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Article

Four Problems of the SCO in Connection with Its Enlargement

Russian Politics and Law. 2016. Vol. 54. No. 5-6. P. 494-515.
Денисов И. Е., Safranchuk I.

One of the main issues facing the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is its enlargement. Traditionally, this issue has been viewed in terms of practical policy. The longer this dispute over enlargement drags on, however, the greater the depth it acquires. The enlargement debate reflects the unique political culture of the SCO. Another issue well-known from other organizations also arises—“different levels” in the admission of new participants. But the question of the organization's future is emerging in discussions of enlargement as the main matter in dispute: is it to be a global future (as Russia is more inclined to see it) or a regional future (as China is more inclined to see it)? Thus, the SCO faces one of the most important conflicts of today's world—that between globalization and regionalization. While debates about these trends and the relationship between them continue in the political, economic, and social sciences, the SCO has to make a practical choice in favor of one of the trends or find a way to combine them in determining its work priorities. The authors reformulate the issue of enlargement as a problem of finding a balance between globalizing and regionalizing trends in the SCO strategy. At the practical level this will make it possible to reconcile the basic interests of Russia and China in Eurasia.