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VOL. 2 (2) – SPRING 2008



Research Papers

Corridor of Power: The Caucasus and Energy Security (pp. 64-72)
by Tracey C. German                                                                                           

Governance, the State, and Systemic Corruption: Armenia and Georgia in Comparison (pp. 73-83)
by Christoph H. Stefes

Fluid Party Politics and the Challenge for Democracy Assistance in Georgia (pp. 84-93)
by Max Bader

US Missile Defense Shield and Russia: Second Cold War as a Farce (pp. 94-100)
by Rashad Shirinov

Licensing Afghanistan’s opium: solution or fallacy? (pp. 101-106)
by Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy


Comment

The New Face of Central Asia (pp. 107-111)
by Ambassador (ret.) Michael W. Cotter

 
 

Research Papers

Corridor of Power: The Caucasus and Energy Security (pp. 64-72)

by Tracey C. German

This article examines one of the key drivers of the South Caucasus’s escalating international significance, its role as both a source of and transit route for hydrocarbons. Energy security has become a significant factor driving deepening international engagement with the South Caucasus and there is a need to ensure reliable and stable export routes for hydrocarbons from the Caspian Sea region. Whilst the development of new pipeline infrastructure has brought many benefits to the area, it is still beset with unresolved conflicts that threaten to undermine the progress made in terms of economic and political stability, as well as regional co-operationread more

 

Governance, the State, and Systemic Corruption: Armenia and Georgia in Comparison (pp. 73-83)
by Christoph H. Stefes

 

Endemic corruption has been a destructive legacy of Soviet rule for most successor states of the Soviet Union. Yet as the two cases of this study demonstrate, corruption has manifested itself in different ways. While the smooth transition of power in the early 1990s has allowed Armenia’s political leaders to use corruption to consolidate firm control over the state apparatus, Georgia’s tumultuous transition has caused the disintegration of the state apparatus into feuding groups that abuse their official positions for private gain. Rebuilding central political authority has therefore been an arduous journey vulnerable to sudden rupturesread more

 

 

Fluid Party Politics and the Challenge for Democracy Assistance in Georgia (pp. 84-93)

by Max Bader

Party politics in Georgia since independence has suffered from a complete lack of institutionalization, reflected most visibly in the high rate of turnover of parties. Furthermore, Georgia’s elusive party system has been affected by regime changes and by abuses of executive authority. This article highlights the dilemmas inherent to studying fluid party systems such as that of Georgia and identifies a number of underlying reasons for the lack of party system institutionalization. Over the course of a brief overview of international political party assistance in Georgia, it is argued that party assistance by western actors has not been responsive to the structural problems of party and party system development…read more

  

US Missile Defense Shield and Russia: Second Cold War as a Farce (pp. 94-100)
by Rashad Shirinov 

Karl Marx used to say that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. In line with this, the entire recent idea of a missile defense shield that the US has been willing to install in Eastern Europe is reminiscent of that of the Cold War era, when two major superpowers were targeting their strategic missiles towards each other. And although in 1972 both global powers agreed on not using anti-ballistic missiles, after two decades US had reexamined its thinking on the issue. The United States has decided to deploy radars and interceptors in the Czech Republic and Poland as part of a missile defense shield against possible Iranian or North Korean attacks. From the very start, Russia has been seeing the shield as directed towards itselfread more   

 

Licensing Afghanistan’s opium: solution or fallacy? (pp. 101-106)
by Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy 

For almost two decades Afghanistan has been the world’s largest illicit opium producer. Decades of war, droughts, poverty, and political incapabilities have driven up the country’s opium production despite counter-narcotics programmes ranging from forced eradication to alternative development. In 2005, that is, a few years after the replacement of the Taliban regime by the Karzai administration, the licensing of Afghan opium for the production of legal medicines such as morphine and codeine was proposed as a solution to address illicit Afghan opium production. This proposal benefited from a very positive stance of the world press, in spite of its many inaccuracies and fallacies… read more

 

Comment

The New Face of Central Asia (pp. 107-111)
by Ambassador (ret.) Michael W. Cotter

For the first time in centuries, the region from Western China to Iran and from the Steppes of Russia to Northern India can and, this essay argues, should be viewed as an entity.  Possessed of significant natural resources, and forming the backyard of five important world powers, the region has great possibilities for economic development, but it also contains the potential for conflict among nuclear-armed neighbors.  One of the great challenges of the 21st century will be to ensure that the region becomes an engine for growth, not for conflict…read more

       
 
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