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North Castle Books

Globalizing Central Asia: Geopolitics and the Challenges of Economic Development
Authored by: Marlene Laruelle; Sebastien Peyrouse

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Cloth ISBN: 978-0-7656-3504-4 Paper ISBN: 978-0-7656-3505-1
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USD: $104.95 USD: $32.95
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Available to all countries
Information: 376pp. Maps, tables, index.
Publication Date: January 2013.  


Description: Central Asia, as it emerges from a political and economic system that was closed until the end of the twentieth century, is a textbook case for globalization. This book traces the region's entry into the highly competitive global arena, not only through state interaction with numerous external players, but also in geo-economic terms. The region's natural resources compel the attention of rivalrous great powers and ambitious internal factions. Russia and China dominate the horizon, with other global players close behind. The local regimes are caught between the need for international collaborations to valorize their resources and the need to maintain control over them in the interest of state sovereignty. Local patterns of development thus become a key driver of external actors' involvement and shape the mechanisms by which the Central Asian states are forging a place for themselves in the globalized world.

This pathbreaking introduction to Central Asia in contemporary international economic and political context answers the needs of both academic and professional audiences and is suitable for course adoption.

Selected Contents:

List of Maps, Figures, and Tables


Part I. "Great Games" and "Small Games": The Strategies and Outcomes of External Actors

1. Russia in Central Asia: Old Patterns, New Challenges
The Ebb and Flow of Russian Influence in Central Asia
Russia's Obsession with Security on Its Southern Borders
Russia's Economic Involvement: Hydrocarbons and Integrated Space
Prospects for Russia's Long-Term Success in Central Asia

2. China: The Newcomer That Made a Difference
Central Asia on the Chinese Global Radar
Settled Border Disputes, but Contentious Issues Remain
China's Building of Strategic and Political Legitimacy
Chinese Inroads in Central Asia: Trade and Investments

3. The United States: The Too Distant, but Unavoidable Partner
Shifting US Agendas Toward Central Asia
Security as the Main Driver of US Involvement
Multilateral and Bilateral Strategic Cooperation
The Economic Rationales of US Involvement

4. The European Union: Soft Power or Realpolitik ?
A Double Challenge: Elaborating Strategies, Delivering Messages
A Growing Focus on Security Matters
Bureaucratic Complexities and Limited Effectiveness
Fostering the European Commitment Through the Economy?
Member States as the Bearers of Europe's Business Image

5. Middle Eastern and Gulf Countries Seeking a Role in Central Asia
Turkey: From Cultural Strategy to Trade Pragmatism
Iran: A Promising Partnership Hampered by Geopolitical Issues
Alternative Partners: The Gulf Emirates and Israel

6. Central Asia Looking East: The Search for Asian Dynamism
India's Involvement: Hopes and Disillusionment
Pakistan: Dashed Hope, Political Suspicion
Japan's Policy in Central Asia: From Idealism to Realism
South Korea: A Discreet but Growing Presence
The Malaysian Model Emulated in Central Asia

7. The Regional Market: Economic Weaknesses and Political Blockades
Preserving CIS Links: Ukraine, Belarus, and Central Asia
A Failed Caspian Unity? Central Asia and the South Caucasus
Growing Connectivity: Central Asian Businesses in Afghanistan
Central Asian Cooperation: Interstate Failure, Bazaar Economies
Uzbek-Kazakh Competition for Regional Leadership

Part II. Facing Globalization: Strengths and Weaknesses of Central Asia's Economies

8. The Weight of the Soil: The Agriculture Sector
Structural Trends in the Agricultural Sector
Cotton or Food Self-Sufficiency: A False Dilemma?
The Mixed Results of Land Reforms
Political and Social Stakes in the Agrarian Sector

9. Hydrocarbons: At the Core of Central Asia's International Strategies
Reserves and National Companies' Strategies
Existing Distribution Routes
Energy Geopolitics: Are the Great Powers Dominating the Game?
Hedging Geopolitics? Transformation Industries and New Technologies

10. Mineral Wealth: Export Strategies Versus State Sovereignty
Kazakhstan's Mineral Eldorado and Its Oligarchs
Rare Earth Metals: Will Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan Compete with China?
Central Asia's Gold Riches
Uranium: Resources, Extraction, and Transformation Factories
International Partners and Central Asian Uranium: A Shift Toward Asia?

