Sargis Ghazaryan

Address: Department of Political Sciences, University of Trieste, Via Alviano 18, 34170 Gorizia, Italy
Telephone: +39 339 4370004


EU-South Caucasus relations: questioning geopolitics and beyond

The EU-South Caucasus nexus is increasingly becoming a strategic issue for both parts, at the same time a disruption of this perspective would lead to a certain degree of destabilisation and threat genesis and projection in South Caucasus. This nexus is determined by threats (those listed in the ESS) and opportunities (the existence of a stable, secure and democratic periphery, energy security and diversification and the role of the region as a bridge between EU, the Middle East and Central Asia), which still need a deep analysis. The EU policies toward the region had to face different exogenous and endogenous challenges. The endogenous challenges posed to the EU action in the region stem mainly from unresolved ethnic conflicts, internal democratic deficit, regional segmentation, hegemonisation, the fact that multiple geopolitical idiosyncrasies prevail over a common regional identity. Moreover, the EU had to act in an extremely polarised geopolitical environment where the influence of external power politics sources as the Russian Federation, USA, Turkey, and Iran pursuing energy resource competition and ideological hegemony paradoxically prevails over sources of social and economic development models as the EU. It seems to assist also in this region to some kind of competition between Hobbesian and Lockean approaches to the security. Furthermore, uncertainty over the potential added value of CFSP in the process of appeasement of one of the most dangerous peripheries of the EU– South Caucasus - persists. From a political geographical perspective, while the EU evokes a post-Westphalian and post-modern political and territorial model, which is trying to move away from a strong emphasis on bounded territory (Axford and Huggins, 1999), a common characteristics of all state and non-state actors in South Caucasus is that all they have missed a Westphalian experience of state when it was a dominant tendency in the rest of Europe. The project intends to analyse sub-regional, regional and macro-regional geopolitical trends, exogenous and endogenous sources of stability/instability and security/insecurity, geopolitical identity metaphors, EU tools and theoretical paradigms applicable to the region and the role of EU socialisation, in facing the above mentioned challenges. It aims at building short, medium and long term scenarios regarding EU-South Caucasus relations by applying the means of critical geopolitics and interfacing them with other paradigms of social sciences in a wider perspective. A set of comprehensive policy analysis, proposals, and models of multilateral actions will be proposed in this project.








Curriculum Vitae

Sargis Ghazaryan holds a Ph.D. in Political Geography and Geopolitics from the University of Trieste (2006). His Ph.D. research was dealing with EU-South Caucasus nexus examining security dynamics, security regimes and regionalisation models mainly through the prism of Critical Geopolitics. Prior to the Ph.D., he has graduated with Honours in International Relations and Diplomacy (Diploma di Laurea Magistrale) at the University of Trieste, Gorizia Campus with a final dissertation on the ethnic conflicts in the post-Soviet Transcaucasia and third party intervention (2001). In 2005-06 he has been a lecturer of Geopolitics: EU Foreign and Security Policy, at the Graduate Degree Course in International Relations and Diplomacy, University of Trieste-Gorizia Campus. He is currently an EFSPS Post-doc research fellow at the Department of Political Sciences of the University of Trieste, where he holds graduate and post-graduate seminars on CFSP/ESDP evolution, security sector governance and conflict resolution in the former Soviet Union, and in Southern Caucasus, in particular. He is also a scientific coordinator of common research projects between the University of Trieste and the Italian Joint Military Staff.

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