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ARCHIVES  Danyliw Seminar 2016

Jesse Driscoll

UC San Diego (US)

Jesse Driscoll (PhD Stanford) is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California San Diego.  His book Warlords and Coalition Politics in Post-Soviet States, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press, compares processes of state formation in Georgia and Tajikistan since independence.  He has published in the Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology, Research and Politics, and The Journal of Conflict Resolution.



Comparing the War in Donbas

In “Thinking A Way Out Of Ukraine’s Civil War,” Jesse Driscoll discusses the structural barriers to a negotiated diplomatic settlement. The civil war in Ukraine has an international component; the Anglophone great powers and Russia both blame the policies of the other for the war. In principle a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is the best possible forum to resolve these differences of opinion, since agreement in this forum could yield a formal Resolution to authorize the mandate of a United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKO), but the gridlock has made this impossible. The main sticking point on a resolution, Driscoll argues, is which member of the P-5 will have the mandate to take responsibility for overseeing and coordinating disarmament and reconstruction. This will be difficult because there is both a bargaining problem (between Russia and other member of the P-5 that do not trust Russia) and a buck-passing problem (because no one actually wants to pay the huge costs associated with rebuilding Ukraine's east). Driscoll concludes with the observation that while comparatively few people have died in Ukraine’s civil war,  this may have perverse consequences for conflict resolution. So long as the war in Ukraine’s east is not producing waves of new refugees, it is  easy for the great powers to simply ignore the civilian suffering in Ukraine. Driscoll’s favored solution is French political leadership in the UNSC and the OSCE to provide security guarantees that are acceptable to stakeholders in both Kyiv and Moscow.

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