U.S. State Department, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Southeast Europe and the Caucasus
  • Prof. Cory Welt, George Washington University
  • Discussant – Prof. Mark A. Cichock, UT-Arlington

Click here for Panel 2 video

Panel 3: Current EU Challenges – Belgium, Bosnia, Moldova, Spain, UK

  • Prof. Jason Sorens, University at Buffalo, SUNY
  • Camilo Villarino-Marzo, Embassy of Spain, Political Counselor
  • Matthew Parish, Holman Fenwick Willan (Switzerland)
  • Discussant – Prof. Robert Moser, UT-Austin

Click here for Panel 3 video
Jason Sorens Paper
Matthew Parish Paper

Panel 4: Forging a Trans-Atlantic Policy on Secession

  • Prof. Bridget L. Coggins, Dartmouth College
  • Prof. Mikulas Fabry, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Prof. James Ker-Lindsay, London School of Economics (UK)
  • Discussant – Prof. Robert Hutchings, Dean of LBJ School of Public Affairs, UT-Austin

Click here for Panel 4 video
Bridget Coggins Paper
James Ker-Lindsay Paper

Rapporteur’s Summary

By Alan J. Kuperman and Eliezer S. Poupko

On 1 March 2013, the University of Texas at Austin convened a one-day symposium, “Secession Redux” – bringing together seventeen leading experts from the European Union (EU) and the United States – to explore lessons from recent separatist crises and to help formulate policies for addressing current and looming secessionist challenges, especially in EU member states and potential candidates. The symposium included four substantive panels, focused on the following four topics: Kosovo, Georgia, current European challenges, and forging a trans-Atlantic policy on secession. Video of the entire symposium is posted on the Internet. This summary is divided into two parts: the first highlights key themes that emerged from the symposium; the second summarizes each panel.

KEY THEMES

Recognition

Faced with recent secessionist demands, the international community typically has made recognition decisions on an ad hoc basis, rather than based on consistent principles, resulting in at least two potential negative consequences. First, when only some states recognize a unilateral declaration of independence, they erode traditional norms of recognition, which may encourage other states to recognize other secessionist entities, potentially leading to instability and a hodgepodge of disputed sovereignty. Second, in cases where no single political authority controls a sub-state territorial entity, international recognition of it as an independent state – which is contrary to traditional international norms -- may encourage civil war.

Contagion

A prominent concern about recognizing the independence of a secessionist movement, especially one that has resorted to violence, is that it may encourage groups in other countries likewise to pursue independence, including by force. But in the wake of the February 2008 declaration of independence by Kosovo, and its subsequent recognition by about half the countries in the world, the participants agreed that the contagion effects so far have been limited. The most significant consequence to date has been that Georgia’s government apparently became concerned that its two secessionist entities would gain increased support from Russia, which led to an escalatory spiral that culminated in war in August 2008, after which Russia recognizing the independence of both entities. Participants disputed whether there would be additional contagion effects from Kosovo and Georgia over the longer term. Some expressed concern that even consensual recognition – for example, by EU member states of secessionist movements in their own countries – could trigger contagious demands by secessionist movements in other states that are unwilling to grant recognition, thereby provoking violence.

Remedial Secession

In recent years, some scholars and practitioners have advocated recognizing the independence of certain secessionist movements as recompense for past suffering and/or to avert future suffering, a concept known as “remedial secession.” Although one symposium participant supported this approach, others raised two concerns. First, the principle has been applied inequitably – for example, Kosovo was recognized after approximately 10,000 ethnic Albanians were killed, but in Sri Lanka secessionists have not been recognized despite many more ethnic Tamils having been killed. Second, as one participant noted, the entities “most deserving” of remedial secession are typically also the “least prepared” for independence, so that generalizing this principle would risk creating failed states.

EU Fosters Secession

Unintentionally, the strength and growth of the EU may facilitate secessionist movements within EU states, via three mechanisms. First, member states surrender some power to the EU, so they have less to offer the regions of their own state. Second, the EU provides vital functions to member states, so secessionist entities within the EU expect that they would need fewer resources to function as an independent state, assuming they could retain EU membership. Third, because the EU promotes norms against intra-state violence, secessionist entities within the EU do not fear violent retaliation.

