International interactions have become increasingly important in today’s world, highlighting the complexity of our global community. Diplomacy, as a universal language of cooperation and peace, is crucial to foster understanding and build relationships between nations. It provides a lens through which we can examine the failures of politics, the struggle for leadership, and the prospects for humanity.
Despite its importance, diplomacy can be complex, convoluted, and mysterious. The rapid dynamics of international interactions only compound these challenges, presenting numerous research obstacles that require careful analysis and interpretation. As an academic in this field, my job is to examine our reality, to understand the complexities of international interactions, and to educate the next generation of scientists and professionals.
Through my work, I aim to bridge the gap between theory and practice by offering practical insights into the world of diplomacy. I use a multidisciplinary approach to explore various aspects of international relations, including political science, history, and economics. By drawing on diverse perspectives, I can provide a more nuanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the global community.
One of the key challenges of diplomacy is its reliance on effective communication. This requires not only an understanding of different cultures and languages but also the ability to navigate complex power dynamics and negotiate effectively. As a result, I offer training and coaching services for those seeking to improve their diplomatic skills. By developing effective communication strategies, individuals and organisations can achieve their goals more effectively and build stronger relationships.
Another important aspect of my work is the development of research projects and academic publications. By conducting rigorous research and sharing my findings with the academic community, I aim to contribute to the field of diplomacy and to advance our understanding of this complex area. By working with other experts and scholars, I hope to spark meaningful discussions and inspire new ways of thinking about diplomacy.
Ultimately, my goal is to make a positive impact on the world by promoting peaceful and cooperative international interactions. Through education, research, and practical training, I strive to equip individuals and organisations with the skills and knowledge they need to navigate the complexities of the global community. By working together, we can build a more peaceful, prosperous, and equitable world for all.
1) International Relations
- Eurasian Energy Relations
- Geopolitics & Diplomacy
- Russian Foreign Policy
2) Security Studies
- International Security
- Cyber Threats
3) Political Philosophy
- Heavily influenced by a legendary Harvard course, Michael J. Sandel’s 2008 Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?
- Alfred Schutz
Eurasian Energy Relations
Energy (politics, security, diplomacy) is a fascinating field of international relations, politics, and history. Three factors increase the importance of energy policy research. First, we live in a time when the energy world is changing, with renewable energy and decarbonization leading the way. Second, the world is facing dramatic climate change that affects energy infrastructure. Third, geopolitics, geo-economics, and energy trade are shaping international relations through more assertive energy diplomacy.
Energy is never an isolated issue. It is closely intertwined with international trade, national interests, security concerns, and geopolitics. In Northeast Asia, regional tensions and historical disputes have made it difficult to achieve effective bilateral and multilateral cooperation on energy issues. However, developing a comprehensive energy strategy is essential for governments and institutions to ensure sustainable energy security in the region.
Energy security affects many disciplines, from terrorism to climate change. Energy security is the “uninterrupted physical availability of energy products at affordable prices for all users,” according to the European Commission. Energy security usually includes assessments of resilience because there are so many risks in the world, such as cyber threats and interruptions in the energy supply.
Energy diplomacy is an intricate field that involves complex interactions between countries, regions, and international organizations. As a researcher, I am particularly interested in the energy dynamics of Northeast Asia, the Middle East, and Russia. These regions are crucial players in the global energy market, and their energy policies and practices have significant implications for the energy security and economic well-being of countries worldwide.
In Northeast Asia, regional tensions and historical issues have impeded bilateral and multilateral cooperation, complicating the development of a comprehensive energy strategy. However, the region is also home to some of the world’s most advanced energy technologies and innovations, making it an important area for studying the future of sustainable energy. Similarly, the Middle East is known for its abundant oil and gas reserves and has been a significant contributor to the world’s energy supply for decades. However, the region’s political instability and conflicts have created challenges for energy diplomacy and underscored the need for a more sustainable and diverse energy mix. Finally, Russia, as one of the world’s major energy producers and exporters, plays a crucial role in shaping the global energy landscape. Understanding Russia’s energy policies and practices is essential for assessing the stability and security of the world’s energy supply.
Geopolitics & Diplomacy
The field of geopolitics is concerned with how geography, both physical and human, influences politics and global relations. While it primarily focuses on the relationships between nations, it can also examine the dynamics between unrecognized states or sub-national entities. Geopolitics is an essential framework for studying foreign policy at the international level and predicting the behaviour of the global political system based on geographical factors.
