Special issue on "Peace Processes, Violence, and De Facto States" of the IMEMO journal "Pathways to Peace and Security" (no. 1(62), 2022) has been published. In this issue, a mix of actors, dynamics and factors at the interface of peace processes and violence is narrowed down to contexts that involve de facto states. The majority of such (post)conflict settings have been subject to an ongoing or stalemated peace process that has failed to produce comprehensive peace accords or their effective implementation, with respective conflicts remaining “frozen”. Despite some form of a ceasefire in place, many de facto states remain heavily contested, and recurring violence or a relapse into armed conflict are not infrequent. The volume includes a discussion about the basic terminology and concepts, such as “peace processes” and “de facto states”. It then explores the key cross-cutting issue of de facto states' contested sovereignty, domestic and international, and on how it relates to viability of such entities in active or frozen conflicts in and beyond Eurasia. Finally, internal and international aspects of the conflict in Donbass (until early 2022) and the respective Minsk peace process are explored. These aspects include the rarely addressed dynamics behind talks and violence within the contested republics of Donbass, a critical analysis of the Minsk process, including the role of such European institutions as the OSCE and the EU, and a discussion of whether or not the peace process was doomed to fail.
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