Semi-peripheries in the world-system? The Visegrad group countries in the geopolitical order of energy and raw materials after the war in Ukraine
|Článek v odborném periodiku
|Časopis / Zdroj
|Fakulta / Pracoviště MU
|Visegrad 4; Semi-periphery; Political Economy; Energy; Ukraine
|What are the geopolitical risk implications related to the war in Ukraine for the raw material and energy policies of countries highly dependent on Russia? This paper looks at the Visegrad Group (V4) states – Czechia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia – as some of the most impacted countries and assesses their position in the emerging new geopolitical and energy order. V4 countries display a semi-peripheral position in the world-system, as defined by Immanuel Wallerstein. On the geopolitical level, they were balancing between dependence on Russia in energy and raw materials (a result of Cold War legacies) and economic integration with Western countries. However, after the Cold War, dependence on raw materials from the East went hand in hand with dependence on technology and investment from the West, as the V4 region saw the emergence of ‘dependent capitalism.’ The war in Ukraine may reshuffle these dependencies by changing the meaning of the ‘centre,’ for which such actors as the United States, Western Europe or China will strive after Russia's importance has weakened in the V4 countries. It may also create an opportunity to redefine the V4's semi-peripheral status. Drawing on an analysis of recent documents and governmental strategies that emerged in the aftermath of Russia's invasion in 2022, we offer a structured comparative analysis of the way V4 states responded to the crisis along four dimensions (positioning in the international political economy of energy and technology, role of the state, visions of energy futures, geopolitical and geoeconomic course). In the conclusions, we outline the main changes in the import of raw materials, fuels and technologies in individual V4 countries and consider the possible position of the region in the future energy geopolitical order.