In this paper a series of strategic logistics concepts, like transportation axes “attractivity”, substitution costs, geo-economic and emergency traffic paths, nodes and gates, are introduced and evaluated in a country case study assessing regional road networks. Based on the above mentioned, risk analyses are performed with regard to the logistics emergencies. Turkey’s main road network is being accordingly examined along with the policy implications of the results provided by current political changes in this country. This study exhibits that the R.T. Erdogan’s, AKP party-ruled, governments, caused not only high-level geopolitics and geo-economics repercussions but also have severe economic and logistics effects, activating incentives and infrastructure investments, especially in the so called Anatolian areas. The analysis of Turkey’s internal geo-economic trends offers notable insight into the mechanism controlling in general the regional socio-economic attractiveness and efficiency. In this context the socioeconomic indicator: "Roads Network Development" on regional basis and for each year of the period 1995-2012, has then been chosen and analyzed statistically as dependent variable in relation to the election results and the consequent political changes between the so called Kemalist and political Islam regimes; the results surprisingly confirm the relevant hypotheses tested.
In this paper the concept of the “Geo-Economic Gravity System” will be discussed as a methodological tool in regard with the key issue of “regional efficiency”, as well as a modeling tool in the effort to face relevant socio-economic problems. As a case study, the fierce opposition between oriental and westernoriented political powers, other words neo-ottomans versus kemalists in the Turkish society, is being respectively examined. The Geo-economic Gravity Systems explain the socio-economic rifts, heading back to the 90’s and demonstrating the multiple and prevailing societal polarization. On its second part, however, this study exhibits that, in the aftermath of the R.T. Erdogan’s governments, despite that the political dichotomy lines remain, at least the severe economic disparities have been smoothed due to policies, incentives and infrastructure investments accomplished. The analysis of Turkey’s internal geoeconomic trends offers notable insight into the mechanism controlling in general the regional socioeconomic attractiveness and efficiency. Consequently, such an analysis can remarkably contribute in the research of the spatial dimension as a catalyst for emerging development opportunities in any country.
John Karkazis, Georgios C. Baltos and Janis Balodis
At the beginning of 2011, the majority of Egyptian citizens ended the thirty-year authoritarian regime of President Mubarak. From the full of celebrations day of 25th January Revolution till the beginning of July 2013 a lot of political drama overflowed the turbulent Egyptian society, leading to the overthrow of the first legitimately elected President M. Morsi. General Al-Sisi took over the presidential duties in 2014, and the whole world is still struggling to determine whose actions favor and which undermine the democracy and/or the interests of Egyptian people. In an effort to research the social factors that prepared and resulted in the political activism and unrest in Egypt over these latest years, this study has been developed on two main axes. The first one applies an analytical model focusing on the critical drivers towards social unrest, especially adjusted for the data referring to Eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern societal characteristics. The second axis then takes advantage of the model’s assessments and proceeds with the narrative interpretation of the facts through a personality profiler for M. Morsi. In this way the research questions meet answers, conclusions and policy implications that combine, in terms of political psychology, both personality-based approaches to politics as well as structural and institutional role constraints restricting the range of initiatives available for leadership decision making.
John Karkazis, Georgios C. Baltos and Janis Balodis
This paper discusses a model for identifying and evaluating how the critical changes in the politics of a state impact its socio-economic life. Political transitions of this magnitude may stem out of elections results, but they are not limited to governmental reforms, since they further create a historical rift between the former and the latter status. They definitely initiate regime turnovers, geostrategic reorientation and shifts of geopolitical axes, but they also transform the national growth and socio-cultural development structures and features.The case study chosen refers to Turkey’s political transformation over the last decades; it is considered an ideal paradigm for testing the relevant research questions due to the extent and depth of the revolutionary changes triggered by the Islamic or the so called neoottoman political parties taking over power and overthrowing the long-lasting status quo of kemalism. The consequences of the before mentioned political shift are being examined in correlation with certain statistical indicators like students’ enrolment in the education system. The statistics are projected over a time series covering previous and current status. Then they are mapped via a Geographic Information System on a regional spatial context towards more comprehensive visual representation and further interpretation of the structural changes indicated.
