Ukraine: A Blended Conflict in an Antagonistically-Penetrated Region

This keynote lecture at the inaugural conference of the LOEWE-Schwerpunkt Konflikte im östlichen Europa at the University of Giessen focused on the the political science and international relations perspectives of researching conflict in Eastern Europe with a particular emphasis on comparative international politics and an intra- and inter-regional comparison. I covered three main issues: (1) What is being researched? (2) From what theoretical perspective, based on what assumptions? (3) How or with what methodological approaches? In conclusion, I observed that researching conflict in Eastern Europe from a comparative international politics, thus, works best on the basis of analytically precise concepts that are firmly grounded theoretically and applied in a methodological rigorous way. It also requires openness beyond theoretical and disciplinary boundaries to create, and benefit from, the added value that is implied in notions of complementary and compatible theories and disciplines. And finally, researching conflict in Eastern Europe cannot be done properly or reach its full potential if it remains spatially or temporally confined to a particular region. Therefore, the idea of a typology of conflict regions is a very promising one from a comparative international politics perspective and its development is likely to be a significant contribution contemporary conflict research in, and beyond, Eastern Europe.