AIPRG is providing training courses upon request of interested organizations.
The Politics of Balance of Power in
The lecture will present the theory of the balance of power taking into account various approaches proposed by leading scholars in the theory of international relations. A theoretical toolkit will represent a comprehensive analysis of what the theory and practice of the balance of power is and how useful it had been for small states to survive in the international ‘anarchical society’.
Then we shall introduce historical accounts from the past Armenian history that due to the keeping of the political equilibrium in relation to its neighbors the Armenians were capable of sustaining strong governance (with various dynasties) and when the balance was being disrupted they were losing their independence.
This will then lead us to analyze the current foreign policy of the Armenian Republic. We will pay attention to the fact that such a disbalance is already looming and that is a threat for an independent and strong future for the Armenian state.
This last part will concentrate on three of the working papers by AIPRG fellows.
Balance of Power, Democracy and Development: Armenia in the South Caucasian Regional Security Complex
Since 1991, three regional security complexes have emerged on the Eurasian geopolitical extension if the former Soviet Union in Europe, Central Asia and the South Caucasus. The pattern of enmity/amity, well as the nature of a regional security complex (RSC), created the structural context of each of the above-mentioned complex. In addition to the crucial factor of “foreign penetration,” the process of state building including the transition from Communism to democratic rule and free-market economy played a central role in the formation of the new Eurasian regional security complexes.
This essay uses the RSC analytical framework to look closely to the interactions between the three South Caucasian republics. It sustains that the dominant patterns in South Caucasus are those of rivalry and enmity. Foreign penetration, on the other hand, is high. Relations of balance of power, hence, would characterize the South Caucasian Regional Security Complex.
How in conditions of a balance-of-power situation is possible development? What are the dilemmas to confront? What role does democracy plays in maximizing development in a balance-of-power situation? These are the questions among others that this essay, focused on Armenia in the context of the South Caucasian Regional Security Complexes, addresses.
Repositioning Armenian Security and Foreign Policy Within a Region at Risk
Since the emergence of Armenia independence in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Nagorno Karabagh conflict has largely been seen as the main determinant of Armenian security and foreign policy. While this focus holds obvious relevance to understanding and interpreting the early stages of Armenian national security and the formulation of its foreign policy, there has been a serious lack of attention to several subsequent trends and factors, however. There is also a continued reliance on an inherently outdated analytical approach limited to a focus on “ethnic conflict” and on a nationalism generally defined by identity politics.
More specifically, it is the failure to incorporate more recent dynamic shifts in security that has failed to recognize the new trajectory of Armenian security and changes in its foreign policy. This paper contends that there are three significant trends driving the course of Armenian security and foreign policy, with each demonstrating an underlying linkage to domestic Armenian considerations.
The first trend is rooted in the dynamic shifts in security in the wake of 9/11 and the subsequent U.S.-led “global war on terrorism.” Two of the more notable reflections of this post-9/11 shifts stem from the facts that the United States can now be accurately defined as a Central Asian military power and, for the first time in history, is militarily present and engaged in each country in the South Caucasus.
The second trend can be defined as the “militarization” of the Armenian state, which has fostered the dominance of “militancy over moderation” in Armenian politics. In this context, the parameters of political discourse have been increasingly restricted and narrowed, with little tolerance for opposition or dissent. This has further hindered Armenian foreign policy by imposing ever increasingly limits on policy options and opportunities and has tended to constrain national security policy by making it hostage to the Nagorno Karabagh issue.
The third trend is marked by the widening divide between the rhetoric and reality of Armenian national power. Despite the inflated confidence in Armenia’s still impressive military power, Armenia’s position as the dominant military power in the region is clearly temporary. The medium-term outlook for Armenian power is not promising, with its military might already in decline, outpaced by Azerbaijan’s upward trajectory. Yet even more troubling for Armenia is its failure to develop national power, with serious deficiencies in five key sectors: demographics, resources, science & technology, globalization & economics, and governance.
Thus, this paper further argues that, in light of the new threats challenging security and stability in Armenia, there is an urgent necessity for a “repositioning” of Armenian security and foreign policy.
Toward a New Concept of Armenian National Security
In the wake of a seismic shift in international security since September 11, 2001, there has been little study or evaluation of the concept of Armenian national security. The aftermath of the events of 9/11 and the ensuing U.S.-led global war on terror, however, have revealed a need for a comprehensive reexamination of Armenia’s concept of national security. And as the traditional geopolitical landscape of the South Caucasus has weathered a series of significant changes, Armenia’s traditional concept of national security has failed to keep pace with the emergence of new threats and challenges. More specifically, although Armenia faces less of a threat from direct military aggression or invasion, the new post-9/11 realities of the region have fostered a new strategic environment, endowed with significant challenge but also substantial opportunity for Armenia. This paper will attempt to sketch this new post-9/11 strategic environment and will seek to address the specific issues and influences of importance to Armenia, including the need for a new definition of the economics of national security. Although this paper originates from a rather critical starting point, the purpose is to present a creative reevaluation of the concept of Armenian national security. The goal is to enhance capacity-building with a focus on the fundamental components of national security, including defense, foreign policy, and the economics of security, in order to minimize risk and maximize opportunity for the Republic of Armenia.