Confidence-building Measures in the Middle East and South Asia: Prospects for Application

Gamal M. Selim, The British University in Egypt


This thesis purports to assess the impact of CBMs on the process of conflict resolution and peace building. It tries to provide answers to three main, interrelated questions. The first question deals with the nature of CBMs: are they a change-oriented or a status quo oriented concept? Do CBMs tend to stabilize a certain situation with certain parameters or do they necessarily trigger a process of change toward conflict resolution?. The second question deals with the issue of the exact impact of CBMs on the conflict and peace process. Are CBMs instruments to resolve conflicts and build peace or are they tools to contain crises without necessarily contributing to the process of conflict resolution?. The third question relates to the question of the direction of the relationship between CBMs and both war avoidance and conflict resolution. Is the relationship considered a direct one that occurs under all conditions regardless of the contexts of the introduction of CBMs, or is it dependent upon some intervening variables, which ought to be present in order for CBMs to produce their impact? By examining the European CBM experience and comparing it with the Middle Eastern and South Asian experiences, one would attempt to present some empirical answers to these research problems.