The Editorial Team of the journal “The Review of International Affairs” is concluding this year with new members. Dr Nenad Stekić has been appointed as the new Editor in Chief, and Dr Nevena Šekarić Stojanović as the new Deputy Editor in Chief.

The Review of International Affairs (RIA)

The Review of International Affairs (RIA) is an open-access scientific journal (ISSN 0486-6096, ISSN online 2955-9030) published in the English language, and printed three times per year. The publisher of this journal is the Institute of International Politics and Economics, Belgrade, Serbia, while the publishing is financially supported by the Serbian Ministry of Science, Technological Development and Innovation.More details

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Latest issue: The Review of International Affairs (RIA) Vol. 75 No. 1190/2024

Content

ANALYSING DRIVERS OF SERBIAN PUBLIC OPINION ON CHINA: THE “IRON FRIENDSHIP” IN GLOBAL AND LOCAL CONTEXTS
The Review of International Affairs (RIA), 2024 75(1190):5-28
Abstract ▼
In the past decade, Sino-Serbian relations have been at unprecedented heights, with China becoming one of Serbia’s top trading partners and investors. At the same time, the strained relations between the EU and China, and especially between the US and China, pose a challenge for Serbia. The country is caught between its EU aspirations and orientation towards the global West on the one hand and its socialist heritage on the other. In this context, this paper employs a multifaceted approach to analyse Serbian public opinion towards China, presenting prevalent perceptions and positing underlying determinants. Employing both quantitative and qualitative methods, a nationally representative survey is studied, and the results are interpreted in the context of historical realities, contemporary economic ties, and local and geopolitical considerations. Key findings underscore the significance of economic well-being, local politics, and global power dynamics for shaping public sentiment. Furthermore, it is shown that contemporary sentiments reshape perceptions of historical periods, even for those who lived through them. This research highlights the complexity of factors steering public opinion while at the same time emphasising its malleability. Providing a nuanced portrayal of perceptions underpinning the Sino-Serbian “Iron Friendship”, this research contributes to a broader understanding of the intricate dynamics characterising contemporary international relations.
THE ATTITUDE OF LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES TOWARDS VENEZUELA’S DUAL POWER SITUATION FROM 2019 TO 2022
The Review of International Affairs (RIA), 2024 75(1190):29-54
Abstract ▼
The research subject of this paper is the attitude of Latin American countries towards the dual power situation in Venezuela in the period between 2019 and 2022. This period was marked by the struggle for total control over the state between the legally elected president of the republic, Nicolás Maduro, and Juan Guaidó, the selfproclaimed president of the republic, supported by the so-called collective West. The key reason the author chose this topic as the research subject was the impact that the period of dual power left not only on relations within the Latin American macro-region but also on wider international relations. The starting hypothesis of the research is that the position taken by Latin American countries regarding the recognition of the legality and legitimacy of the selfproclaimed president Juan Guaidó was directly determined by their ruling ideologies, as the right-wing governments recognised Juan Guaidó as president, i.e., terminated diplomatic relations with Nicolás Maduro’s regime. The results of the research showed that the attitude of Latin American countries towards the dual government situation in Venezuela turned to a significant extent in favour of Nicolás Maduro after the so-called second pink wave, i.e., the coming of progressive political forces to power in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, and Colombia. Historical and case study methods, as well as comparative analysis, were used in this research.
AZERBAIJAN’S FOREIGN POLICY POSITIONING TOWARDS RUSSIA AND ITS IMPACT ON THE SECOND NAGORNO-KARABAKH WAR: A HEDGING STRATEGY
The Review of International Affairs (RIA), 2024 75(1190):55-82
Abstract ▼
A theoretical framework rooted in hedging is used to analyse how Azerbaijan’s foreign policy towards Russia evolved and its significant impact on the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War. Azerbaijan’s foreign policy positioning, viewed through this prism, illustrates how smaller states can strategically manage relations with larger neighbours and competitors and achieve their interests. The primary hypothesis is that the calculated foreign policy of Azerbaijan’s strategy towards Russia, based on the abovementioned strategy, created the conditions for the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War and decisively influenced its course and outcome. Researchers use document analysis and discourse analysis to assess the evolution of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy towards Russia, analysing their bilateral relations based primarily on political, economic, and societal cooperation. This approach relies on various academic sources, including scientific articles, books, documents, agreements, and statements by different state actors, to assess the evolution of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy towards Russia, analysing their bilateral relations based primarily on political, economic, and societal cooperation. In this foreign policy context, the article also assesses the significance of Turkey’s strategic support for Azerbaijan and the strengthening of its military capacities. The research findings indicate that Baku, deviating from previous unilateral decisions, skillfully balanced its relations with Moscow. Azerbaijan’s foreign policy manoeuvring, which implies careful avoidance of provoking Russia, significantly impacted the outbreak, course, and outcome of the Second Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict.
