Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences


Political Science and Law

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Jack Baldwin-LeClair

Committee Member

Avram Segall

Committee Member

Thomas Zeringo


Using Kelman’s framework of the nature of international intractable conflict, this thesis seeks to examine thoroughly the unrelenting hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The analysis will include the history of the primary parties in context, the root causes, the key issues, the needs, fears and other social-psychological factors driving and perpetuating the conflict. Special attention will be given to the secondary actors of the dispute since they play important roles in the conflict and have their own agendas. The secondary actors include Turkey, Russia, the Armenian Diaspora, the United States, the European Union, Iran, and Georgia.

The paper will discuss the conventional approaches of international conflict resolution such as official negotiation and mediation. These track-one diplomatic theories will be compared to the new social-psychological approaches employed in track-two diplomacy. The recent OSCE Minsk Group mediation efforts and results will be presented in an effort to demonstrate the limitations of track-one diplomacy as a sole conflict resolution method in the international arena. The paper will propose the utilization of Ronald Fisher’s Interactive Conflict Resolution model as a supplement to the official peacemaking efforts. The opponents of Fisher’s theory will be refuted through a comparative case analysis of several intractable conflicts in which the Interactive Conflict Resolution theory was applied, and appears to have exerted a positive effect on the stalled negotiations. An assessment of this approach will attempt to reveal its potential for overcoming the impasse and improving the chances of a peaceful resolution.

File Format