Yearbook on the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
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Each year, the Yearbook contains a wealth of writing from experts and practitioners relating to all aspects of the OSCE and its work. Each volume opens with contributions that describe the current security situation in Europe, assessments of developments and prospects within the OSCE, and considerations of the interests and commitments of selected OSCE participating States.
The second section is devoted to the OSCE’s responsibilities, instruments, and mechanisms. These include conflict prevention and dispute settlement, which are represented by a chapter on the activities of OSCE missions and other field operations, detailed conflict analysis, and regional strategies for crisis prevention.
The chapter on the human dimension deals with minority issues and human rights, election monitoring and democratization. Additional topics touched upon in this chapter have included trafficking in human beings, migration, political Islam, and women in conflict situations.
The articles in the next chapter consider the task of building co-operative security. They highlight matters such as pan-European and regional arms control, confidence- and security-building measures, and police missions as a means of civil conflict management.
The fourth and final chapter in the second section is devoted to the OSCE’s economic and environmental dimension. The focus here is on topics such as transformation problems in the former socialist states, risks and challenges in the OSCE area, the fight against organized crime, and the prevention of environmental conflicts.
The third section of the Yearbook is dedicated to the OSCE’s procedures and structures, its organs, and its relationships to co-operation partners and to other international organizations and NGOs.
Each volume contains extensive annexes comprising facts and figures on the Organization itself and its 57 participating States, a list of recent conferences, meetings and events, and a selected bibliography of current literature.
Careful selection of authors is the key to the Yearbook’s success. The 25 to 35 contributions that make up a typical OSCE Yearbook include reports from practitioners, prominent politicians, diplomats and members of the military. Some of these authors hold (or have held) key positions within the Organization itself; they include heads of missions and delegations, and employees of institutions such as the Conflict Prevention Centre. The remainder of the articles are contributed by leading international academic experts in disciplines ranging from Political Science to International Law to Economics.
The editors are particularly concerned to ensure a diverse internationalism among the Yearbook’s authors. Thus, approximately 140 of the 370 or so authors who wrote for the Yearbook between 1995 and 2007 came from Germany, and some 230 from elsewhere. Most of the latter came from OSCE participating States – from Azerbaijan to Uzbekistan – but there have also been authors from Egypt, Korea, and Japan. Approximately 135 of the authors featured in the Yearbook’s history have been academics, while 235 have been involved in practical activities.
The OSCE Yearbook aims to shed light on the work and the inner workings of the OSCE, and to raise awareness of the Organization among as wide a public as possible. It is intended as both a support for political decision making and a contribution to relevant academic discussions. Consequently, it seeks to address politicians and state employees at all levels of government and in national and international parliaments, OSCE employees themselves, and professors, lecturers, and students of a range of subjects at a variety of institutions. Finally, the constructive criticism and analysis contained in the Yearbook is designed to strengthen the OSCE itself. The highly international yet tightly knit network of editors and authors, their diverse backgrounds in political, diplomatic, military or academic circles, and the wide variety of topics treated ensure that the Yearbook carries a broad and representative range of opinion, facilitating free and critical discussion of the OSCE.
Although the Yearbook is not an official OSCE publication it has received considerable moral support from the Organization, especially from the Secretariat in Vienna, the Permanent Delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the OSCE, and several OSCE institutions, including the High Commissioner on National Minorities. It is distributed widely throughout the entire OSCE area, and is an integral part of courses of study at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek and elsewhere.
The Yearbook is published in co-operation with retired Ambassador Jonathan Dean (Union of Concerned Scientists, Washington), Dr. Pál Dunay (Geneva Centre for Security Policy), Prof. Victor-Yves Ghebali (Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva), Prof. Adam Daniel Rotfeld (Member of the National Security Council, Warsaw), and Prof. Andrei Zagorski (Moscow State Institute for International Relations). The editorial staff are located at the IFSH in Hamburg. Ursel Schlichting is the editor-in-chief, and is assisted in the tasks of editing and translating by Susanne Bund, Graeme Currie, Elena Kropatcheva, Lena Kulipanova, and Ina Shakhrai.
The editors are grateful to the German Foreign Office for its generous financial support.
The OSCE Yearbook can be ordered from:
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