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Title: Weaving webs of insecurity : fear, weakness and power in the post-Soviet South Caucasus
Author: Oskanian, Kevork
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis' central aim is the application of a Wendtian-constructivist expansion of Regional Security Complex Theory (RSCT) on a specific case study: the South Caucasus. To that effect, three concepts of RSCT – amity/enmity, state incoherence, and great power penetration – are expanded and developed within the broader above-mentioned ontological-epistemological framework. Amity-enmity is elaborated into an integrated spectrum founded on varying ideational patterns of securitisation alongside objective characteristics, and encompassing conflict formations, security regimes and security communities. States are conceptualised as ideational-institutional-material "providers of security"; their incoherence is characterised over three tiers and two dimensions, leading to a distinction between vertical and horizontal inherent weakness, ostensible instability and failure. Great power penetration is dissected into its objective, subjective and intersubjective elements, resulting in a 1+3+1 typology of its recurring patterns: unipolar, multipolar-cooperative and multipolar-competitive, bounded by hegemony and disengagement. After the specification of a methodology incorporating both objective macro- and interpretive micro-perspectives, two working hypotheses are specified. Firstly, that state incoherence engenders high levels of regional enmity, and, secondly, that patterns of great power penetration primarily affect transitions of regional amity/enmity between conflict formations and security regimes. The framework is subsequently used to triangulate these hypotheses through an application of the theoretical framework on the post-Soviet Southern Caucasus. An initial macro-overview is subsequently provided of the Southern Caucasus as a regional security complex; the three expanded concepts are consequently investigated, in turn, from the discursive micro-perspective. The South Caucasus is categorised into a "revisionist conflict formation", the nature of its states' incoherence is characterised, and existing patterns of great power penetration are identified as competitive-multipolar. In the final chapter, the hypotheses are largely confirmed, and various scenarios as to the possible emergence of a regional security regime are investigated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics ; JQ Political institutions Asia ; JZ International relations