This book, by IEE-ULB scientific collaborator Syuzanna Vasilyan, devises a new conceptual framework of ‘moral power’ and applies it to the policy of the European Union (EU) towards the South Caucasian states of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. It covers the period starting from the 1990s to the present and analyses policy domains (democracy promotion, conflict resolution, security, energy, trade) juxtaposing the policy of EU/member states with those of the United States (US), Russia, Turkey, Iran, as well as inter-governmental and regional organizations.

The author says in the book’s introduction that it “posits moral power as a conceptual edifice built upon on intricate theoretical, policy-focused and empirical research, with the ‘flesh’ of moral parameters framing the ‘skeleton’ of power.” Drawing on terms, notions and concepts from political philosophy, political science, international relations, foreign policy and European Studies, the book, says Vasilyan, “couples these with policy analysis and field research.”

The text makes a contribution to studies on the South Caucasus region, builds on theoretically innovative, critical and practice-driven research and presents a synergistic account of the EU, its external policy and the South Caucasus.

Seven parameters to unpack morality

‘Morality’ is unpacked as composed of seven parameters: consequentialism; coherence; consistency; normative steadiness; balance between values and interests; inclusiveness; and external legitimacy. ‘Power’ is branched into ‘potential’, ‘actual’ and ‘actualized’ types.

‘Moral power’ is consequently developed as an objective and neutral framework to capture the foreign policy of an international actor in any geographic area and policy sphere. The book will be useful for students and scholars of International Relations and EU Studies, policy-makers and practitioners.

The author

Syuzanna VasilyanSyuzanna Vasilyan is Research Fellow at the Universite libre de Bruxelles, Belgium (since 2015) where she is also scientific collaborator at the IEE-ULB. She is Visiting Professor at Sciences Po Paris, France (2016). She was Assistant Professor and Jean Monnet Chair of European Studies at the American University of Armenia (2011-2015), Visiting Professor at Central European University, Hungary (2010-2011), and Visiting Researcher at the European University Institute, Italy (2009-2010, 2013, 2015, 2016).