Maria Raquel Freire
is a researcher at the Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal, and professor of International Relations at the same university. Her main research interests focus on international security, foreign policy and peace studies. Recent publications (all with R....
- Turkey as a humanitarian actor: the critical cases of Somalia and Syria
Pinar Tank , 17 March 2015
- Africa’s pre-eminent peacemaker? An appraisal of South Africa’s peacemaking role in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Milfrid Tonheim , Gerrie Swart , 6 February 2015
- African development: what role do the rising powers play?
Elling N. Tjønneland , 23 January 2015
- Conflicting dilemmas: economic growth, natural resources and indigenous populations in South America
María A. Guzmán-Gallegos , 3 November 2014
- Brazil’s involvement in peacekeeping operations: the new defence-security-foreign policy nexus
Monica Hirst , Reginaldo Mattar Nasser , 30 September 2014
- The discursive articulation of the concept of the “rising power”: perceptions, stances and interests in Brazil, Russia and Turkey
Licínia Simão , Teresa Almeida Cravo , André Barrinha , Reginaldo Mattar Nasser , 24 September 2014
- South America’s economic and political landscape: recent developments and trends
Alcides Costa Vaz , 17 September 2014
Security in the South Caucasus: the EU, NATO and Russia
Maria Raquel Freire, 4 March 2013
This policy brief focuses on the interplay of external actors in the South Caucasus, i.e. the EU, NATO and Russia, looking specifically at how political and security relations have been shaped. Three main issues are highlighted: firstly, that the South Caucasus is a heterogeneous area and that the concept of being a region in its own right is underdeveloped; secondly, that despite the enlarged involvement of international players in the area, the South Caucasian countries retain agency and are not mere agents of foreign role-players; and, thirdly, that the area is characterised by processes of competition and collaboration that do not necessarily meet common agendas, despite shared interests regarding regional stability. The paths of the three South Caucasian republics has been different, with Armenia being dependent on Russia, Azerbaijan pursuing a policy of independence regarding external players, and Georgia assuming a pro-Western, anti-Russian position. The lack of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan due to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, EU involvement in crisis management in the wake of Georgia’s 2008 war with Russia, a diminished NATO presence and increased Russian assertiveness in the area are central elements to understanding ongoing policies and practices. This complex framework suggests the need to address challenges and opportunities in the South Caucasus in terms of the complexity of the actors and factors at play.