Drivers of crisis in the Greek-Turkish protracted conflict: a Neoclassical Realist reading
PublisherTaylor & Francis
SourceSoutheast European and Black Sea Studies
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Greece and Turkey have been involved in a protracted conflict over the Aegean Sea for decades. After a period of relative calm, Greek-Turkish relations started to deteriorate again in the mid-2010s, culminating in a months-long crisis that began in 2020 and ushered the two countries into unchartered waters. This article focuses on what led to the rekindling of the Greek-Turkish protracted conflict and, particularly, the breakout of the 2020 crisis. Adopting a Neoclassical Realist framework and tracing the international systemic and domestic level drivers that triggered an international crisis prompting each state to engage in a cycle of disruptive interactions, this article argues that shifts in the international and regional system since the late 2000s were crucial in creating a strategic environment conducive to a crisis. At the same time, leader images and domestic considerations had a critical intervening role in filtering systemic stimuli and contributing to the outbreak of the crisis.