Failed Prescriptions

Many participants agreed that two of the most commonly touted strategies to avert secession have often failed in practice. The first is accommodation – entailing grants of autonomy, affirmative action, or transfer payments to potentially separatist entities. In Kosovo, Georgia, and Spain, extensive accommodation efforts at various times did not avert additional demands, resulting in persistent secessionist movements. The second notion, based on “economic interdependence” theory, is that trade – between secessionist entities, rump states, and neighbors – should promote a consensual outcome and avert unilateral secession, which would cause all parties to lose the gains from trade. But extensive trade relations did not avert secessionist movements in Kosovo, Georgia, or Spain.

Dealing with Disputed Sovereignty

In the two cases examined in depth, Kosovo and Georgia, disputed sovereignty persists, thereby obstructing potential gains, including from trade and EU accession. But the needs of residents are being partially addressed, and violent conflict is being avoided, via the compromise of “status neutral” approaches – which address practical problems, while deferring temporarily on questions of sovereignty. In the longer-term, resolution is possible only via universal recognition of the secessionist entities, or via “un-recognition” by those who previously had recognized them. But given that states which already have granted recognition are unlikely to rescind that, “un-recognition” effectively can be accomplished only if a secessionist entity consents to rejoin its rump state. Although this is unlikely in the short term, it may become possible if the rump state acquires new leadership that is perceived as more sympathetic to the secessionist entity.

Forging a Policy

Several participants agreed on a three-part policy prescription for the international community to employ in dealing with future secessionist challenges. First, avoid coercing the domestic disputants. Second, avoid recognizing independence until a single political authority controls a territory. Third, encourage secessionist movements and the states they are challenging to pursue peaceful and consensual mechanisms for alleviating or adjudicating secessionist demands.

SUMMARY OF PANELS

Introduction

The symposium began with an introduction by Alan Kuperman, who said he was motivated to organize the event because of the instability caused by four secession-related events over the last quarter-century: 1) Yugoslavia’s violent breakup in the early 1990s; 2) Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence in 2008, resulting in disputed sovereignty that inhibits economic growth and EU accession; 3) Georgia’s war in 2008 with Russia, arising from two secessionist entities in Georgia that Russia subsequently recognized as independent states; and 4) the current resurgence of secessionist movements in EU members and potential EU candidates. Professor Kuperman also laid out two questions for the symposium: 1) Looking backward, how can the EU and United States peacefully resolve the disputed sovereignties stemming from past secessionist crises in Kosovo and Georgia? 2) Looking forward, how can the EU and United States formulate a coherent policy toward secession, which avoids repeating this history of violence and disputed sovereignty, and which balances the interests of peace and self-determination?

Panel 1: Yugoslavia – Kosovo

The first panel addressed Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence in 2008. Gordon Bardos began with a discussion of the long history of political instability in Kosovo, especially since the early 20th century. Mr. Bardos stressed that attempts at conflict management through grants of autonomy and economic assistance failed during the Yugoslav period, because the divides were too deep to be addressed through such accommodative approaches. Mr. Bardos also warned of negative consequences to regional stability from recognizing Kosovo’s independence. Edward Joseph provided a contrasting view, indicating that the regional impact of Kosovo’s independence had been exaggerated and that wider secessionist “contagion” was not a genuine concern. Instead, Mr. Joseph argued that Kosovo was essentially a sui generis case, and that international decisions on secession should be driven by evaluation – and where possible, resolution – of specific claims of grievance by secessionist groups. Gerard Gallucci focused on the Serb secessionist movement within northern Kosovo, alleging mistakes by EU and U.S. negotiators in siding with claims by the Kosovo central government – which is dominated by ethnic Albanians – on disputed territory and institutions. Mr. Gallucci called for some level of autonomy for Serbs in northern Kosovo, and for increased economic development and regional cooperation as a means of conflict management. The panel discussant, Zoltan Barany, endorsed the broad historical perspective of Mr. Bardos and stressed the problem of decreasing levels of inter-ethnic social relations in Kosovo and Bosnia, which other panelists confirmed. Professor Barany also noted the more peaceful outcome in neighboring Macedonia, asking whether it could harbor lessons as an exception to the regional trend of ethnic conflict.

