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Caucasus International Vol. 7 • No: 1 • Summer 2017

By Editor CI

views: 284

Jan 14, 2018 - 12:26 PM


Book Review: “Refuge: Rethinking Refugee Policy in a Changing World” by Alexander Betts & Paul Collier

By Editor CI

views: 279

Jan 13, 2018 - 3:23 PM

The book Refuge: Rethinking Refugee Policy in a Changing World is written by Alexander Betts. Betts is the Leopold W. Muller Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs at the University of Oxford, where he is also director of the Refugee Studies Centre and Paul Collier is professor of economics at St. Antony’s College, Oxford. The book opens with an explanation of how one economist and political scientist decided to collaborate on refugees in the Middle East. This initiative emerged after the Jordanian think tank, WANA, invited both academics to come to Jordan and brainstorm with government on the issue. Subsequently, the authors broadened the scope beyond Jordan, aiming to develop a framework of ideas for rethinking a failing refugee system. Read more...

Caucasus International Vol. 7 • No: 2 • Winter 2017

By Editor CI

views: 271

Jan 19, 2018 - 3:41 PM


"Overcoming the Curse of Landlockedness: Strategic Importance of BTK in Connecting Central Asia to the World" by Javid Aliskenderli

By Editor CI

views: 229

Jan 13, 2018 - 3:28 PM

This article is an analysis of the opportunities presented by the new Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project to landlocked Central Asia and Azerbaijan. The creation of efficient transportation corridors is important for landlocked states in terms of obtaining secure and cost effective access to major export and import markets, and in order to overcome the trade bottlenecks created by geography. In this regard, the importance of the “New Silk Road” project is comprehensively assessed, with particular focus on the opportunities presented by the newly launched Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway route. It is argued that these projects constitute major breakthroughs for Central Asia and Azerbaijan, not only helping them to overcome the economic development limitations entailed by lack of maritime access, but also providing easy access to global markets and significantly increasing their role as transit countries connecting East and West. Read more...

"Reexamining the Concept of Responsibility to Protect in Light of the Mass Atrocities in Myanmar" by Najiba Mustafayeva

By Editor CI

views: 228

Jan 13, 2018 - 3:38 PM

Despite significant achievements in the international human rights regime, millions of civilians still fall victim to unimaginable atrocities that continue to shock the conscience of humanity and threaten international peace and security. Mass murders of national, ethnic, and religious groups have continued with depressing frequency — most recently in Myanmar, where violence broke out again in late August 2017, after security forces launched an operation against Rohingya Muslims. There were more than 1,000 fatalities, and 800,000 civilians were forced to seek refuge in neighboring Bangladesh. The international community has failed to prevent gross and systematic atrocities, and the vow of “never again” risks becoming an empty promise. The question remains: when, if ever, it is appropriate for the international community to take coercive actions against a sovereign state for the purpose of protecting people at risk in that state? The challenge is the legal reconciliation of the two main jus cogens principles of international law – state sovereignty, and the need to protect the fundamental human rights of populations at risk from their own governments. The answer lies within the concept of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), and this article examines R2P through an analysis of the role of state responsibility as it relates to national sovereignty in the light of mass atrocities committed against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Read more...

New Issue: Nuclear Security in the Caucasus and in the World

By Editor CI

views: 225

Jul 9, 2018 - 10:41 AM


"The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict in the Context of Muslim-Christian Relations" by Galina M. Yemelianova

