The changing geopolitical economy of transcaucasia under multipolarity
AuthorGürcan, Efe Can
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CitationGürcan, E. C. (2020). The Changing Geopolitical Economy of Transcaucasia under Multipolarity. World Review of Political Economy, 11(4), 533-550.
This article sheds light on the changing character of the Transcaucasian geopolitical economy based on the question of how the multipolarization of world politics has shaped the course of regional conflicts and the balance of forces in the region. In this framework, the article proposes transcending static labels such as Georgia / Azerbaijan as a “Western post,” Iran and Azerbaijan as “arch enemies,” and Armenia as a “traditional Russian ally” by reference to recent developments such as the peaceful rise of China in the region, Putin's Eurasianist geostrategic leanings, and the reorientation of Turkey's foreign policy since 2016. Georgian and Armenian color revolution dynamics are likely to be suppressed thanks to the recent foreign policy shift of Turkey as a strategic ally of Georgia, Georgia's inclusion in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and the Russo-Turkish rapprochement. Amidst deteriorating relations with the US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the 2010s, moreover, Azerbaijan's foreign policy gives increasingly greater weight to relations with Russia, which can be further deepened under the influence of Turkey's foreign policy. A similar situation goes for Azerbaijan's involvement in the Non-Aligned Movement and BRI, as well as Iranian acknowledgment of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity despite unresolved tensions in bilateral relations.