Ep. 20 – Geopolitical Dynamics in the South Caucasus: A Conversation with Cesare Figari Barberis

SpecialEurasia Geopolitical Report Podcast Ep.20 - Cesare Figari Barberis
Geopolitical Report - SpecialEurasia
Ep. 20 - Geopolitical Dynamics in the South Caucasus: A Conversation with Cesare Figari Barberis


In our latest episode of the Geopolitical Report Podcast, Cesare Figari Barberis shared his nuanced perspectives on recent developments in the South Caucasus. Specifically, he examined the contentious “foreign agent” law in Georgia and the complex relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Cesare Figari Barberis, a fifth year PhD student at the Graduate Institute of Geneva, brings a deep understanding of the region, focusing on the interplay of ideology, emotions, and trauma. His insights provided a rich context for our discussion, shedding light on both historical and contemporary issues impacting the South Caucasus.

During our conversation, Figari Barberis delved into the situation in Georgia, where the introduction of the “foreign agent” law has sparked significant controversy and mass protests in Tbilisi. This legislation, often referred to as the “Russian law” because of its similarities with Russian policies restricting foreign-funded NGOs, has been a focal point of international media attention.

We explored whether this label is accurate or if it represents a misunderstanding, possibly influenced by information warfare. Barberis argued that law’s implications and the motivations behind it are more complex and warrant a deeper examination beyond superficial comparisons.

Our discussion then shifted to the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and the associated humanitarian crisis. Figari Barberis provided a detailed analysis of the future prospects for Armenians in the region, considering the recent shifts in power and control.

He speculated on whether Armenians might eventually return to their homeland or if the region would see an increasing presence of Azeri people. Cesare Figari Barberis highlighted the precarious situation in Azerbaijan and the potential for further instability, suggesting that the future demographic composition of Nagorno-Karabakh remains highly uncertain and contingent on broader geopolitical dynamics.

Finally, we considered the potential for South Caucasian countries to integrate into the European Union. Given the ongoing conflicts and the influence of external powers, Figari Barberis was cautious about the feasibility of EU membership for these nations in the near future.

He suggested that while there is a genuine desire among some local populations and political factions to align more closely with Europe, the geopolitical realities pose significant challenges. The path to EU integration is fraught with obstacles, not least the need for substantial political and economic reforms, as well as the resolution of lingering territorial disputes. Thus, while the idea of EU membership remains an aspirational goal for some, it is also a strategic tool within the broader regional geopolitical game.

Listen also | Ep.1 – Assessing current Caucasus’ geopolitical dynamics

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