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  • Author: M.E. Ahrari, James Beal
  • Publication Date: 01-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The dismantlement of the Soviet Union also brought about the liberation of six Central Asian Muslim republics—Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan (figure 1). Although Azerbaijan is part of the Caucasus region, it is included in this study because: The independence of that country, like that of the Central Asian states, was brought about as a result of the dismantlement of the Soviet Union. Azerbaijan, like its Central Asian counterparts, is a Muslim state, and faces similar politico-economic problems. Azerbaijan's conflict with Armenia involving Nagorno-Karabkh reminds one of a number of conflicts in the Central Asian region. These include a seething ethnic conflict in Kazakhstan (involving the Khazaks and the Slavs), the ongoing civil war in Tajikistan "along ethnic, national, and religious lines (since the Russian forces are "also involved in this civil war), and the ethnic conflict in the Fargana valley that cuts across the borders of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Like the economies of its Central Asian neighbors, the Azeri economy was largely dependent on the economy of the former Soviet Union. Consequently, like its other neighbors, Azerbaijan is also busy establishing economic self-sufficiency, along with strengthening its religious political, linguistic, and ethnic identities.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, International Law, Nuclear Weapons, Religion
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Middle East, Soviet Union
  • Author: Yagil Levy
  • Publication Date: 06-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Studies of Social Change
  • Abstract: Demilitarization and de-escalation of violent conflicts have seemed to prevail during the last decade. The most significant event -- the collapse of the Soviet Union with the end of the Cold War--has stimulated scholars of international relations (IR) to retest the power of major theories to both explain and forecast the shift in the Soviet Union' 5 foreign policy from competition to cooperation with the U.S. (similar to shifts undergone by other states). Scholars generally agree that the economic crisis in the Soviet Union in a world system dominated by the U.S. played a key role in the former superpower's failure to extract the domestic resources needed to maintain its position of rivalry vis-à-vis the U.S., thus propelling it to embark on a new road. Still, scholars have debated with respect to the shift's timing and the origins of the trajectory opted for by the Soviet Union toward cooperation relative to other options, such as further competition as a means of ongoing internal-state extraction and control. This debate also highlights the analytical weaknesses of the realism/neorealism school of thought when taken against the background of the collapse of the bipolar, competitive world system on which this school has staked so much.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Soviet Union
  • Author: Yagil Levy
  • Publication Date: 12-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Studies of Social Change
  • Abstract: Observation of state-military relations in Israel reveals an apparent paradox: Within a period of about seventy years, the more the militarization of Israeli society and politics gradually increased, the more politicians were successful in institutionalizing effective control over the Israel Defence Forces (IDF, and the pre-state organizations). Militarization passed through three main stages: (1) accepting the use of force as a legitimate political instrument during the pre-state period (1920-1948), subsequent to confrontation between pacifism and activism; (2) giving this instrument priority over political-diplomatic means in the state's first years up to the point in which (3) military discursive patterns gradually dominated political discourse after the 1967 War. At the same time, political control over the IDF was tightened, going from the inculcation of the principle of the armed forces' subordination to the political level during the pre-state period to the construction of arrangements working to restrain the military leverage for autonomous action.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel