Central Eurasia in Global Politics: Conflict, Security, and Development

Central Eurasia in Global Politics: Conflict, Security, and Development

Central Eurasia in Global Politics: Conflict, Security, and Development

Central Eurasia in Global Politics: Conflict, Security, and Development

Synopsis

This anthology brings together studies of post-colonial, post-Cold War Central Eurasia. This part of the world is in transition from Soviet institutions to independent statehood, nation building, resistance against state expansion, cultural change and the release of market forces. The theoretical framework of the study is called 'critical geo-politics.' The objective of the work is to better comprehend the nature of the post-colonial 'Great Game'. Part I studies US power projection activity in the region. America isextending its World War II trans-oceanic'defense perimeter into the fossile fuel rich area betweenintegrating Europe, recovering Russia andindustrializing China. Part II details various aspects of state-nation buildingand soci-cultural and economic change in the region. Part III studies interactions between outsiders, neighbors and Central Asian Republics. Conflict and cooperation in the Caspian region is studied in part IV, with Aral Sea and Azerbijan as cases.

Excerpt

The first edition of this book was largely put together during the invasion of Iraq by the Anglo-Saxon powers in the spring of 2003. the editors were not tempted by the war to chronicle the unfolding events leading to that war and its subsequent progression. Instead, they were working on a book about us power projection in the post-Cold War era and the fate of Theory in International Relations after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. the creation of eight independent states in Central Eurasia (South Caucasus and Central Asia) changed the geopolitical landscape of the Soviet era. However, due to the justifications put forward by the American government and its allies for invading Iraq, we could not neglect the war. These justifications did contradict the geopolitical hypothesis on us power projection that we were working on at that time. If the Bush Administration, and the governments allied with it, had not lied about their motives for committing international aggression, our geopolitical analysis would lose credibility. We therefore tested the motive statements for their behavioral implications. We found that us and allied behavior on the ground was very different from what one would expect it to be if the invading powers had spoken the truth. On January 12, 2005, the Bush Administration, after having spent hundreds of millions of dollars on finding these weapons, quietly acknowledged that Iraq did not in fact have such weapons. On an earlier occasion, the us also acknowledged that its intelligence had failed to find any evidence of a connection between the September 11 terrorists and the regime in Iraq. We therefore feel more confident in our geopolitical hypothesis: the invasion of Iraq is part of the process of constructing a new leg in America's Cold War 'defense perimeter.' By studying the history of American power projection from the early 19 century to the present, or its 'conjuncture,' as Braudel used that term in chapter two of his book, Écrits sur l'histoire, (Paris: Flammarion 1969), we hoped to contribute to a better understanding of American foreign policy on the Eurasian landmass, particularly in Central Eurasia and the Middle East since the end of the Cold War.

The approach we have brought to bear in the work is called critical geopolitics. We argue that this approach is particularly relevant for studying the foreign policies of projecting power beyond borders in the era of sequential industrialization. a process of power projection by a statemaking elite during several generations is 'anonymous history.'

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