International Politics Journal Archive
International Politics Vol. 73 No. 1184/2022
Water Security as a Factor in Environmental Security and an Element of Conflict in the Middle East and the North Africa Region
International Politics, 2022 73(1184):7-32
This article investigates the justification for extending the traditional notion of security to environmental issues, where the water problem occupies a significant place. The relatively new concept of \"water security\" is an integral part of modern security thinking, which is not exclusively reserved for military threats. Ecological security is becoming increasingly important in overall security studies, and water security is one of the most important future issues. The authors analyse one of the driest regions in the world, exploring the variable of water security as an element of overall conflict relationships. The Middle East and North Africa, although regions rich in oil as a first-class resource in the modern world, are very poor in drinking and irrigation water, which is also unevenly distributed. The problem is further complicated by the constant tensions and conflicts in this part of the world. This article uses a comparative method and analysis of state practices to examine the position of water security as a variable in the conflict. The authors conclude that water security is not a sufficient condition for starting wars, but it is of great importance as an element that intensifies existing conflicts and slows down peace negotiations. Water wars are still not our reality, but the authors do not rule them out as a possible future issue, given the constant deterioration of the situation and the amount of available water resources in this region. Water security will certainly be an element of the conflict in the foreseeable future because it cannot be overcome by importing water or perfecting desalination technology. Therefore, the authors emphasise the importance of researching this variable.
International Politics, 2022 73(1184):33-60
Lately, international politics has been characterised by tensions among major powers that disrupt united action on global challenges such as the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. In the context of the ongoing challenges that the European Union (EU) and the People\'s Republic of China (China) are facing, the nature of this partnership has been changing. Since the end of 2020, foreign policy tensions between the EU and China have been intensifying significantly. This is demonstrated by the mutual sanctions imposed on both Chinese and EU officials, the frozen process of ratification of the Comprehensive Agreement on Investments, as well as the more confrontational attitude of the EU towards China. On the other hand, although the EU does not freeze relations with China, it also does not have a coherent strategy towards China. From the perspective of a practical geopolitical approach, the article examines possible scenarios for this complex relationship in the future: further raising of tensions in EU-China relations, gradual mutual distancing, and perspectives for an optimistic outcome in relations between the two sides, with possible implications for the EU and its member states. The literature review, content analysis of relevant documents, discourse analysis, and the scenario method are the primary research methods. The main finding of the paper is that in the foreseeable future, the most certain scenario is the gradual distancing of the EU and China, which could be characterised as a deteriorated status quo. In addition, the paper analyses the possible consequences of the negative outcome of the situation and how the further deterioration of relations would affect trade and investment, increase import costs, and endanger a green transition for the whole European Union.
International Politics, 2022 73(1184):61-91
Countries that have common security interests are united on a regional level, and regional security initiatives represent a space in which cooperation materialises practically, with concrete security benefits. On the other hand, the NATO concept of smart defence and the EU concept of unification and sharing as security tools of institutions, whose membership these countries aspire to or are members of the Western Balkans, confirm the established regional cooperation while also opening a space for some new forms of cooperation. Therefore, the subject of this research is how security integration processes, implemented through regional security initiatives and NATO and EU security concepts, affect the evolution of the Western Balkan sub-complex. The hypothesis that will be confirmed in the paper is that the security and stability of the Western Balkan countries depend on their national capacities being interconnected in the regional security network and supported by global security concepts. The theory of the regional security concept is suitable for this type of research because it mostly relies on the socio-constructivist theoretical framework, which implies that the forms of the international system determine states’ behaviour, with an emphasis on social structures and facts.
Economic Integration in the Western Balkans – Preparation for EU Membership or Replacement for Membership?
