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  • Author: Janusz Bugajski
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Russian authorities are engaged in a policy of “pragmatic reimperialization” in seeking to restore Moscow's regional dominance, undermining U.S. global influence, dividing the NATO alliance, neutralizing the European Union (EU), limiting further NATO and EU enlargement, and re-establishing zones of “privileged interest” in the former Soviet bloc, where pliant governments are targeted through economic, political, and security instruments. Russia's strategies are pragmatic and opportunistic by avoiding ideology and political partisanship and focusing instead on an assortment of threats, pressures, inducements, and incentives. Despite its expansive ambitions, the Russian Federation is – potentially – a failing state, and may be resorting to increasingly desperate imperial reactions to intractable internal problems that could presage the country's territorial disintegration.
  • Topic: NATO, Imperialism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Andrew Liaropoulos, Sophia Dimitrakopoulou
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The publication of Russia's National Security Strategy in May 2009 provoked a discussion regarding the security challenges that Moscow is facing. This article reviews, firstly, the security context that defined the Putin era and then relates the analysis of the latest national security strategy to the broader dilemmas that Russia will encounter in the next decade. The purpose is to identify the priorities and threat perceptions that are outlined in the latest national security strategy and to question whether Russia will become a great power in the near future.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow
  • Author: Dilyara Suleymanova
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This paper explores the role of international language rights norms in the dispute over script reform in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. In the late 1990s, the authorities of Tatarstan initiated reform to change the orthographic base of the Tatar language from a Cyrillic-to a Latin-based script. However, this reform was subsequently banned by a Russian federal law that stipulated the mandatory use of the Cyrillic alphabet for all state languages in Russia. In protesting this decision, Tatar language activists referred to international human and minority rights provisions and used categories of international law to frame their case as a violation of international norms. However, it is not clear whether this case would really qualify as a violation of international norms and whether international instruments would have the power to overturn this state decision. Rather than being practically applicable, international language rights norms have shaped the strategies minorities employ in advocating their rights and contesting state decisions.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Tatarstan
  • Author: Matthew Derrick
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Located at the confluence of the Turko-Islamic and Slavic-Christian worlds, Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, a semiautonomous region of Russia, is populated by roughly even numbers of Muslim Tatars and Eastern Orthodox Russians. The city is separately important to each group's national history. For the Tatars, it is remembered as the seat of their Islamic state that held sway over Russian principalities to the west for three centuries before facing defeat at the hands of Moscow in 1552. For the Russians, the victory over Kazan marked the beginning of a vast multinational empire. In light of its geography and history, Kazan would seemingly be counted among the world's religiously divided frontier cities. Yet Kazan, in spite of pursuing a sovereignty campaign throughout the 1990s, has managed to avoid the type of ethno-religious-based conflict visiting other frontier cities, such as Jerusalem, Sarajevo, and Belfast. What lessons might Kazan offer other religiously divided frontier cities? In approaching this question, this article analyzes bordering processes, specifically looking at the invisible socio-spatial borders socially constructed through narratives and symbols.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow, Tatarstan, Kazan
  • Author: Till Bruckner
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: “At the very least, it will be all but impossible hereafter for anyone to deny that Russia had engaged in detailed planning for precisely the war that occurred,” write editors Svante Cornell and Frederick Starr of the Central Asia–Caucasus Institute Silk Road Studies Program in the introduction of their new book on the August 2008 conflict between Georgia and Russia.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus, Asia, Georgia
  • Author: Samuel Lussac
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: From the Iraq war in 2003 to the Russian-Georgian conflict in 2008, both neoconservative and neo-Eurasianist politician s have been held responsible for the recent power politics of Russia and the United States. After analyzing this issue in French in 2007 at the end of the presidential mandates of George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin, the English translation of the book allows Didier Chaudet, Florent Parmentier and Benoît Pelopidas' work to reach a wider audience during the early days of Barack Obama's and Dmitri Medvedev's mandates.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iraq, Eurasia, Georgia
  • Author: Dr. Mehmet Bardakçı
