Foresight results and insights to the Black Sea Peacebuilding Network: Interim Technical Report
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.
This report is focused on first year key activities, which include analyses of key trends, which could lead to violent conflicts in the Black Sea region. Conflicts can be local, national or broader international conflicts.
From these alternative perspectives we want to present some results which are relevant for (1) the whole Black Sea region, (2) each BSPN county, and also (2) cross-border conflicts.
The analysed trends are based on the previous workshops and policy dialogues of the Black Sea Peacebuilding Network (BSPN). In this way, foresight analyses continue logically and systemically the valuable work and other activities of the BSPN. In the next phase of the foresight process, the emphasis will be in the policy recommendations, which support constructive solutions. The BSPN foresight process has a strong nature of piloting and testing foresight methods and tools.
One key challenge of the foresight analyses is to identify similarities and differences between the countries concerning the drivers of conflicts. We are piloting and demonstrating the methodology, which could be useful also in other conflict prevention and transformation processes. Especially we want: (1) to analyse what kind of trends and recommendations are most crucial in view of development of conflicts in the Black Sea Region, and (2) to create systematic process for comparing the results from different countries.
We want to underline that the objective is not to get final, implementable results at this point of the foresight process.
The report is organised in the following way. In the second chapter, the background of the foresight study is reported. In the third chapter, we shall report the results for each country of evaluations (probability and impact evaluation) and the results of cross-impact analysis. In the fourth chapter, the specific results of 15 trends are reported. In the fifth chapter, a short summary is presented.