The purpose of this master thesis is to (i) describe the developments in the Abkhazian Conflict from the Rose Revolution (November 2003 – January 2004) to the present day, and (ii) point out why the conflict is now more difficult to solve through negotiations than at the outset of the period under analysis, through (iii) mapping out the extent to which the parties can do without a negotiated agreement and (iv) the level of tensions between them.
I first define the desired utilities of the parties through accounting for their historical interrelations, discourses on history and actions/positions prior to the period under analysis.
Following this, I account for data on demography, economy, military capabilities, rights and recogntion, social cohesion and interactions between the parties.
My conclusion is basically that the Republic of Abkhazia's BATNA is currently satisfactory and improving, while the BATNA of Georgia is unsatisfactory and getting worse. Conflict intensity, though improving 2005 - summer of 2006, has been steadily increasing since the summer of 2006 and is now at a critical level.
Three factors are crucial for this negative development: The uncompromising stance of Abkhazia - due to their high BATNA and high distrust/fear of Georgia; Georgia's low BATNA paired with their increasing belief that Abkhazia will never agree to a negotiated agreement that they find satisfactory - causing aggressive moves and rhetoric from their side, that raise Abkhazia’s distrust/fear; and Russia's increasing sponsorship of Abkhazia - raising Abkhazia's BATNA, and increasing Georgia’s hostility towards Abkhazia.