International problems Journal Archive
International problems Vol. 69 No. 4/2017
GEOPOLITIC DETERMINANTS OF THE FOREIGN POLICY POSITIONING OF SERBIA AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 21ST CENTURY
International problems, 2017 69(4):401-422
The foreign policy positioning of the state is a process influenced by at least three indicators: the geographical position, the structure of the world political system (character of the current international relations) and historical experiences. All three of these indicators are related to the phenomenon of spatial (geographical) distribution of the power of key actors of international politics, at the regional or global level, today or in the past. Therefore, we can consider them as geopolitical determinants, In this article, we will present and analyze the geopolitical determinants that are related to all three indicators. The article consists of five parts. The first introductory part is dedicated to explaining what foreign political positioning means and what foreign policy is. The second part deals with geopolitical determinants that affect the country\'s foreign policy. The third part is devoted to the analysis of geopolitical determinants related to three indicators of the foreign policy positioning of the Republic of Serbia. The fourth part describes the current foreign policy of the Republic of Serbia and compares it with the findings from the third part of the paper. The fifth part is the final conclusion. The theoretical framework of this research is neorealism.
International problems, 2017 69(4):423-441
In this paper, the author states and proves the hypothesis that negative demographic trends in the Republic of Serbia, and in Southeast Europe as a whole, can have a significant influence on the pursuing of the foreign policy of both Serbia and its neighboring countries. According to the anticipations of the relevant institutions and individuals‐scientists, in the forthcoming decades, Serbia and other Southeast European countries (except the areas inhabited by the Albanians, although they themselves have also deeply stepped into the process of the so‐called demographic transition) may expect to face the continuation of the unfavorable demographic trends – a decrease in the number of the inhabitants and an increasingly older population. The main reasons for the stated are the falling rate of natality and migrations of an economic character of the Western developed countries. Due to that, differently from the previous historical periods, it may be expected that the Balkan countries will, for the first time, change their foreign‐policy focus – from managing, acquiring and controlling territories (geopolitics) towards managing, acquiring and controlling the population (demo politics). In other words, Serbia and the Balkan countries can, for the first time, be more focused on their own selves and their most critical demographic‐political‐safety aspect – their decreasing number of inhabitants and increasingly older populations – and less on, historically observed, the traditional goal – the enlargement and control of the territory. This means that, with an increasingly smaller and increasingly older population, the armed conflicts whose basic ambitions would be to change the borders would gradually become increasingly less socially accepted. The author does not consider that the territorial integrity ceases to be an important priority for each one of the Southeast European countries and that geopolitics is completely losing its significance in the Balkans, but he rather asserts that the geopolitical goals that would imply changing the borders are losing their attractiveness in the societies that are rapidly losing their populations. The only exception in that sense is the Albanian ethnic community, whose demographic characteristics partly differ from the Balkan and, generally, European trends. Simultaneously, faced with a decrease in and the aging of their populations, the Balkan countries could find the common basis for a coordinated foreign and safety policy and share costs and resources in facing different safety challenges.
NORMATIVE AND STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK OF FOREIGN POLICY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA: “EUROPEANISATION” AND (NON)TRANSPARENCY
International problems, 2017 69(4):442-464
The aim of the paper is to determine the characteristics of the foreign policy of the Republic of Serbia (RS) based on the analysis of regulations and strategic documents relevant for foreign policy. The first part of the paper points out the general context of the discussion. In the second part of the paper, an overview of the most important regulations and strategic documents relevant to foreign policy is presented. The analysis shows that key characteristics of the foreign policy of the RS are the “Eurocentrism” and (thus derived) “Europeanization” as a process of reforming the legal and political system of the RS. The author emphasizes the importance of the foreign policy decision‐making process. Two elements of the legislative procedure are analyzed from the point of view of the possibility of public participation in the decision‐making processes. These are the following: 1) ratification of the international treaties, and 2) the process of harmonization of national regulations with EU regulations. The open issues and ambiguities in the way of regulating these issues are emphasized. In addition, in the legislative procedure, the regulatory impact assessment also takes a special place. However, there are some open issues in the application of the regulatory impact assessment. In conclusion, it is noted that the EU membership is a key foreign policy objective of the RS with a strong influence on the internal legal and political system. However, in the two analyzed formal procedures which represent the elements of the foreign policy of the RS (within the process of “Europeanization”), guarantees for the transparent implementation, i.e. effective public participation in their implementation have not been contained. This can have a significant impact on the quality of the activities which are being carried out and the results of the process of “Europeanization”, as a strategic foreign policy commitment of the RS.
STRATEGIC AND SECURITY TRENDS AND PROJECTION OF THE STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK OF THE SECURITY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA
International problems, 2017 69(4):465-482
Starting from the indisputable fact that security is the primary interest and a key prerequisite for the development of contemporary societies, understanding and assessing current and future trends in the near and distant environment and their impacts on the security of the Republic of Serbia are particularly important in defining a framework of its conceptual and strategic preparedness to protect vital national interests. There are many factors that are influencing and will continue to influence in a long‐term the security of the Republic of Serbia and its environment. The stronger contours of multipolar international order and the emergence of new global participants in world politics, the crisis of the idea of global society and return of realpolitik patterns in international politics, proximity of energy‐rich but unstable Arab‐Persian and the Caspian basin, conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, serious identity crisis and threat to internal cohesion of the European Union, as well as the migrant crisis, certainly represent major factors that will affect the political and security processes in the near and distant environment of the Republic of Serbia. Projection of security trends and challenges that accompany the process of socialization of the Balkans, as an area which is still, in terms of security, the most sensitive part of the European continent, will have a strong reflection on the definition of long‐term commitments of the Republic of Serbia. Problems in Kosovo, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as potentially the most explosive issues of the Balkan security, as well as the complexity of socio‐economic and political context of the societies in the Balkans, especially their unabated ethnic and religious standoff, complicate the process of converting the Balkans from the conflicting area to the area of lasting peace. Also, monitoring of trends in perception and practice of security, especially regarding the waging of contemporary armed conflicts and the revolution in military affairs, as well as their long‐term projection are of great importance in defining the strategic framework of security of the Republic of Serbia, primarily the instruments to protect its security.
