Cover Osteuropa 11/2007

In Osteuropa 11/2007

Frozen Conflicts
What Is to Become of the Virtual States?

Wim van Meurs

Deutsche Fassung


The first interpretations of ethnic conflicts in Eastern Europe after 1989 have been proven wrong in many issues. The number of conflicts that escalated into violence has been smaller than expected, but finding a solution for them has been harder. The virtual states that have come into being such as Kosovo, Transnistria, or Abkhazia have proven more capable of surviving than was predicted at the start of the 1990s. Furthermore, it has turned out that these virtual states are not only lucrative elite projects. They cannot get around offering a minimum of the state's redistributional function or establishing a regional or national identity. The study of causes and conflict management must be reconsidered.

(Osteuropa 11/2007, pp. 111–120)