Click here for Panel 1 video

Gerard Galucci Paper

Edward Joseph Paper

Panel 2: Georgia – S. Ossetia / Abkhazia

The second panel focused on the secessionist movements in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Julie George located the roots of conflict near the end of the Soviet period. She emphasized the differences between the two secessionist entities, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Professor George indicated that the territorial conflicts were in fact proxies for underlying political conflicts, which she described as somewhat more intractable in the case of South Ossetia. In both cases, however, she stated that the conflicts have been more flexible and dynamic than members of the international community have generally assumed, and she implied that violent outcomes might have been minimized with greater international involvement. Eric Rubin agreed that the secessionist outcomes might have been avoided in the Caucasus, but he focused on the Georgian war of 2008 as a turning point when Russia became involved in a “grudge match” against the West. Russia’s recognition of the breakaway regions created a seemingly intractable legal problem, according to Mr. Rubin, but he said that negotiations could still make progress by bypassing difficult issues and focusing on “status-neutral” agreements. He also noted a slight warming trend in relations between Russia and Georgia since the latter’s 2012 elections. Cory Welt emphasized that the roots of the conflict predated the war of 2008. He expressed skepticism that violence might have been avoided with greater international involvement, noting that the recognition of Kosovo by western states made their efforts in Georgia even more problematic. Professor Welt held up Cyprus as a model for managing disputed sovereignty peacefully, and he recommended focusing international policy initiatives on the needs of South Ossetians and Abkhazians, not geopolitics. Discussant Mark Cichock echoed the need for “soft,” status-neutral solutions in areas where such agreement is possible. He also indicated that NATO’s discussions with Georgia about membership, prior to the 2008 war, were a mistake that inhibited peaceful management of the conflict. By contrast, Mr. Rubin characterized NATO’s outreach as a principled decision, citing a national consensus in Georgia in favor of NATO accession. The panelists also discussed the possibility of reintegration of the breakaway regions back into Georgia, about which they were generally pessimistic, particularly given the hurdles posed by the NATO issue.

Click here for Panel 2 video

Panel 3: Current EU Challenges – Belgium, Bosnia, Moldova, Spain, UK

The third panel dealt with current challenges of secessionist movements in the EU and potential EU candidates. Jason Sorens began by outlining a rationalist view of secessionism based more on interests than identity divides. He drew distinctions between secessionism in places such as Scotland – where the motives are primarily ideological – versus Catalonia and the Basque region, where economic motivations prevail and provide incentives for the Catalonians and disincentives for the Basques. Camilo Villarino-Marzo focused extensively on the history and recent developments of the Catalonian case, which he characterized as highly divisive. He confirmed the economic foundations of the current secessionist movement, explaining how a fiscal imbalance in favor of the central government, combined with Spain’s ongoing economic crisis, provided the main impetus for the separatists. Matthew Parish followed with a highly pessimistic assessment of Bosnia, which he characterized as an “unmitigated failure” and “irreversibly falling apart.” He traced the problems in Bosnia back to the international intervention following the Yugoslav breakup, which he said led to dysfunctional institutions imposed by force. Mr. Parrish counseled that international acceptance of secession, along with economic assistance, offered the best chance for avoiding a renewal of violence. Discussant Robert Moser stated his general agreement with Professor Sorens’s rationalist view of secession, but he indicated that this view provided little predictive power or guidance for constitutional design. Professor Moser said there is not yet a scholarly consensus on the best principled or practical approach to managing secessionist conflict.

