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.
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
2. China: The Newcomer That Made a Difference
3. The United States: The Too Distant, but Unavoidable Partner
4. The European Union: Soft Power or Realpolitik ?
5. Middle Eastern and Gulf Countries Seeking a Role in Central Asia
6. Central Asia Looking East: The Search for Asian Dynamism
7. The Regional Market: Economic Weaknesses and Political Blockades
Part II. Facing Globalization: Strengths and Weaknesses of Central Asia's Economies
8. The Weight of the Soil: The Agriculture Sector
9. Hydrocarbons: At the Core of Central Asia's International Strategies
10. Mineral Wealth: Export Strategies Versus State Sovereignty
11. A Driver of Development: The Electricity Sector
12. Landlocked: The Transport Challenge
13. A Structurally Weakened Industrial Base
14. The Future of the Services Sector
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 ... while factoring in what the Central Asian states themselves have going for and against them in this complex whirl of relations." -- Foreign Affairs