The Long Game on the Silk Road: U.S. and EU Strategy for Central Asia and the Caucasus
This book argues that American and European policies toward Central Asia and the Caucasus suffer from both conceptual and structural impediments. It traces the framework of Western policies to the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, which resulted in the stovepiping of relations into political, economic, and democracy categories – and in often uncoordinated or contradictory policies. While the authors embrace the goal of promoting human rights and democracy, they argue that the antagonistic methods adopted to advance this goal have proven counter-productive. They propose that Western governments work with the regional states rather than on or against them; and that instead of focusing directly on political systems, policies should focus on developing the quality of governance and help build institutions that will be building blocks of rule of law and democracy in the long term. The authors also argue that Western leaders have largely failed to grasp the significance of this region, relegated it to a subordinate status and thus damaging western interests. The development of sovereign, economically strong, and effectively self-governing states in the Caucasus and Central Asia is an important goal in its own right; the book stresses the importance of a region where the development and preservation of secular statehood could become a model for the entire Muslim world.
Russia: an Enabler of Jihad?
Russian officials have had to contain their glee in monitoring recent political events in America and Europe. They appear to think their days in the cold may soon be over. […]
The Fallacy of ‘Compartmentalisation’: the West and Russia from Ukraine to Syria
In the post-Soviet space as well as the Middle East, Western leaders have largely failed to heed ample evidence that the goals of the Russian leadership are fundamentally opposed to […]
The State as Investment Market: Kyrgyzstan in Comparative Perspective
Based on a detailed examination of Kyrgyzstan, Johan Engvall goes well beyond the case of this single country to elaborate a broad theory of economic corruption in developing post-Soviet states regionally—as a rational form of investment market for political elites.
The EU and Kazakhstan: Developing a Partnership in Trade and Transport
In 2015, the EU revised its Strategy for Central Asia, and finalized an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Kazakhstan. These welcome steps will not turn the EU into a […]
Fourth Vector: Making Sense of Kazakhstan’s Activism in International Organizations
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan has developed a track record of being the most proactive and innovative former Soviet republic in the sphere of international cooperation. Kazakhstan’s […]
Kazakhstan: An Island of Stability in a Turbulent Region
Kazakhstan’s stability and predictability has been central to the newly uprgraded status of relations with the European Union. Key to this is Astana’s model of orderly and centralized reforms as […]