IPI HomePublicationsPolicy PapersCentral Asia and the Caucasus: A Vulnerable Crescent

 

print print  |  share share back back

Policy Papers - February 14, 2007

Central Asia and the Caucasus: A Vulnerable Crescent

This publication is part of the CWC Working Paper Series [read more about this publication series]

Thomas de Waal and Anna Matveeva

 

 

The Caucasus has become a field for latter-day Great Power battles of influence, in which competing policy agendas, sometimes even from within the same state, make for a fragmented international response that hampers regional integration and development.

The autocratic states of Central Asia by contrast risk isolating themselves from the wider world, becoming a source of danger because of their deliberate remoteness. Here the globalized threats of drug trafficking and militant Islam are the biggest potential source of instability. Multilateral organizations such as the UN are still struggling to articulate a coherent response to the two regions as a whole, tending to make more narrow interventions that have limited impact.

From the Introduction: The Caucasus and Central Asia––eight countries of the former Soviet Union stretching to the south of Russia and to the west of China––form a chain of weak states, vulnerable to conflict, extremism, and spillover from potential instability in the Middle East, Iran and Afghanistan. Once on the path of the Silk Road, these countries are still transit routes in the world economy rather than major economic players. The overarching problem for the Caucasus countries situated on the eastern fringe of Europe––Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, as well as the Russian North Caucasus––is unresolved conflicts that hamper development and poison politics.



 

The Global Observatory

New Prospects for a Peace Process in Afghanistan?
One of the priorities for President Ashraf Ghani will be to restore dialogue with the Taliban. Will he succeed where Karzai arguably failed?

Key Global Events to Watch in November
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

November 05, 2014
Top-Down Governance Hurts Women, Youth Participation
Governments in the Sahel and Maghreb are still using top-down approaches to governance that make it hard for women and youth to have a say in public life, even though their participation can help their governments’ struggle against instability and extremism.

November 03, 2014
Apakan on Ukraine: "To Be Present Is Important"
On November 3rd, IPI’s Vienna office hosted Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, Chief Monitor of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

November 03, 2014
Enhancing Women's Share in Peace and Security
“We did not want to make war safe for women; we wanted to end war for everyone,” Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury said, recalling the goal of a new resolution he introduced as president of the Security Council in the year 2000.

View More