Since the publication of the Winter 09 issue events in the
Caucasus and the wider region have continued to shift, which
underlines yet again the region’s critical importance for the
wider world. The beginning of Barack Obama’s tenure as President
of the United States has opened up new possibilities for
geopolitical shifts in the Caspian region, as he seeks to press
the reset button with Russia and offer a hand to Iran. The
course of these developments will have a profound effect in the
Caucasus and Central Asia, even without the myriad of factors in
play in the region. Turkey has tried to reassert itself in the
Caucasus, moving towards rapprochement with Armenia and
alienating Azerbaijan. The Nabucco pipeline project looks
increasingly doomed, even as Turkmenistan seeks to free itself
from Russian control. Meanwhile, the conflict in Afghanistan has
continued to cast its ripples over the region.
latest issue continues the efforts of the Caucasian Review of
International Affair (CRIA) to expand and deepen knowledge of
this critical region. The Spring edition also demonstrates
CRIA’s commitment to providing insightful and original analysis
on a broad spectrum of topics. An assessment of the EU’s Eastern
Partnership is included alongside a discussion of female suicide
bombers in Chechnya: a scientifically rigorous analysis of
Uzbekistan’s gas sector is presented along with incisive papers
on Georgia’s domestic politics. We are also proud to present
papers on splits in the Russian ‘tandemocracy’; China’s
expansion into Central Asia; the beginnings of the
Russia-Georgia war; the effects of the cases of Kosovo, Abkhazia
and South Ossetia on international law; and a review of the
Handbook of International Humanitarian Law.
Since the publication of the last issue CRIA has continued to
increase its subscription and its profile elsewhere. The Review
has been included in the renowned citation indexes/research
databases such as ProQuest Research Library, EBCOhost Research
Database, Directory of Open Access Journals, Ulrich’s
Periodicals Directory and Deutsche Nationalbibliothek.
Partnering with the Journal of Turkish Weekly has enabled CRIA
to reach an even wider audience, and upcoming partnerships with
other regional forums will make CRIA even more accessible. Since
March, CRIA’s weekly Caucasus Update has also been translated
into Russian, allowing CRIA to connect with millions of Russian
speakers in the region and beyond. Our preeminent Editorial
Board has been expanded to include the distinguished Caucasus
specialist Dr. Cory Welt from the Georgetown University. Also
two new members joined our Staff.
continues to be an exciting time for CRIA. The Review will, in
the coming months, continue to develop partnerships with
regional research institutes and news agencies, and will also be
introducing a series of Occasional Papers – some written by
CRIA’s own staff, some written by outside experts – as well as a
series of regular interviews.
issue of CRIA, which is a free and non-profit online
publication, is the result of voluntary and hard work of the
affiliated persons. Therefore, I’d like to express my deep
gratitude to all the members of the Advisory and Editorial
Boards, editorial assistants, other staff members and all online
interns of CRIA for their consistent and profound engagement.
hope that you will enjoy the Spring 09 issue and look forward to
your comments and suggestions.