Regionalization of Great Power Security – Near Abroad, Broader Middle East, and European Neighbourhood

20 Mart 2007


Mustafa Aydın and Neslihan Kaptanoğlu

The end of the Cold War and the 9/11 attacks had profound effects on international relations. Despite the interpretation of 9/11 by some as manifestation of the growing importance of globalization at the expense of regionalization and that the following unilateral American actions have been detrimental to regional efforts, in practice there is an expansion in regionalization, particularly in the security field. There are many, even contradictory, meanings of ‘region’, ‘regionalism’ and ‘regionalization’. A region can be anything ranging from an area within a single state to a whole continent. In a similar vain, ’regional security’ can refer to different things. While the American literature focuses on defining the existence or nature of regional security arrangements and pays little attention to the process of regionalization, the European literature focuses on the process of building regional security with a more historical and constructivist approach. Some argue that a shift to unipolarity created incentives for the development of regionalization of security, both by the hegemonic state and the regional states. Aware of the fact that security policies must be tailored to the individual circumstances of different regions, today’s big powers are formulating regional outlooks, areas of interests and responses to regional crises that might threaten their national, regional or global interests. Three such regional outlooks, namely the ‘Near Abroad Policy’ of the Russian Federation, the ‘Broader Middle East-North Africa Initiative’ of the United States, and the ‘European Neighbourhood Policy’ of the European Union, are analyzed in this paper. The focus is on the big power interests, which, if not managed properly, might lead to big power tensions and even conflicts. Possibilities for big power tension due to overlapping peripheries of abovementioned initiatives are discussed in the last section of the paper.


Read full text