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The EU's role in conflict resolution and peace building has evolved in response to the changes in the international system, the EU's own internal political dynamics, and the EU's capacity and willingness to play a major role in regional and international conflicts. During the 1990s, the EU approached the South Caucasian region the same way it approached the other former Soviet republics. In spite of the enhanced profile of Georgia in EU foreign policy after the Rose Revolution in 2003, the EU was content with providing technical and economic aid to Tbilisi and supporting the negotiations between Tbilisi and its breakaway regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Despite its failure to preclude the outbreak of the conflict, the EU's role in conflict resolution in Georgia has paradoxically been enhanced in the aftermath of the August 2008 Russian-Georgian War. It is, however, important to note that in spite of these positive developments in the EU's role in conflict resolution, Brussels' efforts to promote its visibility in the region is to some extent constrained by the lack of a coherent conflict resolution strategy for the Eastern Neighbourhood, the “capacityexpectations” gap, and an increasingly self-confident Russia.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union, Georgia, Tbilisi, South Ossetia, Abkhazia
  • Author: Ines-Jacqueline Werkner
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: War is "contrary to the will of God", according to a 1948 statement from the World Council of Churches in Amsterdam. However, are religious communities able to prevent wars? Despite the lack of importance placed on religion, partially due to the secularisation thesis, religions' potential for violence has become increasingly important in the social sciences since the end of the Cold War and particularly since the attacks of September 11, 2001. However, a question about the peace-making potential of religions increasingly arises in international politics and peace and conflict studies. In this contribution, the role of the Orthodox Churches in the 2008 Russian-Georgian war will be empirically examined. My findings show that the Russian and Georgian Orthodox Churches acted as "double players" during this military conflict whereby they could not release their peace-making potential. I argue that the churches were perceived not only as religious players with a religious peace message but also as political players that supported national claims. As a consequence, the status of religion as an intervening variable – such as assumed in the constructivist approach – is called into question.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Georgia
  • Author: Kevin Daniel Leahy
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On March 29, 2010, two female suicide assailants blew themselves up at two separate locations along Moscow's underground network, killing at least 39 people. Two days later, the leader of the rebel movement in the Northern Caucasus, Doku Umarov, claimed responsibility for the attacks. For those monitoring the political situation in the Northern Caucasus, Umarov's claim of responsibility came as no surprise. Even so, few analysts have been able to shed any meaningful light on Umarov's core political beliefs. This is not surprising considering that so much of Umarov's background remains shrouded in uncertainty. The following paper represents a tentative attempt to sketch Umarov's private and political background, from his early adulthood in the early 1980s up to his portentous proclamation of the Caucasus Emirate in 2007.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus
  • Author: Andrey Kazantsev
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The deep and multidimensional crisis of Gazprom in 2009-2010 is analyzed in this paper as a crisis of the specific geopolitical model of the “energy super-state” that was especially important for Russian foreign policy towards Europe and the Former Soviet Union. Russia’s attempts to monopolize the sphere of gas production and gas transportation in this part of the world, institutionally represented by the state-controlled monopoly Gazprom, was a key element for sustaining this geopolitical model. It is argued that this policy was based on a configuration of Russian geopolitical and economic interests that could be economically sustained only in the period of high energy prices. After the start of the global gas market crisis and, specifically, Gazprom’s crisis, this configuration has started to disappear. This may have a profound influence on Russian foreign policy towards Europe and the Former Soviet Union.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Central Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Tamerlan Vahabov
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: President Barack Obama's current strategy of engagement with former adversaries is right on track. Russia stands out as a major short-term success story of this strategy. The signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) Agreement, achieving Russia's approval to use its territory as an alternative supply route for the International Security Assistance Force's (ISAF) operations in Afghanistan, and Russia's increased activity to pressure Iran on nuclear issues are remarkable. In the long run, Obama's main challenge will be to turn these concessions into sustained cooperation. Among all these questions of potential contention between the United States and Russia, this research paper will specifically center on Ukraine. Its key objective is to assess whether Ukraine's current institutional neutrality and its so far unreformed energy sector will negatively affect Ukrainian democracy and make Kiev increasingly lean toward Moscow's political orbit.
