Global Security Governance At Work: The Case of 2008 Russia-Georgia Conflict

14 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2018

See all articles by Tatyana Rudneva

Tatyana Rudneva

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Date Written: April 4, 2018


This paper concentrates on the activities of different actors on the international arena in the area of security, their cooperation with each other and the overall role diplomatic activities play in the twenty-first century global security governance. After the two worlds wars the international community adopted the principle of collective defence and tried to establish a comprehensive multilevel international security system headed by the UN. Nation-states ceased to be the only actors participating in the international relations, instead they acquired the role of the smallest elements in a global UN-system, often linked together by regional intergovernmental organisations (ROs) to build smaller regional subsystems. On top of that, they still enjoyed all the powers they had as sovereign states. Given the non-hierarchical character of the described system the functions of its components often overlapped and intertwined. With the rising involvement of non-state actors, the system is as intricate as ever. For the system to be effective, it is very important that all the actors are able to participate in the governance processes adequately and equitably. In the age of urgent security challenges, the response has to be quick and concerted. In the present paper, we provide a detailed analysis of the activities of different actors directed at resolving an interstate conflict. We chose to focus on the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict in South Ossetia, in which directly or indirectly was involved a whole bunch of intergovernmental organisations (CSTO, OSCE, SCO, UN, EU, NATO), sovereign state and non-state actors. It is particularly remarkable that despite the fact that both states were members of the UN and a number of ROs, which should have been enough to ensure proper cooperation, there were still organisations and institutions involved neither of the states were members of, as, for example, the EU. Thus, in regard to the activities of different actors the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict is illustrative of at least two phenomena: (i) actors trying to exert influence beyond the territory of their concern (ii) actors trying to exert influence beyond their policy domain. Using case-study approach, the paper will present an investigation of these two phenomena and the logic behind them. We will scrutinise the actual way the conflict was handled and what role each of the actors involved played in resolving the conflict in order to determine why they chose to participate in the first place, to define their goals and objectives and to estimate the influence each of them had on the outcome and the general ability of the existing system to provide a concerted response to the challenges of global security despite coinciding scopes. The findings of this study will help to draw conclusions about the role of different players in the global security governance and evaluate the efficiency of the existing global governance mechanisms.

Keywords: global governance, conflict resolution, security governance, Russia, Georgia

JEL Classification: Z00

Suggested Citation

Rudneva, Tatyana, Global Security Governance At Work: The Case of 2008 Russia-Georgia Conflict (April 4, 2018). Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 30/IR/2018. Available at SSRN: or

Tatyana Rudneva (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics