ISRAEL-ASHDOD-BEACH-TAR POLLUTION

Environmental geopolitics in the Southern Mediterranean: The potential for cooperation between Turkey, Egypt and Israel

Institutes:

Swansea University, MEF University, Kadir Has University

Project Members: Emel Akçalı,  Evrim Görmüş, Soli Özel

Project Duration: Feb 21 - Dec 21

Contact:

Emel Akçalı, email: e.akcali(at)swansea.ac.uk 

Evrim Görmüş, email: gormuse(at)mef.edu.tr

Soli Özel, email: soli(at)khas.edu.tr

This research will explore the potential for cooperation on environmental peacemaking and environmental geopolitics between the regional powers of the Eastern Mediterranean – namely Turkey, Egypt and Israel – to decrease the tensions of potential conflicts and environmental degradation in the region. It will first conceptualise what is meant by environmental geopolitics as opposed to a traditional understanding of geopolitics. It will then scrutinise how feasible this can be in the South-Eastern Mediterranean setting by exploring the potential for interest convergence among the Turkish, Egyptian and Israeli policy-making and elite cycles, as well as those in Cyprus and Greece. It will finally address the extent to which the EU with its existing marine protection legislation could constructively engage with Turkey, Israel and Egypt to develop mutual responsibility mechanisms to protect the marine environment in the Southern Mediterranean.

The added value of the research will be both theoretical and practical. While the research outcome will broaden the understanding of traditional geopolitics and expand it to critical ways of thinking, thereby contributing to the international relations discipline, it will also explore the potential of the ‘environmental geopolitics’ mindset within the Eastern Mediterranean policy circles. Drawing on this potential, the research will bring alternative and innovative policy advice to the parties to reduce the potential for heated conflicts and long-term environmental degradation in the region.

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