On Eastern Mediterranean Geopolitics

The eastern Mediterranean has been attracting a lot of attention, especially since the early 2010s, mainly because of the natural resource discoveries and the changing interstate relations. I’ve been following these developments since the beginning with a number of opinion editorials in English and Greek. By 2013 my interest started turning into a small research project. The results were published in different – albeit thematically overlapping – papers over the course of 2015 and early 2016 (see below). Though I thought that the latest article would conclude this project, as I’m now turning my focus towards the “Islamic State”, Turkey and the Middle East, it’s likely that the ongoing rapid developments will lead to more research on this subject. Contact me for more information.

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Articles

Zenonas Tziarras & Gabriel Mitchell, “Full of Gas, Full of Problems: the Eastern Mediterranean’s Hydrocarbon Showdown“, The National Interest, January 6, 2015.

Abstract: The discovery of natural gas is exacerbating tensions among various players in the Eastern Mediterranean. Is there a viable path forward where all can benefit? 

Zenonas Tziarras, “The New Geopolitical Landscape in the Eastern Mediterranean: the Israeli Perception“, Eastern Mediterranean Geopolitical Review, Vol. 1, pp. 32-43.

Abstract: The article investigates the role of Israel in Eastern Mediterranean affairs, and particularly the dynamics of its participation in the new partnership with Cyprus and Greece, through the prism of its past and future relations with Turkey. It identifies the background context that led to current regional relations in the Eastern Mediterranean, evaluates the character and objectives of the Israeli-Cypriot-Greek (and Egyptian) partnership, and examines the prospects of this multiparty cooperation and mutual exclusiveness, under the light of future Turkish-Israeli relations.

Zenonas Tziarras, Israel-Cyprus-Greece: A ‘Comfortable’ Quasi-Alliance“, Mediterranean Politics, January, 2016.

Abstract: By adopting a neorealist approach to alliance formation this paper examines the trilateral partnership of Israel, Cyprus and Greece. It argues that since its inception in 2011 it has developed into a (‘comfortable’) quasi-alliance – a less formal and more flexible form of alliance than the traditional ones – driven by profit and threat-related individual and collective motivations. The primary motivations behind the formation of the quasi-alliance have been the common perceptions of Turkey as a security threat and energy-related interests. Moreover, it is suggested that the ‘comfortable’ and quasi nature of the alliance could allow the three states to manoeuvre politically so as not to exclude future and parallel relations with Turkey. This means that the transformation of the quasi-alliance into a more formal alliance is a rather unlikely scenario and that it could fade out should Turkish‒Israeli relations improve.

Twitter: @ZenonasTziarras | Facebook Page: Politics of the World | Facebook Profile, Google+, LinkedIn, Academia.edu, ResearchGate, Selected Works, Google Scholar: Zenonas Tziarras

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