Geo-Economic and Geopolitical Aspects of the Modern Development of the Cities of the Black Sea Region

(North Caucasus Research Institute of Economic and Social Problems of the South Federal University; Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University)

Sea areas become a significant factor and substrate within the processes of cross-border and cross-aquatic regionalization. It happens due to globalization, development of maritime transport, increasing consumption of ocean resources and the attraction of population, economic activity and infrastructure to sea as this process is becoming a universal trend. The Black Sea region appears
to make the contours of one of the emerging cross-aquatic regions. In the post-Soviet period it became the scene of intensive processes of integration and disintegration at the background of sharply increased geopolitical and geo-economic rivalry (particularly since the mid-2000s). The system of urban settlements, which has historically formed at the Black Sea coast, at the present time consists of 74 cities, including 14 ones with a population of over 250 thousand. At the background of the mentioned factors this system transforms significantly; and the important indicator of such transformation is the change in population size. Basing on the statistical database of the Black Sea countries (Abkhazia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Russia, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine), the analysis allowed to identify long-term (existing since the early 1920-ies) trend of the demographic potential’s ‘offset’ to the Turkish segment of the Black Sea coast (with its hyper-concentration in Istanbul, accommodating now 61% of the urban population of the Black Sea region). Also the study identifies the country-wide and regional peculiarities and stages of the population dynamics in the cities of
the Black Sea region during the post-Soviet period. The research evaluates their geo-economic and geopolitical determinants and consequences.
cities, Black Sea coast, post-Soviet period, population, geopolitics, geo-economy

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