SouthCaucasus
Blog / Europe

The geopolitical reality of the South Caucasus

The South Caucasus – the region of three very different countries, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia has always been on the outskirts of different empires throughout history – Sassanids, Byzantine, Arab Caliphate, Seljuks, Mongol empire, Turkman-led Safavids, Ottomans, Tsar Russia and finally the Soviets. The region has continuously shifted its attention …

Operation Cold Response is a military exercise held in Northern Norway and involves numerous NATO members
Photo Source: Media Bundeswehr via Flickr Creative Commons
Blog / International Law

The United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea – A Paper Aegis?

 

Operation Cold Response is a military exercise held in Northern Norway and involves numerous NATO members Photo Source: Media Bundeswehr via Flickr Creative Commons

Last month Ghana applied for its maritime border dispute with the Ivory Coast to be arbitrated by UNCLOS – an issue complicated by the presence of the adjacent Tweneboa, Enyenra and …

South Caucasus
Blog / Europe

The Foreign Policy Strategies of the EU and Russia towards the South Caucasus: Reformism vs Conservativism

Map of Caucasus region prepared by the U.S. State Department, 1994 via University of Texas

In my previous contributions to Future Foreign Policy, I have already suggested that the European Union (EU) is in a geopolitical game in the Eastern neighbourhood, building its position against a strong geopolitical actor – Russia. To understand this …

DAVOS-KLOSTERS/SWITZERLAND, 28JAN09 - Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation captured during the 'Opening Plenary of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2009' at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 28, 2009.
Asia / Blog

Russia’s new friendship with China isn’t all that friendly

DAVOS-KLOSTERS/SWITZERLAND, 28JAN09 – Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation captured during the ‘Opening Plenary of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2009′ at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 28, 2009 via Flickr

 

For most of human history, the people inhabiting modern-day Russia and China were …

HMNB Clyde the home of the UK's nuclear deterrent. Source: Ron Strutt via Wikimedia Commons
Blog / Europe

Russia: The Justification for Trident Renewal

HMNB Clyde the home of the UK’s nuclear deterrent. Source: Ron Strutt via Wikimedia Commons

The scene is set for a renewal of Trident. Last week the British and American Security Information Council (BASIC) reported the results of a three-year study by the Trident Commission with the conclusion that Trident should be renewed. The risk, …

Heartland
Blog / Europe

Geopolitics and Ukraine

The map showing the Heartland area from Mackinder’s 1904 work ‘The Geographical Pivot of History’. Photo source: Halford J. Mackinder. Original uploader was Marc-king at nl.wikipedia via Wikimedia Commons.

Media coverage of the on-going Ukraine crisis regularly refers to geopolitics. Whilst the term is often misused as a synonym for geography, and the theoretical background …

IAF Sufa Fighters fly in formation over Israel. Photo Source Israel Defense Forces via Flickr Creative Commons.
Blog / Middle East and North Africa

Ukraine: An Israeli Problem?

IAF Sufa Fighters fly in formation over Israel. Photo Source: Israel Defense Forces via Flickr Creative Commons.

The Ukraine crisis has redefined the established parameters of international politics and upended the rational expectations of the West; prior to February it was unthinkable that Russia would resort to military force to protect its foreign interests in …

Vladimir Putin
Blog / Russia and Eurasia

Understanding Russia

Vladimir Putin. Photo Source: www.kremlin.ru via Wikimedia Commons.

On 18th of March, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech to Russian parliamentarians, putting forward his case for why he is supporting Crime’s choice to join the Russian Federation. His speech was passionate and at times emotional, pushing the right buttons that touched the souls of many …

Referendum in Crimea
Blog / Russia and Eurasia

Sanctions against Russia will not work

Referendum in Crimea. Photo Source: Aclacko via Wikimedia Commons.

On 16 March Crimea voted on a referendum to decide whether they want to join the Russian Federation. The outcome is a foregone conclusion, as the majority of people living in Crimea are ethnically Russian and support Crimea’s secession from Ukraine. The United States and the …

800px-Golden_Statue_of_Saparmurat_Niyazov_in_Ashgabat
Blog / Russia and Eurasia

Symbolic Politics, Social Media and Writing on Foreign Affairs

Analysis of Turkmenistan is dominated by talk of its bizarre cult of personality, notably in Ashgabat’s golden statue of its former president. Photo Source: David Stanley via Wikimedia Commons.

Having recently examined the role of symbolic politics in the regimes of Central Asia, I started to think about the wider parallels between this and the …