11. A Driver of Development: The Electricity Sector
Wavering Central Asian Cooperation
A Difficult Balance Between Production and Consumption
Management Bodies, Transmission Networks, and Export Strategies
The Challenges of Developing Hydroelectricity
Does Central Asia Have a Geopolitics of Electricity?

12. Landlocked: The Transport Challenge
State of the Road, Rail, and Air Networks
The International Community's Focus on Transcontinental Transport Corridors
Beyond Geopolitics and Grand Narratives: The Reality of Transport

13. A Structurally Weakened Industrial Base
The Soviet Legacy: The Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries
The Revival of the Military-Industrial Complex
One of the Last Mechanical Industries: The Uzbek Automobile Sector
Is the Potential of the Textile Industry Still Unexploited?
The Construction Market Boom: Changes in Political Architecture and Real Estate
Sectors of the Future: Agribusiness and Distribution

14. The Future of the Services Sector
Building the Banking System from Scratch
Kazakhstan's Success Story: Central Asia's Rising Financial Center
A Booming Mobile Telecommunications Market
Kazakhstan and New Technologies
The Potential for Tourism


Comment(s): "In this new synthesis, two of the most perceptive and industrious analysts of the region offer a sweeping survey of Central Asia's varied political terrain. The book melds a traditional geo-strategic interpretation of Central Asia's current events with a much needed geo-economic perspective, bringing together a detailed analysis of domestic Central Asian dynamics along with a broad-brush interpretation of the region's role in contemporary world politics. Rich in data and bristling with insight, this indispensable interpretation of Central Asian society and government prepares us for the numerous possibilities unfolding in Central Asia's uncertain future." -- Gregory Gleason, Director, Central Asia Program, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

"Marlene Laruelle and Sebastien Peyrouse have written a comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of Central Asia two decades after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Their detailed accounts of relations with every significant external actor and coverage of seven major internal issues facing the region will be invaluable for anybody interested in the evolving situation in this pivotal region." -- Richard Pomfret, University of Adelaide

"This book presents a remarkably comprehensive and differentiated picture of the global and regional forces that will drive Central Asian political and economic development in the coming decades. The authors' analysis is grounded in their intimate knowledge of the region and their balanced assessment of Central Asia's great opportunities and challenges. A must-read for anyone interested in this important, but much neglected part of the world." -- Johannes F. Linn, Emerging Markets Forum and The Brookings Institution

Review(s): "Laruelle and Peyrouse do the region justice with this perceptive and informed survey of the approach of outside powers to it, while factoring in what the Central Asian states themselves have going for and against them in this complex whirl of relations." -- Foreign Affairs

"From the challenges facing central Asia's agricultural sector, to the difficulties of transportation when landlocked, to structural weaknesses in central Asia's industrial base and the future of its service sector, Globalizing Central Asia is a learned, critical, and thorough exploration of crucial issues affecting central Asia's present and future. Highly recommended, especially for college library economic studies shelves." -- The Midwest Book Review

"The level of thoroughness and comprehensiveness with which the authors present the region is virtually unmatched in the literature. ... A must read for students and scholars in regional studies as well as practitioners. Those who want to do business with the region's countries or invest in the region's industries will also find this volume invaluable." -- Asian Politics & Policy

"Globalizing Central Asia is an excellent introduction to Central Asia's politics and economy. As such, it offers certain insights for the academic community and the general public alike. It significantly raises the usual standard of publications on Central Asia and serves as a great reference book for those interested in this extraordinary region." -- Europe-Asia Studies

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