Geopolitics of Insecurity: the New East-West Confrontation

Panel Code: 
Prof. Aharon Klieman 

The recent Crimean crisis suggests a renewed period of East-West confrontation. Scholars on both sides of the Atlantic suggest we may be moving into a new “Hot War”, with rules less predictable than during the Cold War. The competing discourse between the West and the so-called “non-West” over the causes, rival interests and possible solutions for Ukraine perhaps best signals this competitiveness. So too can this particular conflict be interpreted in sharply contrasting spatial images of Europe and the East (Eurasia), making it fundamentally geopolitical.
The origins for this East-West divide are rooted in history, culture, and religion. This legacy of division still exists in the contemporary period: between the Christian West and East; or in Catholic Western Europe and Orthodox Russia, with the territories of Slavic, Baltic, and Finno-Ugric nations forming a vulnerable buffer zone.
This panel will examine whether or not we are witnessing the emergence of precisely such an East-West geopolitical divide. And if so, what might be (a) the regional implications and (b) the potential consequences of such a fundamental clash. Scholars are invited to explore the application of various theoretical approaches (from realist to constructivist schools) to explain the emergence of such a clash having the potential for shaping the global system for Europe, for Eurasia, and for the world in coming years.

Prof. Aharon Klieman
Prof. Heriberto Cairo