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Territorial autonomy and secession as strategies of conflict management: case of Nagorno Karabakh

Narek Sukiasyan

vol. VIII (1)

Pages 90-103

Abstract: The article identifies and examines territorial autonomy and

secession as conflict management strategies applied in Nagorno

Karabakh. It demonstrates that neither of these strategies provided

sustainable peace and indicates some of the underlying causes of this

failure. Through the case of the NKAO, the article challenges the role

of institutional autonomies as an encouraging factor of secession per se.

In our case, the autonomous period indeed prepared the groundwork for

mobilization, albeit for the opposite reason – it did not guarantee the

ethno-territorial rights of the minority. In fact, it caused an increase in

cultural, economic and political discrimination against the local

Armenians. Secession put an end to intercommunal violence, but failed

to establish peace. The secession of Karabakh and the factors leading up

to it provide grounds for qualifying it as a resort to the remedial right,

which has been instrumentalised by present and previous leaders of


Keywords: Nagorno Karabakh, peace and conflict, territorial

autonomy, secession, conflict management

Narek Sukiasyan
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