The paper traces the evolution of the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) into the present Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the contribution of both to regional security. The former is found to have played a major role in winding down the Cold War in favour of détente (e.g. via arms control). Had there been the requisite political will, it might even have assumed the role of a regional collective security organisation in the wake of the Cold War, but it was effectively sidelined by the great powers, especially those of the West. Hence, the OSCE's main contributions to regional security are today found in such fields as conflict prevention and the promotion of democracy and human rights.
Working Paper No. 30 (series 2), 2008, London, UK; Crisis States Research Centre, 29 pp.