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Caucasus under Review: Recently Published Books

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 889

Sep 30, 2015 - 2:59 PM

While the Caucasus is a region of enormous diversity and potential, it is also a region about which relatively little is known. However, during the last decade, a numerous publications on the region have expanded both regional and international understanding of this diversity and potential. This overview of recent publications provides an up-to-date reading list for anyone interested in the region. Read more...

CAUCASUS UNDER REVIEW - RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOKS

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 882

Jan 18, 2016 - 12:09 PM

While the Caucasus is a region of enormous diversity and potential, it is also a region about which relatively little is known. However, during the last decade, numerous publications on the region have expanded both regional and international understanding of this diversity and potential. This overview of recent publications provides an up-to-date reading list for anyone interested in the region. Read more...

NATO’s Possible Role in the Protection of Critical Energy Infrastructure in Azerbaijan; Bakhtiyar Aslanbayli

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 871

Dec 23, 2014 - 11:20 AM

After regaining its independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan started to implement an independent oil and gas strategy in the 1990s, which led to significant volumes of international investment flowing into the oil and gas sector. As a result of those investments along with close cooperation with international oil companies, Azerbaijan managed to build up substantial state energy infrastructure. In parallel, significant oil and gas transit infrastructure has been developed in neighboring Georgia. The Azerbaijan-Georgia energy corridor is critical not only for Baku and Tbilisi and the South Caucasus and Caspian regions, but also for Europe, which is host to the majority of the final consumers of Azerbaijan’s energy resources. Therefore, assuring the security of that energy infrastructure becomes even more important. Clearly, the protection of critical energy infrastructure is the responsibility of host countries; in line with this duty, Azerbaijan is doing its best to neutralize current security threats. In this vein, raising security relations with NATO to a higher level can improve the security of critical energy infrastructure in the South Caucasus. Based on an agreement between NATO and partner countries in the South Caucasus (i.e. Azerbaijan and Georgia), the proposed “Article 4.5” format can enable higher-level security relations. This article analyzes the possible positive mplications of that new format for the protection of existing energy infrastructure in zerbaijan, which is critical for European energy security. Read more...

Soft Security Perceptions in the Former Soviet Republics: Following, Engaging or Ignoring NATO? Jason E. Strakes

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 867

Dec 23, 2014 - 11:24 AM

The recognition of “soft” or non-traditional threats in the national security concepts of the former Soviet republics has become increasingly common during the past decade. Yet, this has also occurred in parallel with the gradual evolution of NATO strategic doctrine from its classical purpose of maintaining an effective counterbalance to Russia in continental Europe, to the vision of a transnational security community that protects member states from both military and non-military challenges that affect societies as a whole. This article examines the linkage between soft security perceptions in the post-Soviet states and their relationship with NATO since independence. The analysis compares bilateral relations with NATO and the recognition of soft threats as indicated by their inclusion in the official national security documents of the Baltic States, East Europe/the Slavic Republics, the South Caucasus, and Central Asia since independence. The chronology of NATO policies and the identification of soft threat types are examined to determine to what extent they represent direct alignment with NATO soft security initiatives, indirect influence of security assistance policies, or the pursuit of more independent definitions of national or Eurasian security as an alternative to renewed opposition between Europe and Russia alleged by advocates of further NATO enlargement. Read more...

Caucaus International Vol. 6 • No: 1 • Summer 2016

By Editor CI

views: 861

Jan 9, 2017 - 11:57 PM

Trans-Eurasian Transportation Networks, Transportation Politics and Economics in Eurasia Read more...

'Global Energy Interdependence: Strategizing for a Secure Future' by Sreemati Ganguli

By Editor CI

views: 853

Jan 13, 2017 - 2:31 PM

Energy has acquired a strategic dimension in the contemporary global context by virtue of its vital significance for the future of human civilization. For this reason, energy as a commodity is often associated with multi-faceted geopolitical rivalries and geo-economic calculations. With the definitions of security undergoing a fundamental change, concepts of non-traditional as well as human security have become the new paradigms of the global security framework. Energy security forms a fundamental component of these changing approaches to global security, as we grapple with complex environmental challenges such as balancing economic development with environmental sustainability and the changing nature of the global energy mix with a larger share for renewable energy resources. These are crucial problems that require collaborative approaches in order to find fundamental solutions, as reiterated by the recent Paris Climate Change Convention. This article focuses on this parallel approach to global security concerns through mechanisms of clean energy interdependence on a global scale. It discusses a number of on-going projects promoting energy cooperation among allies and competitors alike, and suggests that the concept of global energy interdependence should evolve as a strategic platform for identifying viable solutions for global security in a much more comprehensive manner. Read more...

