Balkanization as a geostrategic schema

N. Lygeros

Translation: Paola Vagioni

In a way it has become a truism explaining the existence of the Balkans as a consequence of religious divergence. The advantage of such a viewpoint is that it is simple; the disadvantage is that it is simplistic. Indeed the process of balkanization is reduced to its result, namely the Balkans. This loss of dynamic information induces a static projection and excludes a temporal interpretation. Yet the Balkans have been the object of balkanization, if we can use this expression. Wouldn't it be more sound to approach the problem from the geostrategic viewpoint and to analyze, among others, the San Stefano Treaty, the Berlin Treaty, the Paris Treaty and the Lausanne Treaty, without forgetting the Sèvres Treaty in the tectonic movements framework of the Russian Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire? In this new framework, what can be said of the local religious divergence before the global impact of the Ottoman imperialism? The appearance of the local divergence would no longer seem as a fact a priori but as a strategic requirement. The will to Islamize the region corresponds to a strategic vision that exploits the violence of human relations in order to find unity and coherence. Indeed an empire by definition goes beyond national borders and therefore pursues a unification of its components. In this pursuit, it is naturally led to confront the equivalent pursuit of another empire. Thus phenomena of attrition appear that represent external frictions, to use an equivalent terminology to Clausewitz's. The Ottoman Empire had no other means to expand its sphere of influence except by using religion as a weapon. This explains the appearance of Albania, of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo within Serbia. Only this religious covering was carried out on a linguistic substrate that was not compatible with this unification. This process of balkanization is also visible in the Caucasus region, this time with the movements of the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire, or even with Mesopotamia. Every time, we project religious interpretation even if it is a Christian-Muslim conflict like in Mesopotamia with the Kurdish problem. In all the cases we have a coherent vision from the geostrategic viewpoint since this corresponds to expansive movements that clash with other ones. It is therefore possible to interpret this balkanization as a basin of attraction border problem managed by different attractors. To go even further in this approach, let us consider the following mathematical point. If we want the points of one border to belong to at least three basins of attraction, then the border has a fractal nature. Now let us reinterpret the three cases with the help of triplets: {Austria-Hungary, Russia, Ottoman}, {Russia, Persia, Ottoman}, {Persia, Iraq, Ottoman}. It is therefore possible to interpret the phenomenon of balkanization as a consequence of the confrontation and therefore of the attractive concurrence of the basins. The zones of influence of the attractors that represent the empires do not allow the existence of stable geostrategic entity. Balkanization represents a phenomenon of instability that results from the competitive contact of the stable zones. Balkanization results therefore from the singularity provoked by the triple point of contact of the basins. Afterwards it is possible to interpret the landlocked as residues of the percolation. Without using the religious component in a different way except as a simple tool of strategy, it is possible to understand balkanization as a geostrategic schema.

free counters