نوع مقاله : مقاله پژوهشی
1 استاد گروه روابط بینالملل، دانشگاه علامه طباطبائی، تهران، ایران.
2 دانشجوی دکتری روابط بین الملل، دانشگاه علامه طباطبائی، تهران، ایران.
عنوان مقاله [English]
Although various variables are engaged in emerging and escalating of international crisis, geopolitical variable has some special and important weight. Geopolitics is a hybrid concept that studies the role of geography, power, and politics in international affairs. The geopolitics and international crisis studies cross paths while discussing the escalation of international crises and their Reasons. The researchers believe that there is a strong connection between these two subjects. In the present paper, we will investigate this connection. The research hypothesis is that the more prominent the Geopolitical situation of a crisis-ridden country (enjoying natural resources and location in a strategic region which is critical to great powers) the more potential for escalation of the existing crisis to international level. In other words, the significant geopolitical position of a country is an important factor in the likelihood of intervention of the global and regional powers in the crisis and turning it into an international one. To approve this hypothesis, we will discuss the Syria crisis as a case study. In the present study, three key subjects are investigated and analyzed: the role of geopolitics in the study of the “international crises” from the viewpoint of “Michael Bercher, the leading crisis researcher”, the geopolitical position of Syria, and finically the “geopolitical interests” of the regional and international players in Syria.
The present research, in terms of the nature and method of research, falls into the category of descriptive-analytical research. The data is gathered by referring to the books, articles and strategic reports available in the internet sources and is analyzed based on the question and hypothesis presented. Attempts are made to use the articles and strategic reports of world-renowned think tanks.
Results and Discussion
The geopolitical position of a country in terms of natural resources and the regional interests of great powers plays an important role in international crises. Any state with these two factors that is facing an internal crisis would be in danger of facing the intervention of regional and international players, which has the potential of escalating the crisis into an international one. The crisis in Syria is an ideal example of this phenomenon. It can be used to approve this hypothesis and to study the interactions of geography, power, and politics which forms the basis of all geopolitical theories. If not the most important factor, the unique geopolitical position of Syria was undoubtedly one of the most important factors in the altercation between the regional and global powers in the country. Indeed, the unique geopolitical position of Syria (material, value and strategic resources) turned the country into an arena for the competitions between the regional and international players and escalated the crisis.
According to “Michael Bercher” the leading geopolitics expert, two main factors are required for an internal crisis to be escalated into an international one: first, the crisis should occur in a strategic region that is important for great powers, and second, the abundant natural resources of the region of the crisis. Since Syria ranks 30 among the world countries in oil reserves and 42 in natural gas reserves, it is unlikely that the regional and global players were motivated by the county’s oil or gas resources. Rather it is the geopolitical position of the country (its strategic value) and its presence in the heart of the fragile Middle East belt that has led the regional and global powers to step in. The unique position of Syria and the following four factors: 1) its geographical position in the Middle East and in the heart of the long-standing Arab-Israeli conflict, 2) its position on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean and the junction of three continents, Asia, Africa, and Europe, with more than 183 km of coastline, 3) its neighboring countries: Israel, Lebanon, Turkey and, Iraq and 4) its position at the heart of the regional competition between resistance and conservative forces, have given the country a superior geopolitical position, both regionally and globally, and have forced two great powers (Russia and United States) and four regional powers (Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Israel) to step in and intervene in the brewing crisis.