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EUCACIS Online Paper No. 9: Friends and Foes in the South Caucasus

The paper addresses the question of why the South Caucasus states have employed divergent and often conflicting alignment and alliance strategies since their indepen­dence, although having had similar “departure points”. It argues that perceived security threats and the need for protection against them constitute the major incentive for alliance/alignment choices and employs the materially/ideationally hybrid Regional Security Complex (RSCT) theory to uncover the sources of divergent threat percep­tions. According to the paper, in the South Caucasus a combi­nation of the three major variables of RSCT—namely long-standing enmities and amities, inherent state weaknesses, and penetration of big powers—produce divergent alliance and alignment policies pursued by Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.

EUCACIS Online Paper No. 9 can be downloaded here.