Dilaver Arıkan Açar

Assistant Professor, Yaşar University

Email: arikan.acar@yasar.edu.tr


Dr. Açar completed his B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. at the Department ofInternational Relations, Middle East Technical University (METU),Turkey. He worked at the same department as research assistant. He did field research in various parts of the Balkans as well as worked for the OSCE missions in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Dr. Açar spent a year as Ph.D. research fellow at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London with the Jean Monnet Scholarship. After briefly teaching at the Turkish Military College he joined Department of International Relations at the Yaşar University, Turkey as an assistant professor where he currently teaches. There he also served until recently as the Vice-chair of the Yaşar University Center for Mediterranean Studies. His major areas of interest are foreign policies, Euro-Atlantic integration processes, transition politics and political economy of the Balkan states in general, Albania and Kosovo in particular; small states in world affairs; international peace operations and post-conflict involvements of the international community; international and European security; small wars, insurgencies and counter insurgency operations; international politics of oil; and wider Mediterranean politics.

Title of Presentation

Albania: A Pragmatic Small State Playing on Asymmetric Relations in the International Arena
Albanian state since its formation over various regimes has proven to be a survivor and a skilful applier of small state approaches and strategies in international relations. This gives Albania a specific characteristic and a kind of heritage among small states. Albania acts with a sense of recognition of its role and place as a small state in global and regional affairs. Except for the isolationist period, Albania has always had a tendency to seek a strong ally, preferably a global power. Under the new political and economic circumstances of the post-Cold War, Albania is facing domestic economic and political challenges, and once again, it moved on to develop a similar relationship, this time with the United States. Despite the fiercely competitive and antagonistic domestic party politics, the stance of politicians and the decision makers across the political spectrum has become Albania’s pro-United States stance. Developing a close and special relationship with the US became a core principle of Albanian foreign policy along with making the Euro-Atlantic integration a priority for economic development and security. Albania, as a small state, played on the opportunities that emerged due to regional instabilities to develop an asymmetrical but mutually beneficial relationship with the US in order to achieve its foreign policy goals. Ultimately Albania stands as a case of the pragmatic applier of small state policies to survive and have a role and place exceeding its size in the international arena.
Publications from the Author