Russia's Policy Decision in the 2008 South Ossetia Conflict: A Rational Actor Model Analysis
|Keywords:||南奧塞梯;理性決策模式;宗屬關係;效用之最大化;民族自決;認知成本;South Ossetia;Rational Actor Model;suzerain-vassal relationship;utility maximization;self-determination;perceived costs||Issue Date:||2012||Abstract:||
The ethnic conflict between South Ossetia and Georgia, is considered to be
one of the sources of unrest in Caucasus. Despite sharing a common ethnicity
and religion, South Ossetia and North Ossetia have become separate entities
in Georgia and Russia, under different historical and geographical contexts.
Unlike in North Ossetia, how political development flourished gradually under
the protection of Russia, South Ossetia’s national course has progressed
unsteadily in its long-term struggle with Georgia.
The complexity of the Georgia-South Ossetia conflict heightens, as Russia and
Georgia continue to cast variables into the dispute. As early as the Soviet
period, the foundation of Russia and Georgia’s interests have shattered to an
extent, that it finally collapsed not long after the end of the Cold War.
Georgia, after several transitions of regimes, has rapidly shifted its ideology
which eventually led to the deterioration of its fragile relationship with Russia.
The 2008 Georgian reconnaissance craft incident, offered Georgia an
opportunity to stand before Russia, which also brought the two adversaries
into war. Georgia’s discontent with South Ossetia’s intercourse with North
Ossetia, has led to an execution of preemptive military suppression, where
simultaneously Russia also launched a military counteraction in response. As
a result of asymmetrical military capacity, the 2008 Russia-Georgia war ended
instantly, as a cease-fire agreement was carried out by France and signed by
the two contestants. Russia then established official diplomatic relations with
South Ossetia, where a series of discussion on how to cope with the aftermath
of the incident, also took place within the United Nations Security Council, the
Organization for Security and Co- operation in Europe and many other
The military confrontation between Russia and Georgia, has become a crucial
reference for Russia’s management of issues such as self-determination and
separatism. This research attempts to examine the rationality of Russia’s
policy decision, under the theoretical structure of the Rational Actor Model, by
deconstructing Russia’s objectives, options, consequences and choice towards
the South Ossetia incident. Taking into account other international
stakeholders that may have been involved in the South Ossetia dispute, the
challenge to contain all potential actors into one analytic body, therefore
becomes a major task of this research.
Whether or not Russia considers a military resolution, rather than diplomatic
negotiation or non-intervention, the best possible solution to the conflict in
South Ossetia, remains a crucial debate in this research. In addition, whether
or not the result of the Russia-Georgia conflict is compatible to a maximized
utility of national interests, also remains as the most essential course of this
|Appears in Collections:||政治學系|
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