CIES Policy Briefs are short and informative expert analyses and commentary on some of the contemporary and pressing international relations challenges. They are designed to bring background and recommendations to policy-makers, government officials, academics, journalists and the general public.

CIES Policy Brief 04

An Opportune Juncture in the Horn of Africa: GCC IGAD Market Engagement by Catherine A. Long (December 2016) (English)

With several members counted among the world’s most failed and least developed states burdened by a regional security complex, the Greater Horn of Africa – here represented by the regional community of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) – market engagement assessments tend to overlook this Sub-Saharan African sub-region. The following brief captures the market potential presented by IGAD in relationship to its current critical junctures. It does so by identifying the nature of this juncture form the perspective of external market entrants’ engagement impact on the juncture’s immediate and medium-term trajectory. Entrants will affect IGAD’s: 1st already difficult intra-regional economic integration and 2nd Individual IGAD member markets’ evolution that will depart from collective IGAD membership. This brief operationalizes external entrants’ effect by means of their established networks and their impact on other existing or emerging networks. Examined entrants are the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), its member states, and relevant regional institutions. 

CIES Policy Brief 03

Azerbaijan - Georgia - Turkey: An Example of a Successful Regional Cooperation by Mitat Çelikpala & Cavid Veliyev (December 2015 ) ( English)

Azerbaycan-Gürcistan-Türkiye: Bölgesel İşbirliğinin Başarı Örneği (Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey: An Example of Successful Regional Cooperation) by Mitat Çelikpala & Cavid Veliyev (March 2015)

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Caucasus has been a region of conflict and competition in the agenda of international politics. Through 20 years of struggle for independence, the countries of the South Caucasus have failed to create a welfare area that encompasses the whole region. Political differences among these countries have prevented the establishment of regional welfare through economic cooperation. In this unstable context, political, social, economic, and commercial ties between Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey have created an exemplary cooperation mechanism and environment. This paper assesses how and why bilateral relations initiated among Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey in the 1990s have transformed into a trilateral strategic relationship, and through which priority areas this trilateral partnership has been deepened and enhanced.

CIES Policy Brief 02

The Syrian Crisis: A Challenge to the Black Sea Stability by Igor Delanoë (February 2014)

The Syrian crisis has shaken the Levant region for nearly three years now. Located a few hundred miles from Syria, the Black Sea region may be concerned by a possible spillover of the conflict. The Black Sea region remains characterized by a real potential for conflicts, and the risk that the Syrian crisis may fuel local instability is high. This paper assesses the security challenges to stability of the Black Sea emanating from the Syrian conflict through an analysis of issues raised by the resumption of activity of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, by the displacement of people from the Levant to the Black Sea area, and by the ongoing energy competition. 

CIES Policy Brief 01

The Democratization of the BSEC Parliamentary Assembly and the Implications for Conflict-Resolution in the Wider Black Sea Region by Carol Weaver and Mukhtar Hajizada (December 2011)

This Policy Brief proposes a new idea of fully democratizing the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). In order to bring about improved democracy, the Parliamentary Assembly of BSEC (PABSEC) would have popular elections to its chamber (with European Union assistance). The parliamentarians would represent people via constituencies, as in the European Parliament, thereby allowing people of all areas, including the conflict regions, to have their voices heard. The PABSEC would develop into a platform for truly representative discussions of issues relevant to the people of the wider Black Sea region including conflict resolution.
This paper is timely as it is almost the 20th anniversary of the BSEC and the Heads of State and Government of the BSEC countries are expected to gather in June 2012. There is thus an opportunity before then for the governments of the region (and the European Union) to consider our recommendations to reinvigorate the BSEC and deepen its effectiveness and relevance.