Click here for Panel 3 video

Jason Sorens Paper

Matthew Parish Paper

Panel 4: Forging a Trans-Atlantic Policy on Secession

The final panel of the symposium dealt with the question of formulating a trans-Atlantic policy on secession. Bridget Coggins said the international community typically takes an ad hoc approach to recognition of secession, making decisions based primarily on realpolitik, rather than legal principle. Professor Coggins presented her empirical research on the factors that predict the success of secessionist movements, and she cited evidence that international coordination between major powers was a key determinant over the long term. She noted that disagreements over recognition do breed instability, but she seemed skeptical regarding the chances for a more principled approach. In contrast, Mikulas Fabry argued in favor of such a principled approach, citing the recent problems in the Balkans and Caucasus as evidence against the ad hoc approach. Professor Fabry recommended two core principles for the international community going forward: 1) eschew coercive intervention in secessionist disputes; and 2) decline to recognize claims of sovereignty unless de facto authority exists on the ground. James Ker-Lindsay likewise challenged the ad hoc approach to recognition. He argued that Kosovo did have spillover effects beyond the immediate region, and he was skeptical of using recognition to compensate for claims of grievance, even in cases involving human-rights abuses. Professor Ker-Lindsay also expressed concern about EU states being more amenable to claims of self-determination within their own states than elsewhere, which he says creates false hopes among secessionists in the developing world and an obvious double-standard. The discussant, Robert Hutchings, concurred with the panelists that the current trans-Atlantic policy on secession is based mainly on politics and power, not international law or precedent.

Click here for Panel 4 video

Bridget Coggins Paper

James Ker-Lindsay Paper

Speaker Bios

Zoltan Barany is Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Professor of Government at the University of Texas. He is the author of The Soldier and the Changing State: Building Democratic Armies in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas (Princeton U.P., 2012), Democratic Breakdown and the Decline of the Russian Military (Princeton U.P., 2007), and The Future of NATO Expansion (Cambridge, 2003), among other books. He is currently at work on a new volume, “How Armies Respond to Revolutions and Why,” under contract with Princeton University Press. Barany is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (New York) and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (London).

Gordon N. Bardos is president of SEERECON, a political risk and strategic advisory firm specializing on southeastern Europe. He has published numerous articles on political and security issues in the Balkans for a variety of scholarly journals, magazines and newspapers, including the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, the Jerusalem Post, and the National Interest, and has been a commentator on Balkan issues for the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and the BBC. He is the former Assistant Director of the Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian, and Central European Studies at Columbia University.

Mark Cichock is Professor of Political Science at the University of Texas at Arlington. His research has focused on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Soviet/Russian foreign policy in Eastern Europe, and most recently democracy-building in Georgia and Latvia. Dr. Cichock is the author of Russian and Eurasian Politics: A Comparative Approach (Addison-Wesley-Longman, 2003) and co-editor (with Charles J. Bukowski) of Prospects for Change in Socialist Systems (Praeger, 1987), in which he also authored a chapter on political change in the former Yugoslavia. From 1997-2001, Dr. Cichock conducted training seminars for police officers serving with the UN peacekeeping missions in Bosnia, Kosovo, and East Timor, and he developed events chronologies of the succession crises in the Balkans for use by the training mission. In 1999-2000 and 2004-2005 he served as president and program chair of the Rocky Mountain-Western Slavic Studies Association. He currently is director of the Charles T. McDowell Center for Critical Languages and Area Studies at UT-Arlington.

Bridget Coggins is Assistant Professor of Government at Dartmouth College. Her scholarly interests lie at the intersection of domestic and international politics. Her first book on secession, States of Uncertainty (forthcoming), explores the international politics of Great Power recognition of new states. Her other writing on secession appears or is forthcoming in International Organization, The Ashgate Research Companion on Secession, Oxford Bibliographies, and Handbook on the Economics of Public International Law. Her current work on secession examines the strategic use of talk by non-state actors in wartime – a form of rebel diplomacy. Professor Coggins completed her Ph.D. at Ohio State University and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Click here for paper

Mikulas Fabry is an Assistant Professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. In 2011-2012, he was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. His research focuses on questions of legitimate statehood, government, and territorial possession in international relations and law. Dr. Fabry is the author of Recognizing States: International Society and the Establishment of New States since 1776 (Oxford University Press, 2010), a number of chapters in edited volumes, and articles in International Theory, Nationalities Papers, Diplomacy & Statecraft, Millennium, and Global Society. His publications explore the normative theorizing about secession, the role of external involvement in secessionist conflict, and secession’s links to the recognition of states and to territorial integrity. His current book project explores the historical evolution and current dilemmas of the norm of territorial integrity in international relations and law.

