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Comprehensive Approach 3.0: „Triple Nexus“

The impact of resilience on international crisis and conflict management

Ursula Werther-Pietsch


A new „Comprehensive Approach“ will have to focus on national sovereignty . It is a fact that on the one hand there is a trend towards increasing sovereignty all over the world. This can be deducted from the behaviour of the states on the multilateral level, which – based on their own interests – can undermine international obligations. On the other hand, self-rule due to polarisation, segregation and increasing sense of resources scarcity is booming. Thus, this principle of international law will have to be granted a higher degree of relevance than has been the case so far. Catalonia, Scotland, Kosovo and Kurdistan – these are different scenarios, having something in common: they are not descended from the colonial context of a right of self-rule which had followed the endeavours for independence on the African continent. In order to remain relevant, international law will have to offer more transitional agreements from fragile situations to peaceful and stabile states, such as the Law of Transition Project of Leiden University. The old dichotomy war – peace has already partly made place for the more dynamic point of view of a „ius post bellum“. If one placidly adapts the existing concepts of the alliance of states, of important actors of international crisis and conflict management, such as the USA, NATO, EU, but also Austria, concerning the current “resilience” debate, one can set a course towards a „Comprehensive Approach 3.0“ (CA) which could make it a successful toolset for conflict transformation. There is, however, in the style of Sven Bishop’s assessment of the new Common Security and Defence Policy of the EU, no „coherent full spectrum force package“. This essay attempts at forwarding a military scientific discourse about the „Comprehensive Approach“ by impulses of international development politics and overall national resilience. There is hope that the lessons learned in the dealing with Bosnia-Herzegovina, East-Timor, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Togo, the Democratic Republic Congo, Afghanistan or Georgia, with the suggested innovations in the renewed CA 3.0 will, at least at the next opportunity in Syria, lead to a well prepared, coordinated, tool-based, flexible and realistic mission on the basis of common principles of engagement.