The Review of International Affairs (RIA) Journal Archive
The Review of International Affairs (RIA) Vol. 73 No. 1186/2022
The Review of International Affairs (RIA), 2022 73(1186):5-31
This paper analyses the “Open Balkan” initiative, using some of the theoretical assumptions of economic and, consequently, political populism in order to show that the economic benefits of this initiative do not differ too much from the existing economic benefits of the CEFTA (2006) agreement, of which all three countries (signatories of the “Open Balkan” initiative) are members. However, unlike the economic ones, the political benefits of this initiative can be seen much more clearly. Specifically, the “Open Balkan” initiative can be seen as a mechanism for “bridging” the waiting period for these countries to join the EU, overcoming some of the obstacles of the existing bilateral trade agreements that the countries from this region have with the EU. We will show, using quantitative content analysis, that the “Open Balkan” initiative is a political populist concept directed outward, i.e., toward EU leaders, and not an initiative that can bring something completely new and different compared to all previous bilateral and multilateral initiatives of this type.
The Review of International Affairs (RIA), 2022 73(1186):33-60
This article presents the findings of a study that examined the Pentagon’s perception of China’s security and military affairs. Its goals are to explain the major trends and projections of how the United States views China’s security policy as part of the launch of its new Grand Strategy, as well as the patterns of US foreign policy response. The main unit of analysis is the report titled “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China”, which has been issued annually since 2001 by the Pentagon. In total, twenty-one reports submitted until 2021 are involved in the sample. The analytical process is split into several levels, aiming to get insights and highlight elements of Chinese growth as a major security threat to US global hegemony. The author uses the congruency comparison method to see whether the Pentagon’s perception of China’s security policy has evolved over time. The reports’ features were then qualitatively studied through a series of global security crises, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US military retreat from Afghanistan, military alignment in the Indo-Pacific, and regional security dynamics in the Arctic. The findings reveal that the Pentagon’s perspective on how China formulates its security policy agenda has shifted from a strategic to a more specific military dimension, along with China’s domestic potential concerns with Taiwan.
The Review of International Affairs (RIA), 2022 73(1186):61-78
Aid has confirmed itself as a key instrument of foreign policy in the first year of the Ukrainian war, as it had earlier in the pandemic, pursuing in the first instance the national interests of the state donors. However, when compared to other similar cases, such as the outbreak of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992, exactly 30 years before Ukraine, state funded aid policies in the new scenario show a number of absolute novelties, such as: 1) the speed of reaction of Western state donors at the beginning of the war; 2) the primacy and leading role of state donors over the non-governmental sector; 3) the quantity and diversification of aid mobilised; 4) (Russian) food as a weapon vs. (Western) weapons as legitimate aid; 5) broad anticipation of post-war planning; and 6) sanctions (to the enemy) becoming an aid (to the friend). Each of these aspects has been linked to specific foreign policy issues and interests of state donors to such an extent as to confirm the relevance of using an institutional-realist approach to understand their politicalutilitarian motivations in organising aid in the war scenario in question. Thus, providing elements to support the thesis of this article, namely that aid to Ukraine in 2022 has primarily been driven by state donors’ realistic foreign policy objectives, aimed at implementing their geopolitical strategies.
The Review of International Affairs (RIA), 2022 73(1186):79-104
The object of this paper is a geopolitical analysis of the great powers’ competition in the Balkans. The main reason for the research is the unquestionable impact that the Ukrainian crisis, which is divided in the paper into two phases, has on the Balkans. The authors emphasised that competition between the US and Russia is dominant, while China is geopolitically suppressed. For the US, the main geopolitical framework is Euro-Atlanticism and the policy of NATO enlargement as its most important instrument. Also, it was argued that the EU’s approach is completely complementary to NATO’s. Regarding Russia, the phases of the neoEurasian geopolitical concept and their influence on practical policy were explored. Russia’s primary goal is to prevent further NATO expansion, but that policy has experienced several failures in the Balkans. Four scenarios for ending military operations in Ukraine were analysed and their influence on the Balkans assessed. The main conclusion is that the Balkans will continue to be the object of competition between the great powers, and that the extent to which the balance of power between Euro-Atlanticism and Eurasianism will be possible will depend on the outcome of the current Ukrainian crisis.
The Review of International Affairs (RIA), 2022 73(1186):105-124
The energy transition and moving forward towards renewable energy sources have become one of the top priorities of national agendas in the XXI century. Related to the energy scarcity challenge, combat against climate change and environmental protection, renewables are one of the most exploited themes when it comes to contemporary energy policies. This article should offer insight into the relationship between renewables and geopolitics, i.e., possible geopolitical consequences in the context of the new energy race to gain the status of a leader in the domain of energy transition. Besides, the place of the Western Balkans in this context is also highlighted due to its high renewable energy potential. In doing so, this article employs a literature review and the major issues analysed are: 1) possible geopolitical consequences of the energy transition towards renewables; 2) renewables and their geopolitical importance; and 3) the place and potential of the Western Balkans countries in geopolitical reconfiguration based on the transition towards renewables.
The Review of International Affairs (RIA), 2022 73(1186):125-146
The 2022 Ukraine crisis pointed out many shortcomings and absurdities of the UN system. Russia’s veto has paralyzed the Security Council and disabled the maintenance of international peace and security. Other mechanisms used by the United Nations were not adequate to stop the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The author analyses the Ukraine crisis as an indicator for the reform of the Security Council. Various aspects, possibilities, and initiatives of the Security Council’s reform exist. The complex process of the UN Charter’s revision and the right of veto of five permanent members are cited as major impediments to the Security Council’s reform in this paper. The Ukraine crisis is a new San Francisco moment that will fail due to the lack of political will of the permanent members of the Security Council. The paper concludes that the Security Council should use more realistic solutions in order to empower its capacities and prevent future breaches of international peace and security.
ARMS CONTROL AND DISARMAMENT LAW
The Review of International Affairs (RIA), 2022 73(1186):147-150