THE CONCEPT OF REGIONAL SECURITY
In the post-Cold War period, the decline of the two superpowers, which has opened the way for the gradual emergence of multipolarity on the one hand and the rise of regional powers on the other, has increased the importance of regional security as a field of study. Although many scholars have written on this subject over the last thirty years, as a field of study regional security is still underdeveloped, for at least two reasons: In the first place, especially since World War II, case studies have been the major type of scholarly work for researchers working on regional security. During this period, no serious attempt at constructing a theoretical framework for the study of regional security has been made. Secondly, because of the Cold War, regional security has been mainly studied in the context of East-West relations or its effects on bipolarity. Consequently, most studies are relevant to and useful for the study of this subject in the Cold War period; however, they have a limited scope and applicability to the post-Cold War era characterized by the disintegration of the Eastern bloc and the rise of multipolarity.
The empirical focus of this book is on Central Asia, which demands a theoretical framework capable of disclosing those factors that play a significant role currently and in the future development of this region. The purpose of this chapter is to find such a theoretical framework based on the concept of regional security.
Especially in the post- World War II period, many scholars have written on regional security issues. However, most of these writings are limited in scope (focusing on one aspect or another) and/or irrelevant to the post-Cold War period, which is characterized by the rise of multipolarity. Moreover, they do not