2023 – International Studies Quarterly

Sadiq, K. and Tsourapas, G. (2023) The Transnational Social Contract in the Global South. International Studies Quarterly, (Accepted for Publication)










2023 – Journal of Global Security Studies

Sahin-Mencutek, Z. and Tsourapas, G. (2023) When Do States Repatriate Refugees? Evidence from the Middle East. Journal of Global Security Studies, 8(1), 1–18. 

Which conditions affect whether a state will choose to repatriate forcibly displaced populations residing within its borders? One of the most pressing issues related to the protracted Syrian refugee situation concerns the future of over 5 million Syrians who sought shelter in neighboring states. With host countries pursuing disparate strategies on Syrians’ return, the existing literature has yet to provide a framework that is able to account for variation on host states’ policies toward refugee repatriation. In this paper, we expand upon the concept of the refugee rentier state to theorize inductively upon the conditions shaping states’ policymaking on repatriation. We draw upon multi-sited fieldwork across the three major refugee host states in the Eastern Mediterranean (Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey) to establish that a refugee rentier state's strategy is driven by domestic political economy costs related to the hosting of refugee populations as well as its geostrategic interests vis-à-vis these refugees’ country of origin. Using a comparative case study approach, we note how a state is more likely to pursue a blackmailing strategy based on threats if it faces high domestic political economy costs and adopts an interventionist policy vis-à-vis the sending state, as in the case of Turkey. Otherwise, it is more likely to pursue a backscratching strategy based on bargains, as in the case of Lebanon and Jordan. We conclude with a discussion on how this framework sheds light on refugee host states’ repatriation policies on a global scale. 


2023 – Foreign Policy Analysis

Siniver, A. and Tsourapas, G. (2023) Middle Powers and Soft-Power Rivalry: Egyptian-Israeli Competition in Sub-Saharan Africa. Foreign Policy Analysis, 19(2), 1–22.

Scholars of international relations have long recognized the importance of soft power in great powers’ hegemonic designs. In contrast, we know little of middle powers’ employment of noncoercive strategies of attraction and, in particular, how soft power operates in the context of middle-power antagonism. We suggest that, first, soft power enhances coalition-building strategies for middle powers. Contrary to expectations that states join forces against a shared threat, the use of soft power via development aid produces an “Us” versus “Them” distinction in target states that unites them in the absence of a common enemy. Second, middle states’ soft-power strategies are likely to support coalition maintenance so long as it does not challenge target states’ national interests. Utilizing extensive archival and interview-based data, we examine how soft power featured in Egyptian–Israeli competition across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) from 1957 to 1974. We demonstrate how soft power operates beyond the context of great power agenda setting, therefore providing novel evidence for the importance of soft power in the interplay between interstate antagonism and noncoercion in world politics.


2022 – Mediterranean Politics

Grigoriadis, I. N. and Tsourapas, G. (2022) Understanding Greece’s New Foreign Policy Towards the Arab World: Instrumentalisation, Balancing, and Emerging Opportunities. Mediterranean Politics, (Early Online Publication)

Despite Greece’s centrality in Eastern Mediterranean history and politics, the evolution, characteristics, and rationale behind the country’s relations with the Arab world have yet to be identified. This article examines post-World War II Greek foreign policy towards the Arab world across four key periods (1945–80; 1981–89; 1990–2018; and 2019 onwards). It builds on a historical institutionalist approach to argue that Greece’s relationship with the Arab world has remained a pillar of the country’s diplomatic strategy, albeit instrumentalised in terms of Greece’s two main foreign policy goals in the post-World War II era: maintaining the country’s Western orientation and navigating the vicissitudes of Greek-Turkish relations. Thus, the Arab world has traditionally been approached by Greek policymakers in a profit maximization manner that sought to either amplify Greece's relationship with Western powers or respond to Turkish initiatives in the region. Aiming to provide the first systematic overview of Greek diplomatic strategy towards the Arab world, the article highlights the importance of path dependence in evaluating Greek foreign policy initiatives towards the Middle East. It also seeks to contextualize Greece's current attempts to forge a proactive role across the region by providing necessary historic nuance and a comparative perspective.