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OSCE Timeline

This timeline shows the development of OSCE discourse on counter-terrorism, from the foundation of the organisation (originally the 'CSCE') in 1975. Given the Organisation's original mandate of increasing security cooperation in Europe during the Cold War, it is unsurprising that early OSCE discourse frames terrorism as a state sponsored activity - and produces agreements to limit the use of subversive tactics between the East and West. Our timeline tracks the development of OSCE's counterterrorism discourse from its original Cold War framing, through an interstitial phase where counterterrorism is reframed as an area for potential collaboration between East and West in the late 1980s, through to the 'democratisation' framing which became dominant in the 1990s. During the break-up of the Soviet Union, the OSCE reimagined its role in International Security as a facilitator of democratisation - framing terrorism as the result of authoritarian repression and the absence of 'rule of law'.
Our timeline points to several moments where the 'democratisation' frame for counterterrorism encounters tensions. Russia, Turkey, Spain and the UK all periodically block proposals for international human rights oversight of their own domestic anti-seperatist/counterterrorism campaigns, fearful of censure.
Finally our timeline also traces the early development of a 'halfway house' discourse in the OSCE, which positions counterterrorism as an area which can productively be engaged by civil society actors and through the criminalisation of 'glorification' and 'apology for terrorism' offences. Our timeline demonstrates a much earlier engagement with civil society and radicalisation frames in the OSCE - compared to the United Nations and EU activities in this area.

🔵 Recruitment Frame

🟢 Democratisation and Human Rights Theme

🔴 Half-way House

⚫ Radicalisation Theme