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Europe, Iran, Ukraine, Moscow
  • Author: Dr. Alexander Rondeli
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On both fronts we have serious problems, because for any post-Soviet country, meeting the EU's requirements is not easy. The Baltic [countries] are the exception for many reasons, for many good reasons, and we are happy that at least they are there. They are also a fantastic example and a role model for us. But meeting these criteria is not easy. Everyone understands that there is a long way to go.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Soviet Union, Georgia
  • Author: Dr. Timothy Blauvelt
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Our organization was directly involved in the program of developing the unified national university entrance exams, under contract to the World Bank as the coordinator for technical assistance, and we were working on that from 2002– 2006. So I really got to see that process from the inside, and it is a reform that has been very successful. At the start, before the Rose Revolution, corruption in university admission s was one of the central problems. Education in general was one of the institutions in society worst hit by corruption. Education then was a sort of black hole of corruption, and one of the key points of that was on the entrance end. People were paying 10 to 20,000 dollar bribes to get in to certain prestigious faculties. So the entrance exam reform was able to eradicate that entirely. What is particularly important in the app roach to that reform was that the real goal was to build capacity. We didn't come in and say “We're going to make an exam for you.” The idea was to help create a function Georgian center that would develop the expertise to make exams itself, and that has really been so successful that Georgian specialists from the National Examination Center have become sort of regional experts. We've been involve d in other projects, in Ukraine for example, where we have invited Georgians to come from the Center to provide technical assistance themselves. So the reform has been even more successful than people realize.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Caucasus, Georgia, South Caucasus
  • Author: Vladimer Papava, Michael Tokmazishvili
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The article discuses Russia's aggressive energy policy towards the EU and the former Soviet republics, with its main goal of reinforcing the country's monopoly over the transportation of oil and, especially, gas to the West. The language of “alternative pipelines” is used by Russia in the context of the “Pipeline Cold War” paradigm which creates significant problems for the energy safety of the EU by increasing the energy dependency of European countries upon Russia. In reality, the energy resource users are interested in a systematic supply of these resources. This can be achieved through the diversified resource producers and development of a mutually supplementary network of pipelines which should minimise the opportunity for using the energy resources for political purposes. This is the idea upon which the “Pipeline Harmonisation” paradigm is founded. The Western countries have a key role to play in the realisation of this idea.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Soviet Union
  • Author: Luke Chambers
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The direction in which Vladimir Putin has taken Russia over the past decade has led a number of analysts to express concern about the health of the country's democratic transition and its increasingly assertive behaviour on the global stage. While it is clear that Putin has undermined the liberal developments of the 1990s, however superficial, and reversed Russia's international gravitation towards the West, however incoherent, the linkages between these two developments are still unclear. This study examines the nature of authoritarianism in Russia and its relationship to the strategic imperatives of the Kremlin's foreign policy, with reference to Russia's great-power ambitions for a post-Atlantic, multipolar order.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Houman A. Sadri, Nathan L. Burns
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: After the Russia-Georgia war, tensions grew in the relationship between Russia and the West. These tensions have occasionally led some to argue that a New Cold War may be on the horizon between Russia and the West. Others have even claimed that the Old Cold War has not really ended. This work investigates such arguments by examining Western ties to Georgia, Russia's power resurgence, and Georgia's role in that war. The authors claim that those, who interpret the Russia-Georgia war within a Cold War paradigm, neglect the complexities of that conflict. During similar conflicts, the Cold War is an easily comprehendible and adoptable paradigm for the West, particularly the US. Adopting a Cold War perspective, however, ignores that Tbilisi had a significant role to play in defining the 2008 war. Russia versus West tensions can no longer be characterized by the ideological rivalries of the Cold War. Moreover, the Russia-Georgia war appears to indicate a return to older forms of international rivalry.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Georgia
  • Author: Hans Gutbrod, Malte Viefhues
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In 2008, CRRC-Georgia and the American Councils conducted a small online census among mostly English-native, engaged expatriates who are either currently living in Georgia, or did so in the past. The questions were about attitudes toward and aptitude for learning Georgian or Russian, and the importance of these languages in Georgia. With 90 completed questionnaires the number of respondents was small, and the findings cannot be generalized to cover the whole expatriate community. However, they provide insight into the incentives to language learning, and the importance of Georgian and Russian for foreigners in Georgia. The results show that Georgian is important for daily life in Georgia, while Russian is more useful in a professional context. On average, the respondents have a better level in Russian than in Georgian. In addition, knowing one language did not keep the respondents from learning the other: 87 percent of the respondents with Russian skills also know some Georgian.