Gerard Gallucci served as a U.S. diplomat and UN peacekeeper. He retired from the U.S. Senior Foreign Service in June 2005, after a 25-year career in African and Latin American affairs, including as Chargé d’Affaires in Brasilia (Brazil) and Khartoum (Sudan), and as Director for Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council. In addition, he had worked on U.S. efforts to end the internal conflicts in Angola and Mozambique, to achieve the independence of Namibia, and to peacefully end the Apartheid regime in South Africa. After retirement from the U.S. government, he served from 2005-2008 as UN Regional Representative in Mitrovica (north Kosovo) – responsible for helping maintain peace along the Ibar River that divides Serbs in the north from Albanians in the south – and as Chief of Staff for the UN Mission in East Timor. Gallucci also has taught peacekeeping as an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate School for Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh. Prior to government service, he was Assistant Professor of Political Science, West Virginia Wesleyan College, and Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Gallucci received a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in Political Science, and a B.A. from Rutgers University. He blogs on Kosovo at www.TransConflict.com. Click here for paper

Julie A. George is an associate professor of Political Science at Queens College, the City University of New York. Her first book, The Politics of Ethnic Separatism in Russia and Georgia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), addressed the mechanisms of secession, war, and peace in those countries from 1992-2008. She is currently working on a book project, “Compromised Sovereignty,” which examines state-building efforts in post-Communist states with fragmented borders – such as Georgia, Moldova, and Serbia – and investigates how territories seeking independence respond to those efforts.

Robert Hutchings is Dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin. From 2003-2005, he served as Chairman of the U.S. National Intelligence Council. His government work also includes serving as Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council, as Special Adviser to the Secretary of State, with the rank of Ambassador, and as Deputy Director of Radio Free Europe. In academia, he has been Diplomat in Residence and Assistant Dean at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, a faculty member at the University of Virginia, and an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University and Georgetown University. He also was a Fellow and Director of International Studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He is author of American Diplomacy and the End of the Cold War (Woodrow Wilson, 1998), and editor of At the End of the American Century (Johns Hopkins, 1998). He also has authored many articles and book chapters on European and transatlantic affairs. Hutchings is a director of the Atlantic Council of the United States and of the Foundation for a Civil Society, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the British-North American Committee. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

Edward P. Joseph is currently Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, in Washington, DC. He has spent more than a dozen years on the ground in conflict-affected areas of the Balkans, most recently as Deputy Head of the Mission in Kosovo of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In that capacity, he led successful negotiations in Belgrade for the OSCE to organize Serbian elections in Kosovo in May 2012. He started his work in the Balkans at Sarajevo Airport in 1992, and served with UN peacekeepers in regions of Bosnia and Croatia that included many ethnic permutations of the conflict: Sarajevo (Bosniak v. Serb); Knin (Croat v. Serb); Central Bosnia and Mostar (Croat v. Bosniak); and Bihac (Bosniak v. Bosniak). He also served in Kosovo in 1999, and Macedonia during its conflict period from 2001 to 2003, and held senior post-war positions in the region's three divided cities: Mostar and Brcko in Bosnia (working for OSCE), and Mitrovica in Kosovo (working for UNMIK.) Mr. Joseph has published several articles on the Balkans, including in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and the New York Times. Beyond the Balkans, he has worked in Iraq, Haiti, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Click here for paper

