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Alexandros Zachariades Petros Petrikkos

Abstract

This piece seeks to map and critique the Republic of Cyprus’ grand strategy in recent years by focusing on the ways its Foreign Policy Executive has sought to counterbalance Turkey through a polythematic and proactive approach. This approach is based on extensive alliance-building efforts and an attempt to act as a link between the EU and the Middle East. This shift in the island’s foreign policy was enabled by Turkey’s breakdown of relations with Israel and Egypt and on the prospect of profit emanating from the region’s hydrocarbons. The analysis is made through a new concept in the International Relations (IR) theory; balancing for profit. Based on a Neoclassical Realist Foreign Policy and using Stephen Walt’s balance of threat theory as a starting point, offshore natural resources are viewed as a structural modifier that has altered the parameters of strategic interaction in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, enabling
the Republic of Cyprus to engage in a proactive foreign policy driven by the prospect of common profit.

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Keywords

Neoclassical Realism, hydrocarbons, offshore natural resources, Eastern Mediterranean, Republic of Cyprus, foreign policy, Israel, Greece, structural modifiers

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