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The OSCE: Soft Security for a Hard World

Competing Theories for Understanding the OSCE


Roberto Dominguez

This book explores why the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) remains a largely unknown entity as far as the general public are concerned, despite its significant day-to-day activity not only on the diplomatic front, but also via its 16 field operations.
While the main achievement of its predecessor, the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), was to bridge the East-West divide in Europe during the Cold War, the CSCE was transformed into the OSCE in 1995 to respond to the various challenges generated by the emergence of a multipolar world. Ever since, the OSCE has been involved in diplomacy, empowered with instruments of persuasion rather than coercion. Is the OSCE a significant regional organization in dealing with international security? Has the OSCE been able to reinvent itself to face the post-Cold War world? What type of security is the OSCE providing to its member states? This book provides a variety of answers based on different theoretical perspectives and invites the reader to reflect on the nature of soft power within international relations.
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Roberto Domínguez is a Jean Monnet fellow of the Global Governance Program at the European University Institute and Associate Professor at the Department of Government at Suffolk University. He holds a Ph.D. in International Studies by University of Miami. His recent publications include with Emil Kirchner, Security Governance of International Organizations (New York: Routledge, 2012); European Union Foreign Policy (New York: Edwing Mellen Press, 2008) and with Joaquín Roy, After Vienna: Dimension of the Relationship between the European Union and the Latin America-Caribbean Region (Miami: Miami European Union Center, 2006).


Maxime H.A. Larivé is a post-doctoral Jean Monnet fellow at the EU Center of Excellence and a Lecturer at the Department of International Studies at the University of Miami. He graduated in 2012 with a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Miami. He has published several EU related articles in several journals such as European Security,Perceptions, and one upcoming in Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations. Maxime also writes weekly articles on the EU and transatlantic relations for the Foreign Policy Association’s blogs.

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