New Great Game: failure of regional cooperation or failure of understanding? Same Old Ideas? Neo-Sovietism in Central Asia



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tarix10.11.2017
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John Heathershaw Department of International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science j.d.heathershaw@lse.ac.uk

  • Understanding Kyrgyz-Russian relations: New Great Game or Same Old Ideas?


Outline

  • New Great Game: failure of regional cooperation or failure of understanding?

  • Same Old Ideas? Neo-Sovietism in Central Asia

  • An Illustration: reacting to Uzbekistan’s Andijon uprising

  • Post-revolutionary Kyrgyz-Russian Relations



1. The New Great Game: A Failure of Regionalism or a Failure of Understanding?

  • Failure of Regional Cooperation?

    • Central Asian ‘orphans’ that must be forced (according to realists) or persuaded and socialised (neo-liberals) into regional order
  • New Great Game

    • Regional elites
    • Regional academics (links to ‘Heartland’)
    • New Great Game in the West – Neo-Realism; Geopolitics
  • The Failure of Understanding

    • Assumes international competition and conflict;
    • Exaggerates international interest and intervention;
    • Under-estimates local and regional factors


2. Same Old Ideas? Neo-Sovietism in Central Asia

    • The locating of ‘Central Asia’ (Tsentralnaya Aziya)
    • The idealising of ‘stability’ (stabilnost)
    • The identification of political ‘authority’ (avtoritet)
  • What’s new in Neo-Sovietism?

    • Authoritarianism over Totalitarianism
    • Dispersed production – discursive quality


3. An Illustration: Regional Reaction to the Andijon Uprising

  • Central Asian regionalism based in Neo-Sovietism conditioned the aftermath in four ways..

  • It produced ‘Central Asian’ versions of the ‘Facts’ which departed from the understandings of the international community

  • It transmitted the imperatives ‘Stability’ and ‘Authority’

  • It, thus, provided the immaterial basis for Uzbekistan’s Split With the United States

  • It provides space for the increased influence of Russia and China across the region



4. Post-revolutionary Kyrgyz-Russian Relations

  • Regional reaction to the revolution

  • Post-revolutionary dynamics

    • Military
    • Economic relations
    • Political norms/institutions
  • Spatial and identity basis of relationship

  • Alliance as association (soyuznicheskiye otnosheniya)

  • Possibility of a formal blok?





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