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VOL. 3 (1) - WINTER 2009              Download Full Issue

Note from the Editor-in-Chief  (p. 1)
 

Research Papers

Eastern Caspian Sea Energy Geopolitics: A Litmus Test for the U.S. – Russia – China Struggle for the Geostrategic Control of Eurasia (pp. 2-19)
by Thrassy Marketos

Battle of Two Logics: Appropriateness and Consequentiality in Russian Interventions in Georgia (pp. 20-36 )
by Robert Nalbandov

Resolving Post-Soviet “Frozen Conflicts”: Is Regional Integration Helpful? (pp. 37-44)
by Mykola Kapitonenko

Diaspora Design versus Homeland Realities: Case Study of Armenian Diaspora (pp. 45-62)
by Bahar Baser & Ashok Swain

Competing Islamic Traditions in the Caucasus (pp. 63-69)
by Dobrosława Wiktor-Mach

Globalization and National Competitiveness of Georgia (pp.70-85)
by George Ivaniashvili-Orbeliani

External Powers’ Influence upon the Reform and Political Elites in Present Kyrgyzstan (pp. 86-97)
by Irina Morozova


Comments

The End of the Frozen Cold War? (pp. 98-102)
by Vladimer Papava

The Kosovo precedent - Applicable in Many Parts of the World, But Not Directly in the South Caucasus (pp. 103-107)
by Dominik Tolksdorf

The Kosovo Precedent - Directly Applicable to Abkhazia and South Ossetia (pp. 108-110)
by Sebastian Schaeffer


Book Reviews

(“The Central Caucasus - Problems of Geopolitical Economy” by Eldar Ismailov & Vladimer Papava) (pp.111-112 )
by Jan Kuenzl

(“Ali and Nino” by Kurban Said) (pp.113-116)

by Nurangiz Khodzharova


Interview

“There has never been an unbiased Russian mediation in South Caucasian conflicts” (pp.117-119)
Interview with Martin Malek, National Defense Academy, Austria


 

Note from the Editor-in-Chief, (p. 1)

I am very happy to present the Winter 2009 issue of the Caucasian Review of International Affairs (CRIA). Since our last issue in Autumn 2008, the war in Georgia has receded from the media’s attention, but its implications are only beginning to be seriously addressed by the academic community. The CRIA aims to be at the forefront of this ongoing assessment, and in this context we have a number of papers which touch upon the war and its effects upon the region, as well as a theoretical assessment of the Russian intervention. We also present two contrasting Comments on Kosovo’s declaration of independence and its implications for the South Caucasusread more

 

Eastern Caspian Sea Energy Geopolitics: A Litmus Test for the U.S. – Russia – China Struggle for the Geostrategic Control of Eurasia (pp. 2-19)
by Thrassy Marketos

For reasons both of world strategy and control over natural resources, the US administration is determined to secure for itself a dominant role in Eurasia. The Eastern Caspian shore of the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan is crucial to the oil and gas control flow, because which of the two major projects – the Trans-Caspian Corridor plus Nabucco pipeline, or the Prikaspiisky and South Stream pipelines - reaches the European market, will in effect determine which major power - U.S., Russia, or China – will gain geostrategic control over Eurasia. Even more seriously, it may determine a new eventual decision of Europe and the rise of a potential big continental power or a coalition of powers threatening the U.S. and the West as a whole, such as a Russian-Chinese alliance empowered enough to control Caspian Sea resources...read more

 

Battle of Two Logics: Appropriateness and Consequentiality in Russian Interventions in Georgia (pp. 20-36 )
by Robert Nalbandov

The article offers a discussion of the two logics that govern the behavior of organizational actors – the logic of appropriateness and the logic of expected consequences – by transferring them into the realm of international relations, in particular, in explaining the causes and reasoning behind third party military interventions into the domestic affairs of other states. The article provides a theoretical novelty of assessing the success of interventions not by durability of peace as their main aim, but by actual fulfillment of their interventionary goals and objective, which shall be considered when discussing the pros and cons of the two logics. By analyzing the case of the Russian interventions in Georgian starting from 1992 and ending with the recent war in South Ossetia in 2008, the author argues that the likelihood of success of interventions is higher when the two logics are merged and not separated from each other in guiding the decision-makers in their actions...read more

 

Resolving Post-Soviet “Frozen Conflicts”: Is Regional Integration Helpful? (pp. 37-44)
by Mykola Kapitonenko

