Keywords

Caucasus, Caspian, New Cold War, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to address how geopolitical factors influence the foreign policies of states in the South Caucasus. Due to the recent Russia-Georgia War, this region is central to contemporary foreign policy, fueling discussions of a New Cold War between the US and Russia. With the explicit goal to provide policy relevant research on this critical region, the South Caucasus states (Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia) are examined in three separate case studies. Utilizing qualitative analysis of historical event data, each case examines the role of five different variables: energy resources, routes, demography, proximity, and state leadership. That research reveals several corollary relationships. First, demographic (ethnic/religious) cleavages are found to define the borders of separatist conflicts and to be positively correlated with state perceptions of threat that follow from the proximity of foreign powers to separatist regions. Energy resources and routes define economic conflict and are positively correlated with perceptions of threat resulting from the proximity of foreign powers to these strategic points. Finally, state leadership is correlated with the value placed on demographic groups, resources, and routes in the foreign policies of the South Caucasus states and the subsequent balance of threat behavior exhibited in each state's foreign policy orientation. These findings are consequential for the discipline of International Relations, demonstrating the contemporary relevance of geopolitical variables. Specifically, the synthesis of these variables provides significant explanations of where, with whom, and why conflicts have emerged in the South Caucasus. Answering those questions is a vital step toward furthering the relevance of academic research for policy makers.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2009

Advisor

Sadri, Houman

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Political Science

Degree Program

Political Science

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0002750

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0002750

Language

English

Release Date

September 2009

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

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