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Georgia
  • Author: Fareed Shafee
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The article examines new trends and development in the South Caucasus. The author identifies five factors which affect the foreign policy of regional countries as well as regional powers. These factors are the Georgian-Russian war of 2008, the US-Russian “reset”, the global financial crisis, the political transformation in the countries which have undergone “color revolutions”, and the Armenian-Turkish rapprochement. The author believes that the change in the geopolitical layout of the region will turn the countries of the South Caucasus further from the West. At the same time, they are not going to be fully embraced by Russia. A balancing act between the US, EU and Russia will be most likely their policy choice.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Ukraine, Caucasus, Georgia
  • Author: Dr. Julie A. George
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: My book examines separatist politics, looking for explanations for the outbreak of conflict in some post-Soviet autonomous republics and oblasts and not others. It also examines the waxing and waning conditions of conflicts over time, trying to nudge out similarities and differences in experiences to explain stability or absence of stability. So it looked at the politics of Chechnya, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia and their respective relationships with the Russia and Georgia from 1990-2008. (It actually looked at a broader swath of cases to include non-conflictual republics: Achara, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Ingushetia, and Dagestan.) I'm particularly interested in the effects of state weakness and regional wealth on bargaining over autonomy. I started with the argument that state weakness in both Russia and Georgia after the Soviet collapsed created conditions for regional ac tors – particularly in the so-called ethnic republics – for bargaining for greater position in the new political environment. In Georgia, this enhanced bargaining position was true for Achara as well as South Ossetia and Abkhazia, even though Achara might not be construed as an "ethnic" region.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union, Georgia
  • Author: Nasimi Aghayev
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Eventful few months in the Caucasus, Russia and wider Eurasia precede our Spring 2010 issue. Of course, the dramatic civic upheaval in Kyrgyzstan, the suicide bomb attacks in the Moscow metro and the victory of a more pro-Russian leader in Ukraine's presidential elections top the list.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Caucasus, Moscow
  • Author: Mushfig Mammadov
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On February 17, 2008 Kosovo, hitherto the internationally recognized territory of Serbia, unilaterally declared its independence. Three of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (the USA, UK and France) immediately recognized the independence of Kosovo, while the other two, Russia and China, sharply criticized Kosovo's step and have thus far refused to recognize Kosovo as an independent state. In October 2008 the UN General Assembly requested the International Court of Justice (ICJ), upon the initiative of Serbia, to render an advisory opinion with regard to whether the unilateral declaration of independence adopted by the provisional institutions of Kosovo was in accordance with international law. In its non-binding advisory opinion, delivered on July 22, 2010 the Court stated that the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo did not violate international law. Nonetheless, this conclusion is not so clear and simple as it at first might seem, nor so “dangerous”, as it was described in the media and in some reactions, especially upon a closer reading of the entire text of the advisory opinion.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Kosovo, United Nations, Serbia
  • Author: Çiğdem Üstün
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Turkey and the European Union (EU) share the same neighborhood in the Mediterranean, Middle East, the Black Sea, and the Caucasus regions, with the same objectives of creating a ring of friends, minimizing threats to their social, political, economic, and energy interests, and ensuring stability. This paper aims to explain the relations of Turkey and the EU with the shared neighborhood countries; to analyze the compatibility of Turkish and EU neighborhood policies; and to demonstrate the need for these two actors to work together in order to achieve credible results in their neighborhood policies. I argue that coordinated Turkish and EU neighborhood policies may bring better results than individualistic approaches, bringing the credibility that the EU needs the most in these regions as well as opening channels of communication in a constructive manner. This relationship is believed to be mutually beneficial as long as Turkey and the EU both maximize their capabilities in these regions.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Nasimi Aghayev
