BLACK SEA: Foresight Results and Insights to the Black Sea Peacebuilding Network

Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Crisis Management Initiative
Western Asia

Today security issues are no longer simply state- and military-centric issues. This report thus aims to analyse the background factors behind violent conflicts in the Black Sea region. Many critical security studies have noted that the so-called billiard-ball model with simple causal relationships does not work in international politics (Booth 2004). Processes leading to conflicts are today more or less complex and multilayered (see e.g. Ohmae 1999, Buzan et al. 2007). The challenge of this report is to identify key drivers, which can potentially increase the probability of violent conflict. We shall also identify those trends, which have the biggest impact on violent conflict.

As typical with foresight research, foresight contributes to public decision-making and informs policy by providing systematic knowledge about relevant trends and developments in various environments. Foresight can provide useful information and knowledge for public policymaking at three distinct levels. Firstly, the results of foresight can be utilised in the field of intelligence work, where the aim is to gather systematic foreknowledge of changes in trends and potential new emerging issues and risks that should be addressed in public policy and strategies. Secondly, foresight results can be used in the field of enhancing reflective mutual social learning processes among policy makers. Thirdly, the diagnosis and insights of foresight processes can help the public decision-makers to formulate better informed and better prepared future visions and grand strategies of politics (Habegger 2010, 49–50, Kuosa 2012, 137–138). Almost needless to say, also international agencies, NGOs and governments can use foresight analyses in various contexts of international politics.

The foresight analyses in this report act as a driver of reflective mutual social learning processes among policy makers that stimulate the generation of common public policy visions. We want also to provide information and knowledge to civil society organisations. The foresight analyses in this report provide country-specific information and knowledge and trend-related information and knowledge.

In this report we summarise key results and findings of the foresight workshops in the Expert Councils of the Black Sea Peacebuilding Network (BSPN), which were held in Turkey, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. The workshops were run in May–June 2012 in the capital cities of each country, except in Ukraine where the seminar was held in Simferopol, the capital of the Crimean autonomous region. The objective of this report is to provide decision-makers tools and insights for analyzing conflicts and security issues. The foresight cycle in the Black Sea Peacebuilding Network (BSPN) is two years.

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