Eurasia on the Edge: Managing Complexity
Eurasia, wherever one draws the boundaries, is very much at the centre of discussions about today’s world. Security across Eurasia is a global concern and has been subject to a range of discussions and debate. However, the current tensions over security and world order, with the growing challenges from Eurasia and Asia, require more intense scrutiny. The goals of the book are to explore the challenges facing the region and to assess how to achieve economic, social and political stability in the Eurasian core.
Interstate relationships in Central Asia are on the edge of crisis for decades. Therefore, here we see one of the examples of “Eurasia on the edge” concept. In this region of the Post-Soviet world the need for managing complexity is, probably, most acute. Below, I will first analyze from theoretical viewpoint combination of state weakness, interstate conflicts and failed intraregional cooperation in Central Asia. After that water and energy conflict between the states will be studied as a key determinant of interstate relations in Central Asia. I will first describe water and energy regime in Central Asia in the late Soviet period, then I will proceed with analysis of the energy and water issues after the dissolution of the USSR. I will depict the clash of national policies of the New Independent states of the region to overcome water-energy problem. This analysis will help us to understand the reasons of failed attempts to establish regional international water and energy regime.
Eurasia, wherever one draws the boundaries, is very much at the center of discussions about today’s world. This is not a new situation as “The Great Game” of the nineteenth century was played out there. Halford Mackinder called Central Asia the heartland of the world and argued that whoever controlled this heartland would rule the world. Throughout the twentieth century, key conflicts and geopolitical strategies focused on this area. In 1997, Zbigniew Brzezinski revived the “great” description for the region, calling it The Grand Chessboard. Today we talk of Eurasia as a key area where Russia’s reemergence as a global superpower is being asserted, and where China is emerging as a dominant player in the global economy through its belt and road projects. In spite of the historical, and obvious, significance of Eurasia as a key area for global security, not a great deal of attention has been paid to understanding the space, how it is organized, and the impact of the ideas and practices emanating from here. However, that is no longer the case and any discussion over the future of global security needs to look at how Eurasia as a region, and the states in the region, are addressing security from within and from outside.
Russia’s new policy toward the East turned five this year (Karaganov (ed.) 2014). Much has been achieved during this time, but much remains a work in progress and certain projects have not even taken off. It has proven very difficult to overcome the colossal inertia associated with the secondary nature of the Eastern focus of Russia’s foreign and foreign economic policy relative to other geographical areas. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the main issues surrounding multilateral cooperation in Wider Eurasia, both politically and economically. The main argument is that current trends in this focal region support its further movement toward the establishment of a genuine international community with trust and character of the relationships between its members of better quality than those with the third countries.