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: I am very happy to present the Winter 2009 issue of the Caucasian Review of International Affairs (CRIA). Since our last issue in Autumn 2008, the war in Georgia has receded from the media's attention, but its implications are only beginning to be seriously addressed by the academic community. The CRIA aims to be at the forefront of this ongoing assessment, and in this context we have a number of papers which touch upon the war and its effects upon the region, as well as a theoretical assessment of the Russian intervention. We also present two contrasting Comments on Kosovo's declaration of independence and its implications for the South Caucasus. We are also proud to present additional papers on the Armenian diaspora, Georgia's national competitiveness in a globalised world, energy geo-politics in the Caspian basin, competing Islamic traditions in the Caucasus, external powers' influence upon the reform and political elites in Kyrgyzstan, as well as two topical book reviews and an interview with Dr. Martin Malek from the National Defence Academy of Austria. I would like to thank all of our authors for their time and their insightful work.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Georgia
  • Author: Thrassy Marketos
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: For reasons both of world strategy and control over natural resources, the US administration is determined to secure for itself a dominant role in Eurasia. The Eastern Caspian shore of the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan is crucial to the oil and gas control flow, because which of the two major projects - the Trans-Caspian Corridor plus Nabucco pipeline, or the Prikaspiisky and South Stream pipelines - reaches the European market, will in effect determine which major power - U.S., Russia, or China - will gain geostrategic control over Eurasia. Even more seriously, it may determine a new eventual decision of Europe and the rise of a potential big continental power or a coalition of powers threatening the U.S. and the West as a whole, such as a Russian-Chinese alliance empowered enough to control Caspian Sea resources.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Eurasia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan
  • Author: Robert Nalbandov
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The article offers a discussion of the two logics that govern the behavior of organizational actors – the logic of appropriateness and the logic of expected consequences – by transferring them into the realm of international relations, in particular, in explaining the causes and reasoning behind third party military interventions into the domestic affairs of other states. The article provides a theoretical novelty of assessing the success of interventions not by durability of peace as their main aim, but by actual fulfillment of their interventionary goals and objective, which shall be considered when discussing the pros and cons of the two logics. By analyzing the case of the Russian interventions in Georgian starting from 1992 and ending with the recent war in South Ossetia in 2008, the author argues that the likelihood of success of interventions is higher when the two logics are merged and not separated from each other in guiding the decision-makers in their actions.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Georgia, South Ossetia
  • Author: Mykola Kapitonenko
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Regional conflicts are arguably the most disturbing heritage of the USSR. Ironically, they are gradually becoming cornerstones for a renewed foreign policy of Russia. That can have long-lasting consequences: from disrupting regional stability to a massive geopolitical change in a strategically important Black Sea/Caspian region. Regional conflicts are also penetrating the agenda of world politics. The end of pure Westphalian principles of the world order emancipated numerous unprecedented challenges, strengthened by nationalism, separatism, and non-conventional warfare. That created a challenge for political science and conflict studies, a challenge which could be compared and contrasted to the problems once posed by the Cold War. These challenges require a scientific inquiry into the nature of internal conflicts, particularly of the "frozen" ones, as well as the impact they have upon regional security arrangements and methods of conflict management. Recent developments in the Caucasus are a continuation of old problems, which are likely to remain for an undetermined period of time. Coping with those problems is one of the most important tasks not only for the foreign policies of states involved, but also for the whole system of regional security.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus
  • Author: Irina Morozova
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Formerly perceived as an 'island of democracy', Kyrgyzstan is now characterised as a 'failed state'. After the March 2005 revolutionary upheaval, President K. Bakiev has been searching for a way to consolidate the ruling elite. What was the impact of external powers and international policies upon the last four years' socio-political transformation in the country? How were the images of Kyrgyzstan constructed and manipulated from within and outside? Based upon field interviews, open sources and statistics, this research focuses on the influences of Russia, China, the USA and EU, as well as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan on Kyrgyz political elites' development after March 2005. Against the background of multi-dimensional and quite open foreign policy, economic integration and social networks in Kyrgyzstan developed in closer co-operation with Russia and Kazakhstan.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Reform