International problems, 2017 69(4):483-505
Due to turbulent circumstances and controversial heritage in regard to the breakup of ex‐Yugoslavia, regional position of Serbia is, within academic as well as the wider public, most often observed in the context of its relations with the “new” neighbors – the states that have emerged from the breakup of the former common country. This is in part because of constant tensions in the relations with ex‐Yugoslav states, but also due to the political agenda of Western actors, which sets the framework for regional integration processes through the concept of “Western Balkans”. Foreign policy relations of Serbia with its “old” neighbors (most notably, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, given that Albania has a distinct status as a de facto interested party in the dispute regarding the status of Kosovo and Metohija), nonetheless, remain at least just as important element of Serbia’s regional position. It is the author’s intention to point towards determinants of the foreign policy of Serbia, as factors that work, or are visible, through relations with Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. This will be observed in the context of bilateral and multilateral, formal and informal foreign policy connections and relations. The conclusion, in the form of a recommendation, is that international political dynamics in the “Western Balkans” should not completely avert research attention away from Serbian relations with its non‐Yugoslav neighbors.
International problems, 2017 69(4):506-527
The relationship of the subsystem of foreign policy and defense of the state has a cause‐and‐effect character, but nevertheless with a more significant influence of foreign policy on the defense of the state. The state defense system is a relatively independent factor, but in practice, it functions as a means or an instrument of foreign policy, which contributes to the successful realization and protection of the unified state goals on the international plane. The basic question asked in this paper is \"What kind of the relationship between the state sub‐systems of foreign policy and defense can be considered optimal in the state\'s efforts to realize and protect vital interests in the current state of international relations\"? Each of the aforementioned subsystems has its own specifics of organizing and functioning in the process of creating and practicing the foreign policy of the state. The attitude of the state\'s subsystems of foreign policy and defense is most visible in the legal normative arrangement, the contents of the foreign policy positions of the highest state managers and strategic documents, functional cohesion, participation in regional and global international initiatives and organizations, participation in multinational operations, as well as in the process of information supply state leadership need for foreign policy decisions. Through analysis and description of the current situation in the foreign policy and defense subsystem, as well as their mutual relationship, critical elements of the systems and processes have been identified in order to be able to overcome the projection of the foreign policy of the state.
DEVELOPMENT OF DIGITAL DIPLOMACY IN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND POSSIBILITIES FOR DIGITAL FOREIGN POLICY PERFORMANCE OF SERBIA
International problems, 2017 69(4):531-546
Rapid technological changes in the field of ICT are changing ways how modern diplomacy operates in the fields of information and communication. The emergence of social networks is a particular global phenomenon that has far‐reaching social and political consequences. Some aspects of digital diplomacy could include issues such as: the position and role of diplomacy in the new digital environment; the manner and extent of use and analysis of information coming from the Internet; the impact of information technologies on various aspects of diplomatic work such as international negotiation, development aid, consular affairs, humanitarian crisis management; geopolitics and economic aspects of using the Internet; the issue of cyber security and cyber warfare on International Relations. With changes in political life, the strengthening of democracy in the world and new forms of communication, public diplomacy has become one of the important aspects of the international performance of states. The world\'s foreign ministries today use 742 social networks in total. There is a plenty of room for progress in Serbia\'s digital diplomacy. Serbia has not yet established a coherent and proactive system of action in the field of digital diplomacy, regardless of the high degree of involvement of Serbian society in new ICT. Therefore, it would be useful to start developing a strategy for the development of digital diplomacy. The goal of digital diplomacy of Serbia should be first of all a coherent promotion of the main foreign policy goals and interests of the country, including its main strategic priorities.
International problems, 2017 69(4):547-566
The modern relations between Serbia and Russia are characterised by a historical stability. It is determined by the similarities between the two nations. They include: Slavic roots, common religion, linguistic and some cultural similarities, nearly identical stances on key international issues, common paradigms of the historically dominant political and economic systems. And, what is proudly highlighted – the fact that these two countries were never in a direct confrontation with one another, although both have often struggled to maintain their independence and territorial integrity and identity. Based on the above‐mentioned facts, numerous myths about the brotherhood of the two nations, eternal friendship and readiness to provide each other with help when needed, unselfish Slavic soul and unselfish love and sacrifice for greater purposes were created during history. However, the entire history of bilateral relations – and especially since the late 20th century – demonstrated that the real relations are significantly different and much more complex. In fact, it is a case of two completely different countries, namely a great empire, military force and a powerful global actor, and a country forced to seek for strong close friends for this is what defines its place in the turbulent world. Reliance on Russia may be justified, but first and foremost, Serbia should have its own national long‐ and short‐term strategic interests and goals. Interstate relations relying on love and faith may have grave consequences for such “devotees” in certain historical contexts when paradigms and rules of play are changing. Through long‐term research of the Russian‐Serbian relations and personal experience the author understood that these relations are stable and mainly positive, but at the same time, these are the relations between two completely different partners which also have an impact on their content.