Regional conflicts are arguably the most disturbing heritage of the USSR. Ironically, they are gradually becoming cornerstones for a renewed foreign policy of Russia. That can have long-lasting consequences: from disrupting regional stability to a massive geopolitical change in a strategically important Black Sea/Caspian region. Regional conflicts are also penetrating the agenda of world politics. The end of pure Westphalian principles of the world order emancipated numerous unprecedented challenges, strengthened by nationalism, separatism, and non-conventional warfare. That created a challenge for political science and conflict studies, a challenge which could be compared and contrasted to the problems once posed by the Cold War. These challenges require a scientific inquiry into the nature of internal conflicts, particularly of the “frozen” ones, as well as the impact they have upon regional security arrangements and methods of conflict management...read more

 

Diaspora Design versus Homeland Realities: Case Study of Armenian Diaspora (pp. 45-62)
by Bahar Baser & Ashok Swain

Recently the concept of “diaspora” has become a popular subject and two polarized views dominate the study on diaspora behavior: the categorization of the diaspora as good or bad, conflict or peace promoter, spoiler or peace-maker. The majority of the research on diaspora politics places emphasis on its conflict-promoting character. Researchers argue that a diaspora may even act against its homeland’s interests. This paper aims to further explore this behavior of diaspora groups and try to locate the reasons behind this phenomenon. The focus is the Armenian diaspora and its policies, particularly targeting the foreign policy of the host country. Some of the critical issues are the conflict in Nagorno Karabakh and Turkey-Armenia relations, which includes the issues of “genocide” recognition, normalization of diplomatic relations and opening of the borders. With the help of theoretical frameworks, the Armenian diaspora’s positions will be analyzed in this paper...read more

 

Competing Islamic Traditions in the Caucasus (pp. 63-69)
by Dobrosława Wiktor-Mach

The common dichotomized classification of Islam in the Caucasus (“traditional” versus “fundamentalist”) does not take into account all major processes taking place in the region. The Sufi-Wahhabi discourse simplifies the social interactions between Muslims and suggests homogeneity of each of these categories. In this paper I would show how the term “Wahhabi” has been employed by the local community of Muslims who live in the Georgian Pankisi gorge to express their resistance towards new and radical ideas and practices. In this social conflict, Sufi brotherhoods assume the role of the defenders of traditional order, while the reformists attempt at changing not only religious but also social structures...read more

 

Globalization and National Competitiveness of Georgia (pp.70-85)
by George Ivaniashvili-Orbeliani

Despite the fact that a national competitiveness is substantially linked to globalization, only a few studies have linked these two subjects from the perspective of developing countries, which presents complex challenges to policy makers and researchers. I argue that Porter's Diamond Model is basically relevant for economically strong industrialized countries and is less applicable for developing economies. The contention is that driving forces of globalization (FDI, transnational companies and Bretton Woods Institutes) have different implications on national competitiveness according to internal capacities and external opportunities. The paper makes a critical analysis of existing theoretical aspects of national competitiveness. It also clarifies the framework of National Innovation System, which has been successfully used in OECD countries and more recently is becoming the focus of increased attention from developing nations. Attention is concentrated on defining the aspects of Georgia’s competitiveness, evaluating the country’s economic performance, and suggesting practical recommendations for reforms and development...read more

 

External Powers’ Influence upon the Reform and Political Elites in Present Kyrgyzstan (pp. 86-97)
by Irina Morozova

Formerly perceived as an ‘island of democracy’, Kyrgyzstan is now characterised as a ‘failed state’. After the March 2005 revolutionary upheaval, President K. Bakiev has been searching for a way to consolidate the ruling elite. What was the impact of external powers and international policies upon the last four years’ socio-political transformation in the country? How were the images of Kyrgyzstan constructed and manipulated from within and outside? Based upon field interviews, open sources and statistics, this research focuses on the influences of Russia, China, the USA and EU, as well as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan on Kyrgyz political elites’ development after March 2005. Against the background of multi-dimensional and quite open foreign policy, economic integration and social networks in Kyrgyzstan developed in closer co-operation with Russia and Kazakhstan...read more

 