International Politics, 2022 73(1184):93-115
This paper aims to analyse economic initiatives launched in the Western Balkans. The CEFTA 2006 Agreement, as the only trade initiative established on a stable and contractual basis, represents the core of regional trade relations. On the other hand, the CEFTA has numerous flaws and operational problems, which will be examined further. The author further reviews the development, challenges, and perspectives of other economic and trade arrangements, like those initiated within the Berlin Process (the Regional Economic Area and Common Regional Market), as well as by the Western Balkans leaders themselves (“Mini Schengen”/“Open Balkan”). The main research question addressed in this paper is whether the aforementioned regional initiatives are compatible with the EU accession processes of these countries. The author’s central thesis is that none of these initiatives were created to replace EU membership. Membership remains the primary foreign policy goal of all Western Balkans actors, and each of them could help the region prepare for the challenges of participating in the EU internal market. Moreover, they could be seen as an incentive to implement key reforms as part of the EU accession process.
International Politics, 2022 73(1184):117-146
The subject of this research is the effects of development assistance provided by the European Union to the countries of the Western Balkans during the accession process. The focus is on the effects of the projects of the Investment Framework for the Western Balkans as a key mechanism through which the development support to the region in the next project cycle will be realised. The paper describes the development goals of this programme and analyses the characteristics of previously implemented projects. The results showed that the share of EU grants in these projects is symbolic, while almost all funds come from user loans from European banks or their own budget funds. The analysis of the grant’s form showed its minor developmental effect, given that it is a matter of feasibility studies, assessments, and recommendations. The findings reveal that bilateral donations have a substantially greater impact and that bilateral collaboration with European countries is extremely important.
International Politics, 2022 73(1184):147-169
In the traditionally good and stable bilateral relations between Serbia and Romania, the position and protection of the rights of national minorities and the preservation of their ethnocultural identity occupy a special place. In this context, the bilateral agreement from 2002 stands out in importance, which is primarily important for resolving specific interstate issues in the field of minority policy. In the foreign policy relations between Serbia and Romania, the open issues have two most important aspects: the first refers to the status and rights of the Romanian national minority in Serbia, and the second is whether the Vlachs are part of the Romanian nation or an autochthonous national minority with their own identity, language, and culture. The position of Romanians in Serbia, the Vlach-Romanian issue, and bilateral relations with Romania are additionally important for the progress in the process of Serbia\'s accession to the European Union, bearing in mind that Romania conditions its consent to Serbia’s EU candidate status and the opening of negotiation chapters. Serbia believes that the only way to avoid all misunderstandings and maintain good neighbourly relations is to engage in active and principled interstate dialogue. Stable bilateral relations, successful regional cooperation and the prosperity of each country in the Balkans are conditioned, among other things, by resolving open minority issues and the full realisation of minority rights and freedoms, which lead to the necessary integration of members of national minorities into society, but with the preservation of their ethnic, religious and cultural identity. On the other hand, the position and realisation of the rights of national minorities depend on the democratisation of society, interstate regional relations and good neighbourly cooperation regulated by bilateral agreements, as well as good majority-minority relations in the state, with the active participation of their home countries, but also stable bilateral relations with the states in which they live. For Serbia, having in mind the basic goals and concrete obligations in the process of European integration and EU negotiations, protection of human and minority rights, improvement of position, integration, and preservation of the national identity of Romanian and Vlach minorities, and good neighbourly relations are crucial.
International Politics, 2022 73(1184):171-204
The article analyses the post-Cold War world in the Caucasus region. Its exceptional economic and geostrategic significance is the main reason why the interests of the great powers have clashed in this area over the centuries. In this article, we put special emphasis on the political activities and actions of Azerbaijan throughout the course of two centuries. On the other hand, due to numerous ethnic intolerances, followed by war events and constant insecurity, global and regional actors are also involved because there is a justified fear that security and the fragile peace in this area will collapse, and it will have a negative effect on the entire international community. In that context, this paper will also discuss Azerbaijan’s relations with its neighbours as well as with the great powers in the international world order.
India–Africa Relations Changing Horizons
International Politics, 2022 73(1184):205-209
The Subjects of International Law in Times of Pandemic – International Organizations and States’ Response to COVID-19
International Politics, 2022 73(1184):211-215