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The Galtung Triangle and Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Keywords: South Caucasus , Nagorno-Karabakh , Azerbaijan , Armenia , conflict resolution , frozen conflicts , ethnic and territorial conflicts , Johan Galtung

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The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is one of the longest - standing conflicts in the former Soviet Union. Despite numerous attempts by mediating parties and direct talks between the governments of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, the conflict remains unresolved. In this paper, I will try to analyze the general causes of the conflict within the framework of Johan Galtung’s conflict triangle. After giving a brief description of the Galtung conflict triangle and short asymmetry and symmetry analysis, I will examine the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict using the model’s three axes – structural, cultural (social constructs) and behavioral (direct violence). The paper will investigate the nature and dynamics of the conflict in chronological order, starting from 1988 and ending with the signing of the cease-fire agreement in 1994. Hence, the purpose of this paper is limited to the three theoretical aspects of Johan Galtung’s conflict triangle and does not include the conflict’s detailed history and its post-ceasefire developments. This study aims to increase understanding of the cultural and structural causes of interethnic violence between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in 1988-1994.


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