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
  • Author: Vladimer Papava
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: After the Russian incursion into Georgia many analysts ask questions of whether or not the world is standing on the verge of a new Cold War. Almost no one is asking a question of what if the 20th century Cold War was never finished but, rather, was just "frozen" and what we are witnessing now is the process of melting. To the extent that on both sides of the Cold War are the same countries as in the last century, and the reasons and driving forces of the conflict - as well as the Kremlin's action style - have never changed, one may conclude that what we see now is not a new Cold War but, rather, the resumption of the old Cold War. It is quite probable that the old story may happen again and the West's softness towards Russia may lead to the "refreezing" of the Cold War and the sacrifice of Georgia for an imaginary peace in Europe and the whole world.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Dominik Tolksdorf
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: When it recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in August 2008, Russia implicitly referred to the independence of the Republic of Kosovo, which was recognized by most of the EU member states and by a total of 54 states of the 192 UN member states by January 2009. But is it really feasible to compare the two cases with each other? What arguments has "the West" used in order to justify the recognition of Kosovo? What legal arguments are there to justify the Russian position? This paper will take a closer look at the argumentation on both sides of the debate before it will analyse the reasons for the fact that a large number of states have so far rejected the idea of acknowledging Kosovo, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The paper will conclude that for specific reasons, it is difficult to argue that the recognition of Kosovo's independence set a clear precedent for the two breakaway provinces of Georgia. However, Kosovo might have set a precedent for more reasonable cases, which explains much better why the process of Kosovo's recognition has come to a standstill. This is no good news for the government in Prishtina, which needs further recognition in order to become a member of various international organisations.
  • Topic: International Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Kosovo, Georgia, South Caucasus, South Ossetia, Abkhazia
  • Author: Sebastian Schaeffer
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The declaration of independence of the Republic of Kosovo on 17 February 2008 led to different reactions in the international community. The United States of America was first to do so among the current 53 states that recognise Kosovo, while the Russian Federation and of course Serbia remain in strong opposition. Whether one supports the independence of Kosovo or not, it is undoubted that the declaration of independence had an impact on the Caucasus. What is also clear is that both the United States of America and the Russian Federation have a selective approach towards the recognition of states. While the USA recognises Kosovo and considers Abkhazia and South Ossetia as being part of the Georgian territory, Russia holds it the other way round. I will argue that the independence of Kosovo, as well as the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, are both as legitimate or illegitimate since all three entities had a certain degree of autonomy during the Soviet era. In all three entities the titular nation makes up a majority of the population, although the Kosovo Albanians in Kosovo surpass the Ossetians in South Ossetia and especially the Abkhazians in Abkhazia by far. Furthermore, Kosovo as well as South Ossetia and Abkhazia had a de-facto regime since the beginning of the 1990s. Territory, nation and government mark the three elements of Georg Jellineks theory of a state. In conclusion I will argue that the United States and the Russian Federation should give up their selective approach and agree on a common position, otherwise the Kosovo precedent will not only have an impact on the conflicts in the Caucasus but also for many other frozen conflicts in the region and the world.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Caucasus, Kosovo, Serbia, Georgia, South Ossetia, Abkhazia
  • Author: Martin Malek
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Last year Armenia and Azerbaijan held talks and ended up signing the Moscow Declaration - the first joint document since the beginning of a cease-fire in 1994. What do you think are the prospects for a peace process tackling the conflict over Nagorno- Karabakh? Will the news concerning the new Russian military deliveries to Armenia amounting to $800 million negatively affect Russia's mediation?
