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VOL. 3 (3) - SUMMER 2009              Download Full Issue



Note from the Editor-In-Chief (p. 242-243)
 

Research Papers

Georgia & Russia: Contradictory Media Coverage of the August War (pp. 244-260)

by Hans-Georg Heinrich & Kirill Tanaev

Georgia and the Systemic Impact of the Financial Crisis (pp. 261-277)

by Marco Giuli

Russia, EU, NATO and the Strengthening of the CSTO in Central Asia (pp. 278-290)

by Irina Ionela Pop

Turkey: Regional Elections and the Kurdish Question (pp. 291-306)

by Eddy Ekrem Güzeldere

Poverty Reduction Through Private Sector Development in Georgia: Policy, Practice and Perspectives (pp. 307-316)

by Vladimer Papava


Comment 

The Merging of Russia’s Regions as Applied Nationality Policy: A Suggested Rationale (pp. 317-323)
by Matthew Derrick


Book Review

“China’s Energy Geopolitics: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Central Asia” by Thrassy N. Marketos (pp. 324-325)
Review by Jan Künzl


Interview

“Widespread discontent in Russia may well lead to further resentment towards groups of Caucasian origin” (pp. 326-330)
Interview with Katerina Strani, Researcher, Greek Parliament

 

 

Note From The Editor-In-Chief (p. 242-243)

August 2009 has arrived, and events in the Caucasus continue to move quickly, with some notable developments to mention. Negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan intensified, which has ramifications for not only the two countries but also for the attempts to normalise relations between Turkey and Armenia. Both issues are fraught with complications: despite the initial activation phase in May and June, the latest Moscow meeting between both presidents did not manage to produce a framework agreement, much hoped for and hyped by the Minsk Group in advance. The talks seem to get stuck primarily on the modalities of an eventual “legally binding expression of will” on the final legal status of the region and its interim status. read more

 

Research Papers

Georgia & Russia: Contradictory Media Coverage of the August War (pp. 244-260)

by Hans-Georg Heinrich & Kirill Tanaev

This paper reports on an ongoing media research project that examines the coverage of the Russian-Georgian war in August 2008, in selected Russian, Georgian, and Western print media. Using computer-assisted content analysis, it presents evidence that print outlets display distinct patterns of either balanced reporting or partisan attitudes, which also vary over time. The effects of possible “spin” in independent print media have remained marginal and ephemeral. At least as far as US media are concerned, this could be the result of soul-searching following the war on Iraqread more

 

Georgia and the Systemic Impact of the Financial Crisis (pp. 261-277)

by Marco Giuli

This paper analyses the potential effects that the systemic developments stemming from the global financial crisis and the August war are likely to have in Georgia, within a context of hegemonic stability theoretical fundamentals. According to this perspective, both events have undermined the role of the US as the sole world hegemon. As a result, the Western strategic priorities toward the Caucasus are likely to shift, to the detriment of the special relationship between the Saakashvili administration and the US. To demonstrate this, the analysis will focus on the case study provided by energy- and transit-related Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), as the Georgian political and economic dependence on a geopolitical rent is strongly connected to them and is likely to disappear in the aftermath of the recent eventsread more

 

Russia, EU, NATO and the Strengthening of the CSTO in Central Asia (pp. 278-290)

by Irina Ionela Pop

 

Central Asia is a region with great geopolitical and geo-economic significance. Although the war on terrorism brought the USA, the EU, and NATO into Central Asia, after the 2005 Andijan event, Russia has been resurgent in the region. This paper analyses the Russian political-military strategies toward the Central Asian states, focusing both on bilateral and multilateral security cooperation. The strengthening of the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organisation), especially through the creation of the Rapid Reaction Forces, should not be neglected in Europe. According to Russian officials’ speeches, the CSTO requires equal partnership with NATO in Afghanistan. This would strengthen the importance of the CSTO in Eurasia and would limit bilateral dialogue between the former Soviet republics and EU or NATOread more
 

