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


Latest issue: The Review of International Affairs (RIA) Vol. 74 No. 1187/2023


The Review of International Affairs (RIA), 2023 74(1187):5-29
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This research aims to assess the most significant and potentially lasting effects of the Ukrainian crisis on the structure, volume, and directions of Western Balkans international trade. The analysis refers only to trade with Russia and the European Union (EU) as the only trade directions sensitive to disruptions due to the Ukrainian crisis. The research questions are: 1. What are the effects of the Ukrainian crisis on the trade of the Western Balkan (WB) countries with Russia? and 2. Which industries in the WB are at risk of weakening, and which have a chance to develop and increase exports due to disturbances in the EU economies? To prove the hypotheses, an analysis of statistical data on changes in trade in key commodities (index of change) in the most important export products for each WB country was used, as well as an analysis of static data on energy prices, producer prices in the EU, and other data. The results showed that the trade of all WBs except Serbia with Russia declined during 2022. This is a long-term problem for the trade of only a few economic sectors, such as the export of pharmaceutical products from Bosnia & Herzegovina (B&H), stone from Montenegro, and wheat from Albania. In contrast, trade with the EU is changing significantly, as this crucial partner is undergoing a process of accelerated deindustrialisation. The effects of these changes are mixed. Smaller advantages for Serbia, B&H, and North Macedonia in a few sectors may arise from taking over abandoned production in the EU. Whether or not the EU industry’s decline continues at its current rate, these minor advantages may be permanent. But if the shutdown of production extends to the higher industrial sectors, this will directly affect a considerable part of the industrial exports of the WB countries, especially Serbia.
The Review of International Affairs (RIA), 2023 74(1187):31-58
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This paper aims to determine the effects of the transition on mutual trade between the countries of the former Yugoslavia. The research will be based on a qualitative and descriptive analysis of representative databases of the six countries mentioned for the time period after the disintegration of the SFRY. Economic reforms and the trade liberalisation process started even within the SFRY, but the reforms did not yield the desired results. After the disintegration of the SFRY, all countries independently defined the transition process and chose the path of European integration. In the first phase of the transition, all countries experienced recession and hyperinflation and a high foreign trade deficit due to trade liberalisation. The second phase was characterised by regulatory reform and institution building, but this process did not proceed at the same speed in all countries. After 2000, Slovenia was the only one with a higher export level as a percentage of GDP compared to imports (68.2%), and the other countries lagged significantly behind. When Slovenia and Croatia became EU members, they increased their foreign trade exchange with the EU. Other countries of the former Yugoslavia developed their mutual trade, primarily due to the CEFTA Agreement. By signing the agreement, all countries achieved export growth as a percentage of GDP, and the highest values of this indicator were recorded in North Macedonia (49.6%) and Serbia (40.8%). Within the CEFTA group, Serbia is the largest exporter and importer by value (its most important partner is Bosnia and Herzegovina). If we consider all the countries of the former SFRY, the largest exporter and importer is Slovenia, and its largest foreign trade partner is Croatia.
The Review of International Affairs (RIA), 2023 74(1187):59-85
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In the Western Balkans, two initiatives currently stand out and, in a way, compete: the Berlin Process and Open Balkans. Both initiatives emphasise the European perspective and the strengthening of regional cooperation. On the one hand, for most countries in the region, the prospect of joining the European Union seems too distant, uncertain, and fraught with many obstacles. On the other hand, regional cooperation is gaining momentum, with numerous agreements recently reached. But, so far, some Western Balkans countries have been unwilling to participate in the Open Balkans. The paper analyses the real capabilities of these two initiatives, both in terms of creating opportunities for the countries of the Western Balkans to come closer to the postulates of the European Union and progress on the path of joining it, as well as in terms of strengthening and facilitating regional cooperation between the respective countries. For that purpose, the authors used content and comparative analysis. The authors conclude that although both initiatives are hybrid, i.e., both contain political and economic interests, they will not significantly contribute to faster integration into the European Union or stronger regional integration or, in the last case, to the process of resolving existing disputes between countries.
The Review of International Affairs (RIA), 2023 74(1187):87-106
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The aim of this paper is to project the future dynamics of US-China relations and assess the associated risks of bifurcation of the global economy between the two blocs. The United States and China face a strategic paradox in their long-term competition to research, develop, and acquire new and emerging technologies. In the commercial sphere, the two nations’ research and development (R&D) of emerging technologies is now deeply integrated, potentially providing mutual benefits to each country’s markets. However, despite their commercial interconnectedness, national security planners in each country continue to view each other as potential adversaries. By using the methods of explanatory research and an inductive approach for analysing the management of technological innovation and economic development, the authors argue that China’s economic transformation towards the upper end of global industrial value chains and the seizure of entire product ranges or supply chains have put at risk the US’s hegemonic status. By imposing export sanctions, the United States is trying to force technological decoupling and disable the functioning of global supply chains in the domains critical for Chinese high-tech in order to slow down or contain China’s technological and economic rise. Consequently, the conclusion drawn is that the United States will continue its efforts to maintain primacy over China in emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, semiconductors, and nanotechnology, by mobilising investments in research and development as well as by using export bans and other kinds of sanctions. In this way, it is likely that a state of cohabitation between the two trading blocs will be developed, which would create the conditions for the evolution of the strained relations between the US and China.
The Review of International Affairs (RIA), 2023 74(1187):107-141
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This paper addresses the question of the Biden administration’s policy towards the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with special regard to the reasons for the US decision to send strong signals of reassurance in 2022 after the initial deterioration in their relations. This paper’s main hypothesis posits that the US overall implemented a hybrid strategy towards its Gulf partner, but there were different constellations of coercive and accommodative elements to it in different time frames. It draws on Jeffrey Taliaferro’s theory of intraalliance politics, which examines great power patrons’ strategies towards allies and partners based on the administration’s perception of the regional power distribution, the assessment of the threat level and time horizon for its actualization, as well as the presence of domestic constraints. In the case of this paper, it was contended that the Biden administration perceived a mostly unfavourable power distribution in the Middle East and that the initial perception of a long threat horizon was replaced by uncertainty, stemming from the indirect effects of the Russia-Ukraine war on the Persian Gulf. These variables, combined with the high domestic opposition of Congress to accommodating Saudi Arabia, can explain the resulting hybrid strategy. The method of congruence analysis was used in this paper to test the observable manifestations of the hypothesis.
The Review of International Affairs (RIA), 2023 74(1187):143-163
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The author constructs a classification of dilemmas in the debate on climate change. She notes that these dilemmas arise during a democratic political response to climate change. Given that climate change is one of the most significant challenges of the 21st century, it is necessary to analyse this phenomenon from as many research perspectives as possible. The comprehensiveness of climate change requires the simultaneous articulation of a policy response at three levels of analysis: individual, national, and a given international system. Although necessary, such an overarching and all-encompassing political approach is fraught with several dilemmas. The author intends to present the complexity of the political response to climate change by framing this debate through three dilemmas: ontologicalepistemological, economic-ecological, and national-global. Thus, researchers and decision-makers who deal with individual aspects of climate change will be presented in one place, with theoretical and practical tensions manifested at three levels of analysis.