The Peace of Westphalia signed in 1648 signaled the beginning of the modern international system of states. International relations (IR) theory identifies this treaty as the founder of the principle of political sovereignty whereby each nation-state has full control over its territory and domestic affairs, thus it is the beginning of an international system of states. The latter is based on the sanctity and inviolability of interstate borders as its main defining feature. This paper investigates the recent developments in international relations and their significance to the concept of borders in IR theory; on the one hand, a “clash of civilizations” thesis assumes that new “fault lines” borders among civilizations of, mainly, different religions are taking precedence over traditional territorial borders of nation-states, while, on the other hand, a rise in conservative nationalism and, possibly, protectionism, over the traditionally liberal West reasserts the primacy of territorial borders in IR. In particular, this study examines whether such developments signal a paradigm shift in IR theory that may necessitate revisiting certain fundamentals of mainstream respective theories.
Georgios C. Baltos, Ioannis G. Vidakis and Janis Balodis
This paper aims to provide a functional assessment of a country’s dynamics at a regional power level, through the development of a tool which shall examine the working hypothesis of a given country’s “candidacy” to emerge as a regional power. The power equation applied in order to have such an evaluation has been formulated in a visually enriched and prototype format, given that particularly the geopolitics activate systems of interactions dynamically changing into many dimensions. The scope also includes the criteria verifying the achievement of the regional powers’ objectives as well as the review of future relevant prospects through a SWOT (strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats) analysis in a specific spatial and temporal context. Contemporary Turkey shall be taken as an example of this application and, therefore, while enumerating the assessment criteria, it will be briefly examined whether Turkey meets the conditions under discussion. This country has been selected on the grounds that its intentions have been overtly declared and its efforts are underway. The study consequently emphasises on the policy implications of the dilemmatic question if the on-going Turkish regime transformation may be or keep being a pilot for other states’ progress in the heavily turmoiled Middle Eastern area.
Georgios C. Baltos, Filippa S. Chomata and Ioannis G. Vidakis
This paper describes how the standardization essentially, rather than referring to goals, outputs and outcomes, addresses duties, roles and actions, while eventually the latter ones affect and empower the former. The quest for quality is still on-going in pursuit of effectiveness and efficiency combined with social responsibility, as long as it is dependent upon societies’ willingness to change the world and share a better future. Although organizations have a long way to walk toward synergism and integration, quality management is being transformed from compliance to collaboration driven. The wide range of standards implementing the quality management systems based on ISO 9001 materializes its strategic direction to be functionally adapted to specific sectors and industries. On the other hand, plenty of later standards deal with the additional requirements that are applicable only to specific industries. They surely carry pros and cons. There is, however, a threatening likelihood that the relevant markets would reject some of the standards in case multiple standards overlap each other, creating complex bureaucratic burdens. Health and Safety standards are a success story against such concerns, while a plethora of Control and Risk management standards compete each other, which may be perceived more as a source of creativity rather than confusion.
Georgios C. Baltos, Filippa S. Chomata, Ioannis G. Vidakis and Janis Balodis
This paper highlights the effectiveness of several modern training tools that could be applied within the context of training organizations, aiming towards the introduction of theoretical and practical fields, like the assessment of critical risks, the impact of time pressure and the importance of situational awareness, into the contents of a training course. The first part deals with present training tendencies and tools like distance and technology-based learning, while it is highlighted that knowledge management has gone through a deep and wide re-orientation. Quality assurance issues regarding education are also of great significance. The second part then studies the psychology of serving in combat or irregular crisis situations. It is about the particularities that compose the military, business or civil protection reality, resulting in new approaches of training courses that pursue excellent performance, particularly in dynamic and changing with high-velocity environments. Concepts like shared-ness of information, maturity in leadership decision making and cognitive task analysis can all determine a new domain of acceptable measures for crisis management training at professional level. The scope ranges from a routine organizational context to rapid response in a larger-scale emergency under pressure, requiring respective training adjustments.
John Karkazis, Ioannis G. Vidakis, Georgios C. Baltos and Joseph N. Bayeh
This study focuses on the geopolitical situation in the wider East Mediterranean Region at the dawn of the 20th century, based on the analysis of a major infrastructure project, the Baghdad Railway. The process of its construction eventually led to the rivalry between “Politics” and “Economy”, towards increased relative gains for the superpowers of that period. The innovative side of the research extends to the hypothesis that modern economic crises are also related to power games similar to those prevailing almost a century ago. International Relations are linked with the Politics and Economy sectors, considering realistic lessons from the past in order to shape another better in terms of peace and stability future.