Cornell International Law Journal


Frozen conflicts


Scholars (mostly in international relations and politics) and policymakers (in various countries) have referred to a series of conflicts in the space of the former USSR as “frozen conflicts.” Because some now speak of new “frozen conflicts” emerging, it is timely to ask what— if any— legal meaning this expression contains. Moreover, how we characterize these conflicts affects legal and other procedures the parties and others might apply to resolve them. Beyond the open questions of semantics and taxonomy, the so-called “frozen conflicts” merit attention because of their salience to the dispute settlement machinery that they so largely have frustrated.