The purpose of this book is to explore the notion of buffer states and determine the characteristics of their foreign policy. The idea of writing such a book would less likely be born in the mind of a citizen of a big/powerful country, whereas this kind of study is in the natural scholarly interest of a person living in a small/weak state. Since it is considered that at different times Georgia played a role of a buffer state between various empires, the author decided to find out what does this term mean in theory and what are the implications of being a buffer state in practice, as well which countries of the world can be identified as buffer states both at present and in the past. This study tries to answer these and other important questions.
The book consists of an introduction, seven chapters and a conclusion. The first chapter examines different understandings of buffer state concept and suggests a new, more elaborate definition of this term. In addition, introduces a new concept of quasibuffer states. The second chapter focuses on geographical and cultural characteristics of buffer states. The third chapter discusses their power criteria and makes relevant comparisons between centers of powers and buffer areas. The fourth chapter depicts the geopolitical situation of buffer states and tries to apply this description to Georgia's historical and current international standing. The fifth chapter is an in-depth survey of great power rivalry over potential buffer territories in world politics. The sixth chapter focuses on foreign policies of different buffer states. The last, seventh chapter explains how regional buffers systems, as segments of a broader international system, operate.
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