Energy and geo-politics in Eastern Mediterranean

Energy and geo-politics in Eastern Mediterranean

Wednesday, 31 January 2018 - 5:00pm
Seminar Room, European Studies Centre, 70 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HR
Constantinos Filis (Panteion University)
Bill Kappis (University of Buckingham)
Chair: Ezgi Basaran (St Antony’s College, Oxford)
Othon Anastasakis; Adis Merdzanovic, David Madden, Jonathan Scheele (St Antony's College, Oxford)

Abstract: For the first time since the onset of the Cold War, the entire Eastern Mediterranean appears to be unstable and geopolitically contested. Russia casts a deep shadow, as the Syrian conflict clearly shows. At the same time, the aftermath of the Arab Spring and the refugee crisis delineate the volatile posture of the Arab countries involved and showcase how Turkey, Greece, Italy and Cyprus are deeply affected by the shifting geopolitical tectonic plates. Finally, there are question marks about the influence of NATO and the EU across the Eastern Mediterranean. At the same time, the exploitation of newly discovered energy resources in the region could either ease relations or further complicate them. The presentations by our two speakers will highlight these dynamics, emphasizing the mechanisms linking domestic politics and foreign policy within Eastern Mediterranean countries.

Vassilis (Bill) Kappis is a lecturer in Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham. Bill’s academic interests lie in the strategic and psychological aspects of security crises and foreign policy decision-making. His current research is focused on the changing security dynamics in the Eastern Mediterranean and supported by an Israel Institute (USA) research grant. Bill maintains affiliations with universities, think tanks and consultancies in Australia, Europe and the United States. An expert on the Eastern Mediterranean, having lived, studied and worked in Greece, Cyprus and Israel, Bill is also an awarded academic instructor by the University of Sydney (Excellence in Teaching Practice, 2013) and a policy-oriented scholar, with regular international conference presentations and focused media contributions.

Konstantinos Filis is Director of Research at the Institute of International Relations of Panteion University. He is head of the Russia-Eurasia & SE Europe Centre at the Institute of International Relations since 2005. He was elected  Senior Associate Member at St Antony’s College, Oxford University for two years (2007-2009). He has conducted a number of studies and advised international and Greek corporations. He is an active contributor to public debate in Greece and abroad. He is member of the Greek-Turkish Forum, as well as the Greek-Russian Society and Director of the International Olympic Truce Centre.

Seminar Series: Key issues and developments in South East Europe

Our Hilary 2018 SEESOX seminar series on South East Europe looks at regional developments from a thematic, interdisciplinary and cross-country perspectives and touches upon issues which are at the forefront of the region’s current affairs. We look at South East Europe from international politics, political economy, and/or societal perspectives, by engaging with a selection of topics ranging from the challenges to democracy and free speech, to geopolitics, energy, migration and European integration.

Co-Convenors: Othon Anastasakis, David Madden, Jonathan Scheele (St Antony’s College)