James Ker-Lindsay is Eurobank Senior Research Fellow in the Politics of South East Europe at the European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science. His most recent book is The Foreign Policy of Counter Secession: Preventing the Recognition of Contested States (Oxford U.P., 2012), which explores how Cyprus and Serbia, along with Georgia, have attempted to prevent Kosovo, the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” South Ossetia, and Abkhazia from gaining legitimacy on the international stage. His other publications focusing on aspects of conflict and peacemaking in the Western Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean include: EU Accession and UN Peacemaking in Cyprus (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005); Crisis and Conciliation: A Year of Rapprochement between Greece and Turkey (I.B.Tauris, 2007); Kosovo: The Path to Contested Statehood in the Balkans (I.B.Tauris, 2009); and The Cyprus Problem: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford U.P., 2011). His current research centers on the concept of “engagement without recognition.” Click here for paper

Alan J. Kuperman is Associate Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, where he currently leads a Pentagon-funded project on Constitutional Design and Conflict Management in Africa. His articles on secession include “Is Partition Really the Only Hope? Reconciling Contradictory Findings About Ethnic Civil Wars,” Security Studies 13,4 (Summer 2004); “The Moral Hazard of Humanitarian Intervention: Lessons from the Balkans,” International Studies Quarterly 52,1 (March 2008); and “Averting the Third Kosovo War,” The American Interest 3,3 (Jan-Feb 2008). His latest book chapter is “Humanitarian Intervention,” in Human Rights: Politics and Practice, 2nd edition, ed. Michael Goodhart (Oxford U. P., 2012). In addition, he is author of The Limits of Humanitarian Intervention: Genocide in Rwanda (Brookings, 2001) and co-editor of Gambling on Humanitarian Intervention: Moral Hazard, Rebellion and Civil War (Routledge, 2006). Prior to his academic career, he worked as legislative director to then-Congressman Charles Schumer and legislative assistant to the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Thomas Foley. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from MIT (2002).

Robert G. Moser is Associate Professor of Government at the University of Texas. He specializes in the study of electoral systems, political parties, and post-Communist politics. He is co-author, with Ethan Scheiner, of Electoral Systems and Political Context (Cambridge U.P., 2012), author of Unexpected Outcomes: Electoral Systems, Political Parties, and Representation in Russia (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2001) and co-editor, with Zoltan Barany, of Russian Politics: Challenges of Democratization (Cambridge U.P., 2001), Ethnic Politics after Communism (Cornell U.P., 2005), and Is Democracy Exportable? (Cambridge U.P., 2009). His articles have appeared in Perspectives on Politics, World Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Electoral Studies, and Post-Soviet Affairs. Most recently, his work has concentrated on ethnic voting, the representation of ethnic minorities, and the role of ethnicity in electoral politics of hybrid regimes, particularly in post-communist states. This work has shown that the geographic concentration of minorities has important implications for the election of members of minority groups to national legislatures as well as for voter turnout and electoral support among minority voters for minority candidates.

Matthew Parish is a British international lawyer based in Geneva, Switzerland, and a partner with the law firm Holman Fenwick Willan. From 2005 to 2007 he was employed by the Office of the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the international authority under the 1995 Dayton peace agreement. He served as the Chief Legal Advisor to the International Supervisor of Brcko, a U.S. State Department official charged with overseeing implementation of the Dayton agreement in this contested and strategically important city of northern Bosnia. In that role he was in charge of a series of judicial reform projects and provided advice to two Supervisors to help compel ethnic re-integration of the city. He wrote about these experiences in A Free City in the Balkans: Reconstructing a Divided Society in Bosnia (I. B. Tauris, 2009). He has also published and spoken widely about the law and politics of the western Balkans. His essay, “The Demise of the Dayton Protectorate,” criticized as autocratic the international community’s efforts to impose multi-ethnicity on post-war Bosnia at the expense of developing democratic institutions. His essay, “Republika Srpska: After Independence,” predicted the gradual dissolution of Bosnia’s post-war constitutional structure. His recent book, Mirages of International Justice: The Elusive Pursuit of a Transnational Legal Order (Edward Elgar, 2011), criticised international courts for hindering post-conflict reconstruction. A forthcoming book, Ethnic Civil War and the Promise of Law (Edward Elgar, forthcoming), explores the lessons from intervention in Kosovo and Bosnia for state-building in Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond. He holds first academic degrees from Christ's College, Cambridge University, and a doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School. His website is www.matthewparish.com. Click here for paper

