Most viewed

Caucasus International Vol. 5 • No: 1 • Spring 2015

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 996

Sep 30, 2015 - 9:51 AM

Displacement, Refugees and Migration in the Caucasus and Eurasia Read more...

Transport Networks, Eurasia’s Economic ‘Synchronization’, and the End of a ‘Flat’ World; Jacopo Maria Pepe

By Editor CI

views: 953

Jul 25, 2016 - 3:43 PM

The emergence of an interconnected Eurasian transport network is the most relevant – if equally challenging - development of the second decade of the 21st century. However, the current acceleration of the infrastructure re-connection of wider Eurasia dates back earlier than the initiatives such as the OBOR, the EEU or the AIIB. Indeed, its political-economic rationality is rooted in the massive geo-economic shift since the early 2000s. Using macro data on trade flows in Eurasia covering the decade 2000-2012, the author argues that far from being ‘flat’, the world economy is increasingly fragmented and de-synchronized, while economic and commercial reaggregation is still taking place at more continental and regional level. Accordingly, continental Eurasia and the Indian Ocean-Asia-Pacific Ocean nexus are emerging as a self-sustaining geo-economic space, despite the geopolitical fragmentation and potential for political-military conflicts or economic crisis. The present economic downturn across Eurasia notwithstanding, in the coming decades the development of a functioning transport network remains the true impetus for overcoming the current domestic economic difficulties in many Eurasian economies, and sustainably re-shaping the economic, industrial and commercial face of the continent. Read more...

Georgia in Search of Restoring Its Territorial Integrity; Nana Gegelashvili

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 897

Jan 18, 2016 - 12:22 PM

Russia’s August 2008 invasion of Georgia and Moscow’s subsequent recognition of its two former autonomous territories – Abkhazia and South Ossetia – placed the problem of Georgia’s territorial integrity high on the agenda. Since then, prospects for resolving the problem have remained dim, and no one knows what should be done to address the issue. Moscow’s official recognition of the independence of the two Georgian breakaway provinces deprived Russia of political leverage over Tbilisi, pushing Georgia much closer to the EU and NATO than previously. However, despite the active involvement of the EU and NATO in Georgia, this paper argues that neither of the two is likely to gain sufficient clout to resolve the issue of Georgia’s territorial integrity. Thus, on the one hand, there is Russia, capable of restoring Georgia’s territorial integrity; on the other hand, there is the West, open to promoting democratic values to transform Georgia into a genuine working democracy, necessary for its integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions. This paper accordingly suggests that the only way to resolve the problem is to combine both Russian and Western leverage. Read more...

Caucasus under Review: Recently Published Books

By Editor CI

views: 886

Nov 6, 2014 - 4:50 PM

The Caucasus is a region of both great diversity and potential; it is also a region about which much remains to be discovered. However, during the last decade, numerous publications on the region have enabled us to better comprehend this diversity and potential. In this sense, this section aims to introduce a number of these publications in order to keep our readers up-to-date with the available literature. Read more...

Georgia’s Integration into the EU: After the Riga Summit?; Sarah Lain

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 884

Jan 18, 2016 - 12:26 PM

Georgia has made significant progress in its move towards European integration. The EU has fully supported this decision, but the Ukraine crisis has served as a stark reminder of the security risks facing Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries in terms of their economic and political choices. The EU should be more nuanced in its approach to Georgia to ensure its own de-politicization of the issue and greater clarity around what it is, and is not, aiming to achieve through European integration initiatives. This paper suggests that this should not only be to combat Russian false messaging on the issue, but also to reassure the Georgian people of why they are committing to the EaP. As a corollary, the EaP strategy should also make a greater connection between economic stability and increased resilience against certain security threats. Georgia is now facing a somewhat uncertain political future domestically due to the parliamentary elections in 2016. Without an attempt at a more defined strategy, therefore, the EU could risk greater disillusionment within Georgia as to the benefits of the EaP. Read more...

'Foreign Policy of Azerbaijan in 25 Years of Independence: Priorities, Principles and Achievements' by Javid Valiyev

By Editor CI

views: 877

Jun 14, 2017 - 1:12 PM

This year marks Azerbaijan’s 25th anniversary of post-Soviet independence. During this time, it has emerged as a leading country in the South Caucasus in terms of economy, military and population. Over the past quarter-century, Azerbaijani foreign policy has been strongly influenced and shaped by the challenges and opportunities that have arisen as a result of its geography. An independent foreign policy has always been a guiding principle of Azerbaijan’s international relations, viewed as a central pillar of national security. Azerbaijan has pursued a balanced foreign policy, avoiding undue external influences and maintaining opportunities for cooperation with all regional and international actors. This strategy was aimed at advancing its national interest. Azerbaijan’s foreign policy also has a very strong regional focus: the country attaches major importance to relations with neighboring countries (including trilateral partnerships), which are also considered a geopolitical necessity. Along with the above-mentioned key characteristics and principles, the restoration of territorial integrity remains a major priority for Azerbaijan’s foreign policy. Read more...

Azerbaijan in the Silk Road Economic Belt: A Chinese Perspective; Bai Lianlei

By Editor CI

views: 857

Jul 25, 2016 - 3:42 PM

The Silk Road Economic Belt is one manifestation of China’s opening-up policy, and implies the evolution of this policy from seaward to both seaward and landward. The core ideas of the Belt are primarily based on the experiences of China’s economic success. Azerbaijan is an ideal partner for construction of the Belt for three reasons: the Azerbaijan-located Caspian rim area is becoming a new joint zone of East Asian, European and Russian economic interest; Azerbaijan is the forerunner in the rejuvenation of the ancient Silk Road in terms of re-development multiple large-scale transnational transport systems; and Azerbaijan bears similarities with China which contribute to mutually beneficial cooperation. The Belt brings valuable opportunities to Azerbaijan, particularly in terms of the transit fees and industrial cooperation opportunities. What Azerbaijan and China can do is first to clarify China’s thinking on the Belt, and second, to identify areas for specific cooperation. Read more...

'Is Azerbaijani Gas a Game Changer in Balkan Energy Geopolitics?' by Plamen Dimitrov

By Editor CI

views: 857

Jan 10, 2017 - 12:27 AM

Until now, the Russian company Gazprom has been the dominant gas supplier of the Balkan countries. Most of the projects for new gas pipelines in the Balkans have failed or have become stagnant in recent years for two main reasons: lack of gas to feed them (Nabucco, ITGI, Bulgaria’s “Balkan” gas hub), or an adverse geopolitical environment (South Stream, Turkish Stream). But it is already clear that Azerbaijani gas from the Shah Deniz field will reach Balkans through the Southern Gas Corridor. This article examines the Balkan routes of the Azerbaijani gas, and answers the question of how this new source of gas will influence the energy geopolitics of Turkey, Bulgaria, and Greece. The conclusion is that the gas from Shah Deniz will trace out a new energy corridor through the southern part of the Balkans. Pursuant to this, an additional gas supply infrastructure could be built around this corridor – LNG terminals, interconnectors and new pipelines to bring gas from Turkmenistan, Iraq, or from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe. Azerbaijani gas will, to a significant degree, act as a game changer in the Balkan energy geopolitics, although Gazprom will retain its role as a main supplier for the region. Read more...
Copyright © 2011-2017 by Caucasus International All rights reserved.