University of Sussex
Akgül, Pinar.pdf (3.99 MB)

The Russian-Turkish relationship within the context of the Black Sea region: a case study of energy

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posted on 2023-06-09, 16:27 authored by Pinar Akgül
In addressing the question ‘How do energy relations affect the Black Sea Region (BSR) and, in particular, the Russian-Turkish relationship?’, this thesis argues that while energy relations have been a securitising factor in the BSR as a whole, they have played a desecuritising role in the Russian-Turkish relationship. Inspired by Barry Buzan and Ole Wæver’s Regional Security Complex Theory (RSCT), I adapt elements of their theoretical approach, establishing a framework which draws up on the concept of (de)securitisation and structuring my analysis on the basis of four different levels: domestic, bilateral, regional and interregional/global. My original contribution to the existing literature comprises an analysis of Russian-Turkish relations in the BSR, with a primary focus on energy, on the basis of a critical engagement with the concept of (de)securitisation. In particular, I have sought to apply a more nuanced account of the concept of the (de)securitisation. Regarding solving these issues, I expand the analysis to pipeline projects and use the categorisation of Lene Hansen (2012) on desecuritisation. Using this conceptual framework as the basis for my empirical analysis, I first argue that the relationship between Russia and Turkey has been transformed from one where they were historical enemies to a multidimensional partnership, in which energy is one of the most important factors. The desecuritisation of energy is basically related to economic concerns and political developments, and as a result, Turkey is defined as a new energy partner/route for Russia while Russia is a reliable supplier for Turkey. However, as a second argument, since politics is dynamic, the stability of this new relationship might be in question. In particular, relations with regional and global actors, particularly on energy, might form the basis of a new threat to bilateral relations. Despite these problems, nevertheless, two sides make an effort to mitigate bilateral tensions and minimise factors that might fuel conflict between them.


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