Neoclassical realism and small states: systemic constraints and domestic filters in Georgia’s foreign policy

Giorgi Gvalia, Bidzina Lebanidze, David Siroky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Unlike structural realism, neoclassical realism focuses on how the interaction between systemic and unit-level variables influences foreign policy. This article assesses neoclassical realism against two alternative accounts–balance of threat and economic dependence–to explain change in Georgia's foreign policy. While structural realism highlights how the external security environment shapes general tendencies in foreign policy, specific strategies depend largely on unit-level factors, specifically elite cohesion and state capacity. The analysis of primary sources and exclusive interviews with high-level policy-makers suggests that neoclassical realism affords a more nuanced and precise account of foreign policy change over time than structural realism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEast European Politics
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • democratisation
  • foreign policy
  • Georgia
  • post-communism
  • Rose Revolution
  • state building

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

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