By Editor CI

views: 221

Jan 13, 2018 - 3:31 PM

The Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict over the Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, which broke out in 1987, has been one of the most enduring ethno-territorial conflicts in the former Soviet space. In 1988, the conflict escalated into a fully-fledged war, involving Armenians and Azerbaijanis from Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia and Azerbaijan. In 1994, international mediation de-escalated the war into a fragile status quo. Since then, it has been largely neglected by Western policy-makers, media, and the wider international public. Meanwhile, the conflict remains a key threat to stability stretching from the Caspian to the Black Sea. Historically, its myriad causes included the geopolitical rivalry in the Caucasus between the Christian Orthodox Russian Empire, Muslim Persia and the Ottoman Empire; the development of Armenian and Azerbaijani nationalist movements; the initial temporary rapprochement between Bolshevik atheistic Russia and Ataturk’s secularist Turkey; Stalin’s nationality policy; the break-up of the USSR; and the resurgence of Armenian and Azerbaijani ethno-religious nationalism. The article provides a historical account of the role of religion in the geopolitics of the Caucasus with particular focus on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It argues that throughout history, the religious factor has played an indirect role in first fomenting and later perpetuating the conflict. Read more...

"One Belt One Road Strategy: the Views from Kazakhstan" by Rafis Abazov

By Editor CI

views: 170

Jan 13, 2018 - 3:25 PM

Policy makers in Kazakhstan were among the first in Central Asia to support the China-led “Silk Road Economic Belt” (SREB) initiative. However, recently they have begun to re-conceptualize their policies in the region pursuant to the region’s shifting geo-economics and geopolitics. Three fundamental shifts have influenced the emergence of the new Silk Road paradigm in the international relations in the greater Central Asia region. The first is the shift in international trade, investments and economic relations in the Eurasian region, as the decline in global oil prices negatively impacted the economic growth both in Kazakhstan and in neighboring countries. The second is the growth of land-based transportation and communication infrastructure networks, which could potentially open the door for greater regional trade. The third is the formation (albeit in the early stages) of a new regional trade bloc via attempts to unify tariffs, trade regimes, and regulations in order to develop even closer economic relations in the region. Read more...

"Nuclear Security in the EU’s vicinity: Challenges of the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant" by Licínia Simão

By Editor CI

views: 170

Jul 7, 2018 - 1:54 PM

Armenia’s aging Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant continues to pose a serious chal-lenge to regional security. The decommissioning of Metsamor was included in both the 2006 European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) Action Plan and the 2017 Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA). Despite this, the European Union has thus far been unable to produce either the requisite material incentives or political pressure points to compel Yerevan to take action. This paper analyzes the ways in which the EU’s previous experience using conditionality on nuclear issues with the Central and Eastern European countries can provide valuable insights on the lack of EU leverage over Armenia in this regard. One of the key findings is that more substantial “carrots” are needed for a policy change in this field. These incentives include deeper integration perspectives or commitment to major investments in Armenia’s nuclear sector. The research also underlines the importance of changing the regional constraints on Armenia’s energy options. Read more...

"The Ban on Nuclear Weapons, Negative Security Assurances, and NATO States" by Heinz Gärtner

By Editor CI

views: 160

Jul 7, 2018 - 1:42 PM

At a United Nations Conference on 7 July, 2017, 122 state parties voted in favor of a treaty that that would prohibit nuclear weapons. None of the nucleararmed states, or their allies, participated in the vote (with the exception of the Netherlands, which voted against the treaty). The treaty expresses concern about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, and calls for their complete elimination. The Treaty calls for the full implementation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), including the disarmament obligations of the nuclear-armed states. The treaty should close the gap between nuclear and nonnuclear-armed states. It is very unlikely that the nuclear states will give up their nuclear weapons anytime soon. This paper looks for alternative proposals by the nuclear-armed states which could satisfy the non-nuclear weapon states, at least for the time being. If nuclear-armed states are unwilling or unable to sign the ban treaty, they could offer non-nuclear-armed states Negative Security Assurances (NSAs). This is a commitment not to attack or threaten to attack those states with nuclear weapons. These NSAs must be based on international law, however. This means that they have to sign and ratify the existing and future NWFZs. A nuclear weapon free belt could be created from Mongolia to Africa (for the time being, excluding Israel). NSAs would have to be extended to states that are in a military alliance with another, nuclear-armed state. Extended deterrence should be amended via extended NSAs. Read more...
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