Comments

The End of the Frozen Cold War? (pp.98-102)
by Vladimer Papava

After the Russian incursion into Georgia many analysts ask questions of whether or not the world is standing on the verge of a new Cold War.  Almost no one is asking a question of what if the 20th century Cold War was never finished but, rather, was just “frozen” and what we are witnessing now is the process of melting.  To the extent that on both sides of the Cold War are the same countries as in the last century, and the reasons and driving forces of the conflict - as well as the Kremlin’s action style - have never changed, one may conclude that what we see now is not a new Cold War but, rather, the resumption of the old Cold War.  it is quite probable that the old story may happen again and the West’s softness towards Russia may lead to the “refreezing” of the Cold War and the sacrifice of Georgia for an imaginary peace in Europe and the whole world...read more

 

The Kosovo precedent - Applicable in Many Parts of the World, But Not Directly in the South Caucasus (pp.103-107)
by Dominik Tolksdorf

When it recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in August 2008, Russia implicitly referred to the independence of the Republic of Kosovo, which was recognized by most of the EU member states and by a total of 54 states of the 192 UN member states by January 2009. But is it really feasible to compare the two cases with each other? What arguments has “the West” used in order to justify the recognition of Kosovo? What legal arguments are there to justify the Russian position? This paper will take a closer look at the argumentation on both sides of the debate before it will analyse the reasons for the fact that a large number of states have so far rejected the idea of acknowledging Kosovo, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The paper will conclude that for specific reasons, it is difficult to argue that the recognition of Kosovo’s independence set a clear precedent for the two breakaway provinces of Georgia...read more

 

The Kosovo Precedent - Directly Applicable to Abkhazia and South Ossetia (pp.108-110)
by Sebastian Schaeffer

The declaration of independence of the Republic of Kosovo on 17 February 2008 led to different reactions in the international community. The United States of America was first  to do so among the current 53 states that recognise Kosovo, while the Russian Federation and of course Serbia remain in strong opposition. Whether one supports the independence of Kosovo or not, it is undoubted that the declaration of independence had an impact on the Caucasus. What is also clear is that both the United States of America and the Russian Federation have a selective approach towards the recognition of states. While the USA recognises Kosovo and considers Abkhazia and South Ossetia as being part of the Georgian territory, Russia holds it the other way round. I will argue that the independence of Kosovo, as well as the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, are both as legitimate or illegitimate since all three entities had a certain degree of autonomy during the Soviet era...read more

 

Book Reviews

(“The Central Caucasus - Problems of Geopolitical Economy” by Eldar Ismailov & Vladimer Papava) (pp.111-112)
by Jan Kuenzl

As the geopolitical importance of the Caucasus region increases, the need for sound analysis of its political, social and economic frameworks rises. With their book “The Central Caucasus- Problems of Geopolitical Economy” Eldar Ismailov and Vladimer Papava want to alter the view of the Caucasus as an economic region. Based on the thesis that economic integration is a necessity, particularly in a globalizing world, they investigate the prospects of a common Caucasian economic space. A detailed evaluation of the geo-economic potentials and problems of the Caucasian sub-regions serves as the background for this assessment...read more

 

(“Ali and Nino” by Kurban Said) (pp.113-116)

by Nurangiz Khodzharova

Writing a review for Ali and Nino, a bestseller considered by many a national novel, is not an easy task as it seems hard not to repeat numerous other reviews. However, this novel is one of the few literary works which capture the essence of time and space so well that revisiting them at different moments brings up new feelings and associations. Nevertheless, to avoid repetition this review will focus on the book’s connection with today, which in light of recent developments in the Caucasus presents quite a relevant comparison. It will also attempt at getting to the essence of the author’s message...read more

 

Interview

“There has never been an unbiased Russian mediation in South Caucasian conflicts” (pp.117-119)
Interview with Martin Malek, National Defense Academy, Austria

Question: Last year Armenia and Azerbaijan held talks and ended up signing the Moscow Declaration - the first joint document since the beginning of a cease-fire in 1994. What do you think are the prospects for a peace process tackling the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh? Will the news concerning the new Russian military deliveries to Armenia amounting to $800 million negatively affect Russia’s mediation?

Malek: There has never been an unbiased, non-partisan “Russian mediation” in South Caucasian “hot” and then “frozen conflicts”. Moscow is certainly no honest broker, but a party in all of these conflicts and tries to manipulate them in order to promote what it calls its interests in the region. It is impossible not to realize that Moscow’s allies in the South Caucasus so far have never been defeated – and this unites Armenia, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia...read more

       
 
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