The primary concern of geopolitics is political power in relation to geographic space, particularly the relationship between territorial seas and land areas, and diplomatic history. A geopolitical system is a network of relationships among global political actors centred on a specific region, territory, or geographic feature. However, critical geopolitics seeks to challenge traditional geopolitical theories that often serve political and ideological purposes for powerful countries. By deconstructing these theories, critical geopolitics aims to provide a more comprehensive and unbiased understanding of international relations.
Russian Foreign Policy
This research requires a high level of conceptualization as it is not just about President Putin and the three known factions – the technocrats, the liberals, and the siloviki. There is much more to Russian foreign policy, including the geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific region, Islamic State militants, Central Asia, China, the Middle East, and the energy security of the European Union.
Despite this complexity, understanding Russian foreign policy is crucial in the current global context. Recent studies of Russian politics and diplomacy have been heavily influenced by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, government scandals, and other pressing issues. However, it is essential to avoid being misled by propaganda and fake news. By approaching Russian foreign policy from a balanced perspective, considering both western and eastern viewpoints, we can gain a deeper understanding of this complex and nuanced field.
Energy relations and security have significant implications for national, regional and global security. Consequently, my understanding of international relations is influenced by my study of security. In particular, the defence of energy infrastructure, the role of espionage, the importance of cyber attacks, terrorism and the risks of conflict. We view terrorism as a threat that can strike our region, state or city at any time.
Terrorism is largely undetectable and difficult to detect. Education and understanding of how terrorism works is the strongest defence against it. Every day, security forces around the world thwart numerous terrorist attacks.
Ideology has immense power. If a government does not modernize, keep the regime stable, or listen to the people’s wishes, it leaves room for the growth of ideology, which can lead to terrorism. We usually pretend it doesn’t concern us. Believe me, we are not as powerful as we think we are. Terrorism is something anyone can fall victim to.
The rise of cyberterrorism is a consequence of our increasingly digitized world and the unpredictability of energy sources. In the physical world, distance is an obstacle, but in cyberspace, it is a non-issue. As a result, states, private companies, and individuals are under constant attack.
Cybersecurity is a major concern for many countries, yet it remains an underinvested area of study. Cyberattacks on critical infrastructures such as energy, finance, logistics, trade, and space can have devastating consequences. Cybercriminals and hackers operate under a veil of anonymity, making them difficult to track down. The dark web provides unlimited opportunities to engage in criminal activities with minimal risk of being caught.
Terrorist organizations are also using cyberspace for their activities. They use it for fundraising, recruitment, propaganda, and even attacks. The ease of access to the internet and the anonymity it provides has made it easier for these organizations to reach out to potential supporters, plan and coordinate their activities, and execute their attacks. As such, cybersecurity has become an essential aspect of national security in the digital age.
The teachings of Professor Michael Sandel have served as a source of inspiration to scholars and students alike for many years. In 2008, I came to the realization that political philosophy should be an essential component of my studies and pedagogy.
Sandel’s thought-provoking lectures and works, such as “Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?” and “The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good?”, challenge us to think critically about moral and political issues that confront society. His approach to teaching political philosophy emphasizes the importance of engaging with diverse perspectives and fostering open dialogue, enabling individuals to develop a deeper understanding of their own beliefs and those of others.
Thanks to the influence of Professor Sandel, my approach to teaching and research has evolved to include a more nuanced examination of the ethical and political dimensions of current issues. His contributions to the field of political philosophy serve as a reminder of the importance of critical thinking and reasoned discourse in shaping a just and equitable society.
- Philosophy of the European Diplomacy During Conflicts and Energy Crises (Norwegian Funds, Prof. Iver Neumann – the Fridtjof Nansen Institute in Oslo, Prof. Mats Braun – Metropolitan University Prague)
- Energy Security of Japan: Security and Geopolitical Implications of Japanese Hydrogen Strategy (individual project)
- The pitfalls of geopolitics of Japan and South Korea towards the Sino-Russian energy cooperation in Northeast Asia (individual project)
- The Role of Sino–Russian Cooperation in the Northeast Asian Energy Regime (dissertation topic)
- Radicalisation in Europe and returning fighters of the Islamic State (individual project)