O. A. Moskalenko, A. A. Irkhin, N. E. Kabanova. The Black Sea Region as a Conflict Space in the Discourse of Foreign Think Tanks of 2018–2021

UDК 323:327.56 

DOI: 10.15507/2413-1407.119.030.202202.258-277


IntroductionThe strengthening of Russia’s subjectivity in the Black Sea region makes it the center of the Western media and expert-analytical agenda. The authors of the study aim to define the mechanisms of metaphorical construction of the Black Sea region as a space of conflict in the discourse of the Western think tanks.

Materials and MethodsThe reports of the leading Western think tanks developing the region concept are used as research materials. The methodological basis of the study is a systematic approach that combines the methods of political linguistics and geopolitical analysis and synthesis. The authors use the methods of discourse analysis to interpret the materials of foreign think tanks devoted to the study of the region, and based on the definition of dominant metaphorical models in the discourse of the Black Sea region, consider possible scenarios for the leading actors in the region.

ResultsThe narratives of the leading American, European and British think tanks are considered and the main metaphorical models characterizing the geopolitical processes in the region are highlighted. The American discourse is dominated by the sports metaphor and its subspecies associated with gambling: the region is perceived as a space of competition, but not war, as evidenced by the lack of military metaphor, which, however, appears in the narratives of the European experts. The Black Sea region is a platform, a springboard for the projection of Russian power in the Mediterranean, which is realized through metaphors with the component “aggressive”. For the British, the Black Sea region is metaphorized as a space of information warfare.

Discussion and ConclusionThere are two main types of perception of the Black Sea region as a geopolitical unit by the Western think tanks: the American think tanks see it as a space of global competition of the great powers; the Great Britain has made the Black Sea region a platform for a return to the global arena of Global Britain by drawing on the rhetoric of universal values. The materials of the article and the methodology may be useful for information and analytical support of the foreign policy of the Western countries and for design of response from part of Russia under the condition of intensification of contest of the main Black Sea region actors.

Keywords: the Black Sea Region, geopolitics, narrative, metaphorical model, discourse, think tanks

Conflict of interests. The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

For citation: Moskalenko O.A., Irkhin A.A., Kabanova N.E. The Black Sea Region as a Conflict Space in the Discourse of Foreign Think Tanks of 2018–2021. RegionologyRussian Journal of Regional Studies. 2022;30(2):258277. doi: https://doi.org/10.15507/2413-1407.119.030.202202.258-277


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Submitted 11.02.2022; approved after reviewing 22.03.2022; accepted for publication 31.03.2022.

About the authors:

Olga A. Moskalenko, Associate Professor, Department of Theory and Practice of Translation, Sevastopol State University (33 Universitetskaya St., Sevastopol 299053, Russian Federation), Cand. Sci. (Philology), ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4162-3162, Scopus ID: 57211746837, Researcher ID: F-2699-2016kerulen@bk.ru

Aleksandr A. Irkhin, Head, Department of Political Science and Philosophy, Sevastopol State University (33 Universitetskaya St., Sevastopol 299053, Russian Federation), Dr. Sci. (Political Science), Associate Professor, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7895-550X, Scopus ID: 57212405239, Researcher ID: A-4781-2019alex.irhin@mail.ru

Natalya E. Kabanova, Senior Lecturer, Department of Theory and Practice of Translation, Sevastopol State University (33 Universitetskaya St., Sevastopol 299053, Russian Federation), ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1395-3217natalia.kabanova@gmail.com

Contribution of the authors:

O. A. Moskalenko – draft of the manuscript; concept of the research.

A. A. Irkhin – concept of the research; development of the methodology.

N. E. Kabanova – critical analysis and editing of the text; formal data analysis.

All authors have read and approved the final version of manuscript.

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