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow, Armenia, Azerbaijan, South Caucasus
  • Author: Nasimi Aghayev
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Since the publication of the Winter 09 issue events in the Caucasus and the wider region have continued to shift, which underlines yet again the region's critical importance for the wider world. The beginning of Barack Obama's tenure as President of the United States has opened up new possibilities for geopolitical shifts in the Caspian region, as he seeks to press the reset button with Russia and offer a hand to Iran. The course of these developments will have a profound effect in the Caucasus and Central Asia, even without the myriad of factors in play in the region. Turkey has reasserted itself in the Caucasus, moving towards rapprochement with Armenia and alienating Azerbaijan. The Nabucco pipeline project looks increasingly doomed, even as Turkmenistan seeks to free itself from Russian control. Meanwhile, the conflict in Afghanistan has continued to cast its ripples over the region.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Iran, Central Asia, Turkey, Caucasus, Armenia, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Till Bruckner
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Observers tend to enthuse about Georgia's leadership or damn it, but such black-and-white views do little to explain what is really going on in the country. Examining the government's recent efforts to provide housing to those internally displaced by the August 2008 conflict with Russia sheds light not only on the housing program itself, but on contemporary Georgian politics in general. In particular, four traits characteristic of the ruling United National Movement's revolutionary governance are brought into focus: informal decision-making, fluid roles, heroic action, and vanguard politics.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Georgia
  • Author: Eberhard Schneider
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: There are signs that the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is gaining his own profile rather than wishing to remain forever Vladimir Putin's hand-picked successor. The catalyst for this process is the financial and economic crisis. Different individuals and groups surrounding the president and the prime minister play an important role in this process, since they try to ensure that their patrons demonstrate a greater political profile. Putin's dilemma: If he remains in office, he runs the risk of being held responsible by the people for his government's failure to properly address the crisis. This could lead to the loss of his reputation, which could cost him the election victory in the case of his renewed candidacy for the presidency in 2012. If he resigns as prime minister, he would disappear from the public eye, which would make his election as president impossible. This would mean that Medvedev would re-run for the presidency in 2012 and get re-elected for another six-year term in accordance with the latest constitutional amendment.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Martin Malek
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Russian Armed Forces not only expelled invading Georgian troops from the separatist region South Ossetia, but they also entered Abkhazia and marched deep into Georgia proper over the course of the "five day war" in August 2008. The following report analyses Russia\'s military preparations since spring 2008, an aspect hitherto almost unknown among politicians, the media and the public in Western Europe and North America. They included the shooting down of a Georgian drone by Russian fighter jets over Abkhazia, a massive increase of Russian "peacekeeping troops" along the Georgian-Abkhaz armistice line, the deployment of Russian railway troops to Abkhazia and the "Kavkaz 2008" military exercises. These developments occurred against the backdrop of political events, such as demands made by the Russian State Duma to recognise South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states, Russia\'s decision to withdraw from the CIS economic embargo against Abkhazia and NATO\'s refusal to offer membership to Georgia.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe