Power perception and conflict prevention in the Black Sea region: The EU, Russia and Turkey

Kirilova, Neli V. (2024) Power perception and conflict prevention in the Black Sea region: The EU, Russia and Turkey. PhD thesis, Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem, Nemzetközi Kapcsolatok és Politikatudományi Doktori Iskola. DOI https://doi.org/10.14267/phd.2024028

PDF : (dissertation)
PDF : (draft in English)

Official URL: https://doi.org/10.14267/phd.2024028


I. Research background and justification of the topic This research topic is important, because the knowledge of conflict prevention needs to be further developed. An example of this urgent need is the ongoing security crisis in the Black Sea region, which evolved in a war between Ukraine and Russia. The research selects three main topics, on which it derives results. The first one is the general knowledge of conflict prevention. The second one is the conceptualisation of power in international relations. The third one is the case study Black Sea region, with main regional competitors the EU, Russia and Turkey. This research suggests that a conflict is the result of power competition. Nevertheless, it remains unclear how power is perceived and how that relates to regional security conflicts and crises. Therefore, the research aims to identify the meaning of power in international relations, most specifically power perception by regional competitors, and its relation to conflict prevention. This research simultaneously develops new theory and new conceptualisation, and applies them to a case study. As a result, it aims to contribute both to the development of academic knowledge, and to the practical application in the case study of the Black Sea region. The author suggests that the research results could be used by EU diplomats for the purpose of the EU enhancing its role as a world leader in conflict prevention, but also for improving its position as a regional power in the Black Sea region. II. Methodology and methods ● Grounded theory method: it is an abductive methodology, in which a case study is applied and a new theory is constructed. ● The new theory is repetitively tested in developing the case study. ● The case study chapter identifies three regional competitors: the EU, Russia and Turkey. ● The expert interviews discuss the applicability of the theory of six power elements. It also discusses some of the areas of competition and cooperation. ● The applicability of the new theory to the foreign policy strategy of the EU is assessed through discourse analysis. ● The applicability of the new theory to the foreign policy strategies of Russia and Turkey is assessed through comparative content analysis. III. The findings of the dissertation ● New concept of power in IR: six power elements. ● New theory of conflict prevention: power perception and reaction of competition ● New empirical testing: for the case study Black Sea region, the new theory and the new concept have been tested. ● Through expert interviews including diplomats from the EEAS, researchers, academics I found the applicability of the six power elements concept. ● Through assessment of the foreign policy strategies, I applied the theory to the EU, Russia and Turkey. I found the specific power elements in which each of the regional competitors might trigger regional security crisis or conflict, based on their perception of power at a certain time. IV. Applicability These results contribute to the theory of conflict prevention in international relations. They are applicable to other regions, regional competitors, and time. The power elements might be adjusted differently for different IR actors in a different time and in a different region. The results are also practically applicable to EU diplomacy. Particularly, they might be useful in developing the next foreign policy strategy of the European Union by the European External Action Service

Item Type:Thesis (PhD thesis)
Supervisor:Christopher Walsch, Molnár Anna
Subjects:International relations
ID Code:1342
Date:17 April 2024
Deposited On:27 Oct 2023 11:13
Last Modified:30 Apr 2024 10:01

Repository Staff Only: item control page


Downloads per month over past two year

View more statistics