Envisioning peace: An analysis of grassroots views on the Nagorny Karabakh conflict
Expanding on the peacebuilding work carried out by various organisations and individuals around the Nagorny Karabakhconflict over the past 25 years, International Alert has conducted a study to highlight possible alternatives to war, ways of transforming the conflict proposed by the societies themselves and potential new approaches to peacebuilding.
To this day, the Nagorny Karabakh conflict that erupted in the early 1990s remains one of the most dangerous and unpredictable conflicts in the entire post-Soviet space. Despite the widespread rhetoric about the conflict being ‘frozen’, both civilians and soldiers are regularly killed along the ‘line of contact’ and the international border. Moreover, the bloody clashes of April 2016 showed that the sides remain ready to resort to military confrontation as a way of ‘resolving’ the conflict.
The results of this study confirm various widespread assumptions about the conflict. Interestingly, they also debunk a number of stereotypes about the ways in which the conflict is perceived by people living in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorny Karabakh, and external analysts. The research shows that the three societies share many similar trends, as well as a number of significant differences in certain aspects.
We hope that the conclusions and recommendations put forward here prove useful to the sides in the conflict and also to external actors involved in mediating its peaceful resolution. We intend to disseminate them widely so that they may provide food for thought, analysis and creative proposals from the societies involved, enabling further work on the ground to prepare people to live together in peace.