Eric Rubin is a career foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State. He joined the Department in 1985, and has been involved with the U.S. response to the breakup of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia, as well as post-conflict efforts in Cyprus, Bosnia, Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabakh, and South Ossetia/Abkhazia in Georgia. He is currently Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Southeast Europe and the Caucasus (Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia). He was previously Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, where he served as Charge d'Affaires (temporary head of mission) during the Russia-Georgia war of 2008. He also has served as U.S Consul General in Chiang Mai, Thailand, as well as in overseas postings in Kyiv (Ukraine) and Tegucigalpa (Honduras). In Washington, he was Assistant White House Press Secretary for Foreign Affairs, NSC Director for Public Affairs, Director of the State Department's policy office for narcotics and law enforcement, executive assistant to the Under Secretary Of State for Political Affairs, and Special Assistant for European and Canadian Affairs. During the last years of the Soviet Union, he was Internal Politics and Nationalities Affairs Officer on the then-Soviet Desk, helping to establish relations with the 14 non-Russian Republics as well as the Russian Federation. He served as Regional Security Affairs Officer for Eastern Europe during the breakup of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, and oversaw the establishment of diplomatic relations with Slovenia. Eric is a graduate of Yale University. He taught at Georgetown University, where he was a Dean and Virginia Rusk Fellow at the School of Foreign Service’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.

Jason Sorens is an assistant professor of political science at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. He works on secession, ethnic politics and conflict, fiscal federalism, and public policy in federal systems. He is the author of Secessionism: Identity, Interest, and Strategy (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2012), which argues that providing a clear, legal path to secession will reduce nationalist violence in deeply divided countries. In addition, his articles have appeared in Journal of Peace Research, International Studies Quarterly, Comparative Political Studies, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Regional and Federal Studies, and Electoral Studies. He currently is working on a project on fiscal federalism in developing countries, investigating whether apparently economically perverse forms of federalism have a secession-deterring logic. Click here for paper

Camilo Villarino Marzo is a Spanish career diplomat. Since 2008, he has served at the Embassy of Spain in Washington, DC, as Counselor for Transatlantic Relations and Security and Defense Affairs. During the preceding decade, he held positions focused on the European Union, as Head of Unit for EU Institutional Affair at Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from 2002-2008, and Counselor at Spain’s Permanent Representation to the EU, from 1997-2002. Previously, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at Spain’s Embassy in Zagreb, Croatia, from 1994-1997, as Advisor to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) in 1993, and as International Legal Advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from 1990-1993, positions where he became particularly acquainted with conflicts related to nationalism and secession. He is author of Un mundo en cambio. Perspectivas de la política exterior de la Unión Europea – “A Changing World: Perspectives of European Union Foreign Policy” (Barcelona: Icaria Editorial, 2009), and articles on International Law issues and European integration. In addition, he is Vice-President of the Real Instituto de Estudios Europeos (Spain), and a Member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies (UK). He holds a Master’s Degree in European Studies from the College of Europe, Bruges (Belgium), and a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from the University of Zaragoza (Spain).

Cory Welt is Associate Director and Professorial Lecturer at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, and an Adjunct Fellow at the Center for American Progress. At IERES, he co-directs the Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia (PONARS Eurasia) and teaches courses on post-Soviet Eurasian politics and security. Dr. Welt is a leading specialist on the Caucasus and has written several articles on conflict resolution, border security, and political change in the region, including for Europe-Asia Studies, Demokratizatsiya, and The Nonproliferation Review. He also has contributed book chapters to Democracy and State Building in Georgia (Routledge, forthcoming 2013), Democracy and Authoritarianism in the Postcommunist World (Cambridge U.P., 2009), and America and the World in the Age of Terror (CSIS Press, 2005). He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2004), and his B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University (1995).

Sponsored by: Center for European Studies, European Union Center of Excellence, LBJ School of Public Affairs

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