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Transport Potential of the Caspian Sea: Prospects and Limitations; Stanislav Pritchin

By Editor CI

views: 538

Jul 25, 2016 - 3:35 PM

This article addresses the Caspian Sea and its transport potential. Located at the junction of important geo-strategic regions in the center of Eurasia, the Caspian is an important component of the area’s transport system. Moreover, geopolitical struggles over transport potential are no less intense than competition for its energy resources. Two major strategic transport routes have been delineated: the East- West route (or TRACECA); and the North-South route. Competition between routes actually has a positive effect on the development of transport infrastructure in the region. All project participants are striving to create the optimal conditions for transit and to increase the efficiency of infrastructure. As the result, the general appeal of the Caspian Sea as transport route has increased. At the same time, the transport sector offers an important economic opportunity for a number of countries in the context of the financial crisis and decline of oil prices. Read more...

A Life On the Edge: Syrian IDPs; Zümrüt Sönmez

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 517

Sep 30, 2015 - 2:32 PM

This article examines the challenges faced by internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Syria, based on facts and personal observations, and provides recommendations for the international community. IDPs are one of the most vulnerable groups of people in the current global context. Escaping from armed conflicts, generalized violence or human rights violations, IDPs leave their demolished houses or besieged towns, only to find themselves trapped within the borders of their home countries, unlike refugees who manage to cross an international border in order to take shelter in another country. Some Syrian IDPs have eventually settled in makeshift camps in the border areas after fleeing civil war. There are reportedly hundreds of thousands people living alongside the Turkish-Syrian border under very harsh conditions. Underlying these conditions and their continuing deterioration, this article attempts to demonstrate the importance of the role of international NGOs in improving the situation for IDPs. Read more...

Governing the Global Commons: Geostrategic and Geoeconomic Sources of Discord in the International System; James Sperling

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 517

Sep 30, 2015 - 3:41 PM

The growing imbalance in rights and responsibilities in the international system not only strains regional security systems, but also jeopardizes the system of global economic governance, particularly as access to the global commons - maritime space, outer space, and cyberspace - entails critical policy vectors where it is increasingly difficult to differentiate security from economy. This article explores the impact of the global financial crises and redistribution of power in the international system on the geoeconomic and geopolitical systems of governance. The analysis proceeds in four stages. The first assesses the shifts that have taken place in the regional and global balances of capabilities since 1990 towards explaining the Chinese challenge to American geostrategic supremacy in the Pacific, the American response to Chinese revisionism, and the European effort to mollify the United States on military-strategic issues while currying mercantile favour with China. The second and third sections investigate, respectively, the systems of global economic and regional security governance, particularly with respect to major stakeholders’ satisfaction with the status quo. The final section considers the intersection of the economic and strategic policy vectors in the global commons. Read more...

CAUCASUS UNDER REVIEW - RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOKS

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 502

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...

'Energy Transit in the Caucasus: A Legal Analysis' by Rafael Leal-Arcas

By Editor CI

views: 499

Jan 10, 2017 - 12:23 AM

This article provides an analysis of the commonalities and regional specificities of the intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) and Host Government agreements (HGAs) setting up the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Pipeline and the South Caucasus Pipeline. The paper also assesses the IGA for the Nabucco Pipeline project. It provides a careful examination of the links between the agreements comprising these three pipeline projects and the Energy Charter Model Agreements on Cross-border Pipelines in conjunction with the provisions of the Energy Charter draft Transit Protocol. This article attempts to answer the following questions: To what extent can common principles and regional specificities be derived from the agreements in question? How do the agreements relate to the Energy Charter Model Agreements and the Energy Charter draft Transit Protocol? What recommendations can be made in view of the possible agreement on common principles or rules on Transit and Cross-border energy flows in the Energy Charter context? Read more...

NATO on Its Mind: Will Georgia’s Aspirations be Fulfilled?; Brendan Cole

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 487

Jan 18, 2016 - 12:21 PM

Since the Rose Revolution of 2003, the last decade or so of Georgia’s recent history has been a turbulent one. The presidency of Mikheil Saakashvili ushered in sweeping changes, increasing westernization, and a break from the country’s Soviet past. After he was democratically ousted by the Georgian Dream coalition in 2012, this Euro-Atlantic realignment continued apace, out of a desire to join the European Union as well as NATO. The economic benefits of EU membership were obvious enough, while joining the Alliance would demonstrate Georgia’s ability to hold its own at the world’s top military table. On a more practical level, Tbilisi had hoped that membership would offer Georgia security, especially in light of the 2008 war with Russia, which led to declarations of independence by Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The breakaway republics remain points of contention in relations between Moscow and Georgia. The Georgian government’s rhetoric of optimism has not shifted one bit, and NATO has not disabused Georgia of this outlook, continuing to work with Tbilisi as a partner. However, the alliance remains non-committal regarding the prospects for a Membership Action Plan (MAP), the first concrete step to eventual membership. London-based journalist Brendan Cole asks think tanks in the British capital and the US about the likelihood of NATO membership for Georgia - and if not, what are the alternatives? Read more...

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

By Editor CI

views: 487

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

By Editor CI

views: 484

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...

Immigration Policy in Europe Amid Multiculturalism Crisis; Arastu Habibbayli

By Editor CI

views: 482

Sep 30, 2015 - 2:25 PM

The majority of European countries host significant immigrant communities, and as such, multiculturalism is not an option but rather a necessity for them. However, as many political leaders, scholars, publicists and religious figures have emphasized, multiculturalism has failed in Europe. Despite the fact that Europe’s demographic crisis means that migrants are vital for future growth, Europe is overlooking the moral values of its new citizens and concentrating solely on Western values. While Western democratic principles are being tested by the current economic crisis, European countries are tightening their immigration policies, contributing to the further erosion of multicultural values. In this key chapter of our history, these current developments will be a litmus test for Europe and the humanity in general. Read more...
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