- Armament and disarmament
- Conflict, peace and security
- Peace and development
During the cold war, confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs)—voluntary rules of openness, restraint and cooperation in military affairs—played a real part in easing tension in Europe and in avoiding conflict between the rival blocs. CSBMs went on being developed even when the Berlin Wall fell and helped to maintain stability during the momentous changes that were taking place in Europe. Today, in the early 21st century, while their stabilization function is not wholly superseded, the CSBMs concept and process find themselves increasingly called upon to respond to new risks and challenges in the field of security, including the non-state and non-European dimensions. There is a growing focus on measures and arms control-related arrangements below the continental level—at the regional, sub-regional, bilateral and intra-state levels—and growing interest in whether these approaches could usefully be applied beyond the European continent.
This research report provides important reference material and authoritative analysis on the evolution and use of CSBMs and other norm- and standard-setting measures in the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe/Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE/OSCE) area over the past 15 years, including their limitations in times of crisis, and on the attempts to streamline and improve their operation. It offers a quarry and a set of well-considered guidelines for anyone contemplating the application of the CSBMs model to new regions and in new dimensions of security.