Turkey: Regional Elections and the Kurdish Question (pp. 291-306)

by Eddy Ekrem Güzeldere

The results of Turkey’s regional elections of 29 March 2009 were ambiguous, with no definite winner in the southeast. The ruling AKP got 38.34% and the Kurdish DTP, 37.4%. Both are major players in shaping Kurdish policies, and this result can be interpreted as a call for cooperation in the region, and between Ankara and the southeastern provinces. Though vital for improving the economic situation, attracting public and international investments, and finding common political solutions for the Kurdish question, the AKP has ignored the DTP, and Ankara continues to neglect the DTP-run municipalities. During the AKP’s reign, since 2002, important steps toward granting more rights to Kurds have been undertaken, for example, the 24-hour state channel TRT 6 in Kurdish, launched on 1 January 2009. However, these policies remain incomplete since there are no constitutional changes fully guaranteeing the use of languages other than Turkish in broadcasting and educationread more

 

Poverty Reduction Through Private Sector Development in Georgia: Policy, Practice and Perspectives (pp. 307-316)

by Vladimer Papava

This paper deals with the experience gained in the area of poverty reduction and private sector development in Georgia. The Economic Development and Poverty reduction Programme approved by the President of Georgia in 2003 has never been implemented because the Georgian Government had neither the will nor the ability to launch its implementation. During the Presidential and Parliamentary elections in 2008, the Government’s electoral slogan was “An Integrated Georgia Without Poverty!”  Unfortunately, however, even this slogan did not prepare the grounds for the Government to develop a more-or-less complete poverty reduction programme.  The post-revolution Government was not always consistent in its endeavours to support private sector employment programmes. Very often its steps were populist rather than practical.  Poverty reduction may be achieved as a result of co-ordinated efforts of the government and the private sector: however, this kind of co-ordination requires the active involvement of trade unions and civil societyread more

 

Comment

The Merging of Russia’s Regions as Applied Nationality Policy: A Suggested Rationale (pp. 317-323)
by Matthew Derrick

The policy of ukrupnenie (“merging”), which combines multiple federal subjects of the Russian Federation into unified, enlarged political-territorial units, is the latest phase in the Kremlin’s bid to restore central authority over its internal periphery. To date, this policy has reduced the number of Russia’s regions from 89 to 83, and more mergers are slated for the future. Vladimir Putin, along with the Russophone press, states that ukrupnenie is intended to reduce the severe interregional socio-economic inequalities in Russia by linking poorer regions to wealthier neighbors. This article refutes this stated rationale. In the process of analyzing mergers that have already taken place and those that are planned for the future, it is asserted that ukrupnenie in fact should be viewed as part of Moscow’s nationality policy, in turn a de facto continuation of Soviet nationality policyread more
 

Book Review

“China’s Energy Geopolitics: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Central Asia” by Thrassy N. Marketos (pp. 324-325)
Review by Jan Künzl

Since 1993, China has been a net importer of oil. With its unparalleled economic growth over the past two decades, it developed a huge hunger for resources to sustain its industrial production. Taking a glance at the interrelation between the economic growth and the legitimacy of the Chinese communist regime, it becomes obvious: securing resource flows is a highly political issue. In his book China’s Energy Geopolitics: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Central Asia, Thrassy N. Marketos places Beijing’s energy problem in the broader framework of its geopolitical situation in relation to the Central Eurasian states as well as Russia and the USAread more

 

Interview

“Widespread discontent in Russia may well lead to further resentment towards groups of Caucasian origin” (pp. 326-330)
Interview with Katerina Strani, Researcher, Greek Parliament

How currently attractive is Russia for job seekers/migrant workers from the Caucasus (and other ex-Soviet republics)?

According to official statistics, Russia is the second-largest immigration country after the USA, with over 160,000 migrants annually. As the largest, most industrialized country and the most dynamic economy of all the former soviet states, Russia is certainly more attractive for job seekers from those areas, at least in principle. In Moscow, for instance, salaries can be from 5 to 15 times higher than in some CIS countries, with the exception maybe of Kazakhstan. However, it all depends on three crucial factors: firstly, the immigrant’s country of origin, secondly, the host city and thirdly, the job sought and the skills requiredread more

       
 
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