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  • Author: Syuzanna Vasilyan
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: This article develops a new conceptual framework of 'moral power' by arguing that the 'civilian'/'normative' power Europe paradigms are insufficient for understanding the essence of the conflict resolution policy of the European Union (EU) in the South Caucasus. Analysing the conflicts of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh, the study reveals that until the August 2008 war, the EU was an incoherent actor in terms of the interplay among its institutions and member-states. The EU's policy has been devoid of a long-term peace-focused strategy, making it inconsequential; as a result, the EU has merely dealt with, rather than managed, the conflicts. Its rhetoric has been inconsistent with practice. Often the EU has subordinated its values to material and power-related interests. Moreover, the EU has hardly been normatively stable in its approach to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Bypassing inclusiveness until the launch of the Geneva talks pertaining to the Abkhazian and South Ossetian conflicts, the EU has not enjoyed much legitimacy by the de facto states. Whereas the EU has largely failed to resolve the South Caucasian conflicts, it has achieved partial success by putting a halt to the 2008 hostilities between Russia and Georgia. Overall, having faltered as a 'civilian'/'normative' power it still has to fare as a 'moral power'.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Political Theory, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Georgia, South Caucasus, South Ossetia, Abkhazia
  • Author: Pami Aalto, David Dusseault, Michael D Kennedy, Markku Kivinen
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: In this article, we examine the formation of Russia's energy policies vis-à-vis Europe and the Far East. As energy policy is a very complex field, we propose a new structurationist analytical model to deal with that complexity. Our model highlights the practices by which actors acquire information of their policy environments, which are conceptualised as structures enabling and constraining their actions. These practices involve intentions, interests and schemata. In our case analyses - the Nord Stream pipeline project and the Sakhalin Island's energy politics - we find that profit interests, as part of a wider business frame, most centrally guide Russian actors. The often-hyped energy superpower frame is found to be ambiguous. It generally does not bring the intentions of Russian actors together well, even if such a frame resonates with some of Russia's European customers. Energy security frames are found to be prevalent among Russia's customers and are highly differentiated. Environmental frames are mostly instrumentally deployed. Russian energy actors are capable of displaying collective intentionality, but are incapable of fully controlling the various dimensions of the complex policy environment.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Environment
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Burak Bilgehan Özpek
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: The emergence of an energy security crisis between Russia and European countries has cast doubt on the argument that commercial ties lead to peaceful political relations between states as the energy trade between Russia and Europe has been inclined to generate conflict rather than cooperation. Nevertheless, the crisis has showed that military security issues no longer dominate the agenda and that issues produce different degrees of cooperation and conflict between governments. Furthermore, governments cannot use military force in order to resolve issues in an era of interdependence. Therefore, the European Union (EU), which suffers from an asymmetric dependence on energy resources imported from or via Russia, has adopted a diversification policy. This policy not only affects energy security but also the EU's enlargement process. Accordingly, a diversification policy requires embracing alternative energy sources, such as Turkey's involvement in oil and gas pipeline projects bypassing Russia. Thus, Turkey's contribution to European energy security creates an interdependence, which could affect Turkey's relations with the EU.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey