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“Russia and Turkey in the Geopolitics of Eurasia & the Theory of Median Space: Thesis-Synthesis-Antithesis”

FILIS, GEORGIOS (2008) “Russia and Turkey in the Geopolitics of Eurasia & the Theory of Median Space: Thesis-Synthesis-Antithesis”. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The aim of this thesis is to address the issue of the broader geopolitical architecture of Eurasia using as a case study the Russian-Turkish diachronic relations which are being examined through an original and fresh geopolitical/geocultural theoretical framework introduced also in the pages of this research.

The introduction presents a brief overview of the aims, issues and questions that this study expects to achieve, approach and bring up for discussion.

This research is divided into three parts and each part contains two chapters.

Part I deals with the general theoretical framework within which this study is going to be delivered. Chapter 1 critically assesses the existing theoretical geopolitical debate and aims to designate the reasons for the urgent need for the articulation of a new theoretical perspective. Chapter 2 introduces an original approach in the geopolitical theory under the label of the ‘Integrated Geopolitical/Geocultural Theory of the Median Space’. The suggested model makes two major propositions. First that there is a diachronic ‘Median Space’ identity in a specific geographical space which was never disappeared in the midst of the eternal ‘East’-‘West’ competition and is surviving even today. Second, within the Median Space region there is a specific ‘pattern’ on the implementation of International Relations which also remained unchanged throughout the centuries since all the regional and extra-regional actors are operating, consciously or unconsciously, according to its precepts.

Having presented this newly introduced framework Part II and Part III of the research are trying through textual and empirical analysis, respectively to provide the necessary evidence that strengthen the abovementioned new geopolitical model.

Part II through a historical-sociological-anthropological perspective tries to prove the first proposition about the viability of a Median Space mentality. Thus, as a case-study, it examines the diachronic geocultural and geopolitical identity of Russia and Turkey in chapters 3 and 4, respectively.

Part III by engaging International Relations macroscopic and microscopic analysis through chapters 5 and 6, respectively aims to address the second proposition about the specific pattern that is being followed by all actors interacting in the Median Space. Chapter 5, in a macroscopic way examines the suggested pattern through a historical scrutiny of the relations between the spaces that nowadays is being characterized as Turkey and Russia. Chapter 6, in a microscopic way, depicts the contemporary developments of the region and tries to extract the evidence that could support the second Median Space proposition. Initially this chapter examines the ‘energy’ component through an analysis of the contemporary ‘energy game’ and then it approaches the ‘security’ component by moving from a micro-level to a macro-level International Relations analysis starting from the Caucasus area and expanding through the Black Sea-Straits-Aegean system to the whole Median Space region.

Conclusion recapitulates the findings of this research.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Geopolitics, International Relations, Identity, Greece, Turkey, Russia, energy security, median space, Eurasia, Caucasus, Balkans
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Government and International Affairs, School of
Thesis Date:2008
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:12 May 2010 09:58

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