BULGARIA’S EU ACCESSION: BETWEEN ECCLESIASTICAL CONCERNS AND THE STATE’S PRO-WESTERN OUTLOOK
The Review of International Affairs (RIA), 2024 75(1190):83-108
Abstract ▼
This paper analyses the socio-political position and role of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in the context of the country’s accession to the European Union. The authors consider these aspects from the perspective of distinctive circumstances and attitudes within the Church, which significantly differed from those of state authorities in the context of European integration. The limitations of the Church in terms of socio-political influence were closely tied to existential challenges, such as schisms and exposure to state intervention, coupled with a low degree of religiosity. Given the extensive reach of the Europeanization process affecting political, economic, and social dimensions and the historical influence of Orthodox churches on political decision-making and public opinion, the authors seek to explore the political ramifications of isolationist tendencies, internal divisions, and public perceptions, coupled with the ambivalence between political pro-Westernism (pro-Europeanism) and religious anti-Westernism. The hypothesis posits that the Church did not have a prominent role in the course of European integration as a consequence of the isolationist tendencies derived from its recent history. To investigate this assumption, the authors rely on the rational choice perspective of religious institutions. Additionally, the authors examine the Church’s recent history and challenges, its unusual position within the Orthodox world, and the geopolitical circumstances that have increasingly marginalised religious authorities in favour of state decision-makers.
THE CONTEMPORARY DEVELOPMENT Of SERBIA-CHINA AND SERBIA-RUSSIA RELATIONS: IS THIS THE OPPORTUNE MOMENT FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATION EXPANSION?
The Review of International Affairs (RIA), 2024 75(1190):109-137
Abstract ▼
Considering the increased presence of China and Russia at all levels, including the deepening economic cooperation between the two countries and Serbia, the main purpose of this thesis is to examine the dynamics and structure of trade in goods and foreign direct investment between Serbia and the Russian Federation and Serbia and China. The analysis was conducted on the basis of secondary data from the National Bank of the Republic of Serbia and the China Global Investments Tracker (the data on investments), as well as the Trade Map database of the International Trade Centre (the data on trade in goods). The period covered by this research is from 2013 to 2022 (including 2023, when data was available). The research results show that the intensification of economic relations has occurred mainly in the last five years, when investments between Serbia and China, as well as Serbia and Russia, have increased, simultaneously boosting bilateral trade development. China, however, has emerged as Serbia’s more significant economic partner than Russia. China became a leader in foreign direct investment for Serbia and remained the second-most important trading partner. Despite the growing trends, Serbia’s economic relations with both sides remain far below their potential and face particular challenges, such as severely under-diversified Serbian exports, dependence on Russian energy imports, a widening trade deficit, favouritism towards certain sectors and industries in investments, nontransparent procedures and regulations, etc.
INDIA AND THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD ORDER: RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT
The Review of International Affairs (RIA), 2024 75(1190):139-163
Abstract ▼
The contemporary world order is highly fluid and rife with uncertainties. Due to these shifts, the author’s main goal is to critically analyse the trajectories of the development of the contemporary world order and India’s place and role within it. Geopolitically, the world has undergone a massive metamorphosis. The old bipolar world order has given way to a new multipolar world order. The East-West conflict has paved the way for a new North- South conflict. Even though the US still remains the only superpower, especially from a political and military perspective, its supremacy has faced increasing challenges with the rise of China’s economic power. Both China and Russia have challenged the Western rulebased liberal international order. A clear demonstration of this is the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022. At the same time, there is a perceptible shift from geopolitics to geoeconomics. Due to changing global circumstances, India has aligned itself with Western groupings like the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or the Quad, whose member countries are the US, Australia, Japan, and India. In this paper, the author has examined and critically forecasted India’s futuristic role, albeit acknowledging its somewhat subservient role in the contemporary world order