Sri Lanka - Zur Rolle des Sicherheitsdilemmas in ethnischen Konflikten

  • Mirjam Weiberg (Autor/in)

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At the beginning of the 21st century ethnic or racial conflicts proliferate all over the world. Many ethnic conflicts - for example the conflict between the Sri Lankan state and the Tamil Tigers - are characterized by constant efforts at conflict resolution interspersed with renewed violence, with cycles of military escalation and de-escalation. Also, they are marked by the helpnessness of the international actors, who profess their interest in a resolution and try to mediate between the contending parties. But they are rarely successful - why?

The most important question in war and peacetime is whether it is possible to achieve security. In many Asian countries people perceive politics and security in ethnic terms. Security often means applying their security definition to the nation-state. Especially during the peace negotiations it is of vital importance to reflect on these various ethnically framed security perceptions and constructions, because structure and content of these definitions provide the scope for peace settlements. Third Parties engaged in mediating violent conflicts have to keep in mind that it is the elusive balance of these security schemes which determine successful negotiations and a permanent solution.