The Trans-Caspian Corridor: Geopolitics of Transportation in Central Eurasia; Azad Garibov

By Editor CI

views: 840

Jul 25, 2016 - 3:39 PM

Having reliable and effective transportation networks for easy access to global markets is vital for modern economic development and security, particularly for landlocked states with disadvantageous geographical locations. Thus, the creation of efficient transportation corridors is very important for Azerbaijan and its Central Asian neighbors Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in terms of obtaining secure and cost effective access to the major export and import markets, and in order to overcome the trade bottlenecks created by the geography. Consequently, ensuring the reliable export of hydrocarbon resources to world markets and establishing cargo transport corridors have been a shared goal for Azerbaijan and the former Soviet republics of Central Asia since the restoration of independence in 1991. Currently, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, together with Azerbaijani railways, serve as an important export route for Central Asian oil to international markets. The Trans-Caspian partnership for the delivery of Central Asian energy resources to world markets is not limited to oil. There are also ongoing talks about the possibility of transporting Turkmen gas via Azerbaijan as part of the Southern Gas Corridor project. The other priority in regard to the creation of the geopolitically and geo-economically strategic Trans-Caspian corridor is the establishment of a South Caucasus-Central Asia cargo transit route between Asia and Europe. Attracting part of multi-billion EU-China trade to transit through Central Asia and South Caucasus offers a significant revenue source for all of the regional countries, as well as promises to create an effective corridor for their own trade relations with Asian and European countries. Read more...

The Development of the Transport Sector in Azerbaijan: The Implementation and Challenges; Rovshan Ibrahimov

By Editor CI

views: 831

Jul 25, 2016 - 3:36 PM

Since the restoration of independence, development of the energy sector has been considered crucial for Azerbaijan. The development of the energy sector has supported the resolution of some of the country’s key geopolitical and geo-economic challenges. An integral part of Azerbaijan’s energy strategy was the creation of a system of transport corridors for energy exports. Creating the necessary infrastructure is an ongoing process. However, given the risk of being dependent on one sector, there is a need to diversify the national economy. The result is that a number of sectors have been identified to support the further sustainable development of Azerbaijan. Due to its favorable location, one of sectors identified for development is transportation. Azerbaijan proposes the development of alternative sustainable transport routes, which will enable unfettered access to major world markets. This process entails the development of transport infrastructure in synthesis with the formation of logistical infrastructure, cross-border transfer coordination, creation of a common legal framework, and competitive tariffs for transportation with third states. This article describes the establishment of transport routes in Azerbaijan, and the country’s role in the development of regional cooperation. Read more...

NATO-Russia Cooperation and its Soft Security Limits

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 830

Jan 14, 2015 - 3:24 PM

Since the early years of the post-Cold War era until the recent Ukrainian crisis, NATO has sought to build cooperation with Russia on a wide range of security issues, including soft security threats. Under the NATO – Russia Council framework, numerous initiatives have been successfully implemented to the benefit of both parties. However, based on an examination of NATO-Russia collaboration on soft security, this article argues that this cooperation has been conducted on a fairly limited and temporary basis. According to the author, one reason for this is the divergent perceptions on soft security and its relationship to political and economic systems. Another reason is Russia’s weakness and vulnerability in the soft security domain, which it does not want to expose. Furthermore, cooperation on soft security has been largely contingent on relations between the parties - though to a lesser extent than hard security issues have been. The Ukrainian crisis underlined the primacy of hard security issues and indicates that cooperation on soft security issues will remain a variable of global political developments. Read more...

The Crisis of Multiculturalism in the UK: Has It Failed? Namig Abbasov

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 812

Sep 30, 2015 - 2:36 PM

The idea of multiculturalism has been hotly debated across the UK in recent years. This article addresses the question of whether multiculturalism has failed in Great Britain based on an assessment of both sides of the debate. Considerable arguments against multiculturalism have been submitted by both academics and political figures, stating its devastating impact on social cohesion, causing social segregation, and its incompatibility with the principles of liberal democracy. This essay argues the opposite: the primary argument in this essay is that what has failed is not multiculturalism itself, but rather the understanding of it, due to the powerful negative discourse around the term embedded in multicultural policies (MCPs). The article argues that there is an urgent need for the contextual development of multiculturalism, which can lead to a variety of views. It concludes that the arguments against multiculturalism lack empirical evidence, and those arguments have been strongly influenced by the negative discourse around the idea of multiculturalism, rather than its everyday realities. Read more...
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