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reviews

Click to read: NATO Research Paper No 15, February 2005

1. 'Thinking about geography: some competing geopolitical models for the 21st century'
2. 'The new strategic and security landscape of Southeast Europe: the case for a wider Black Sea Area'

This Research Paper contains two academic papers that are complementary but do not come to any hard conclusions. They pose questions and in the first paper offer possible options and in the second some tentative recommendations.

VERDICT : may prove interesting for students of the European Project.

1. 'Thinking about geography: some competing geopolitical models for the 21st century':
This paper raises fundamental and important questions over European transnationalisation over the past 15 years. Is the commitment to 'Europe' just as much a matter of faith or actual fact; is geography conveniently forgotten to keep the faith intact; and does geography matter in political relationships or is the idea of geopolitics an outdated concept? The paper looks briefly at the main parameters of these questions before moving on to look at the dominant views of the opposing views of the Geopolitical and the Liberal International Schools of argument. The main beliefs of each school are exposed as is the Internationalists claim of the flaws in the geopolitical case. However, there is no equivalent challenge to the Internationalists arguments who believe that the most powerful states determine the structure, major processes and general evolution of the international system. The paper then looks at the possibility that there is some merit in both cases and offers aseries of models each defining a different geopolitical space.

2. 'The new strategic and security landscape of Southeast Europe: the case for a wider Black Sea Area':
This short paper addresses the simple question of what plans do NATO and the EU have for the next phase of eastward enlargement. Its starting point is that Euro-Atlantic policy makers are not prepared to deal with the NATO and EU enlargements of 2004-2007, or with the consequences of an ongoing political revolution in Southeast Europe. It goes on to describe the importance of the area as a new geopolitical space and gives three reasons why a Wider Black Sea Area (the littoral states of the Black Sea, Moldova and the South Caucasus nations) should matter to the Euro-Atlantic community. In developing a Euro-Atlantic vision and policy towards
this area the writer offers a number of questions that should be considered one of which addresses the issue of Russia being of influence in the area. It concludes by offering a selection of objectives that might be adopted by both NATO and the EU.

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