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  • Author: Dov Lynch
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: The South Caucasus contains three states that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union: Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Geographically, the region is populated by some fifteen million people, links the Caspian Sea basin to the Black Sea on an east-to-west axis, and is the juncture between the greater Middle East, Turkey and Iran, and the Russian Federation. This chapter will introduce a number of themes that run through this Chaillot Paper. The first part examines the nature of the 'transition' that the three South Caucasian states have undergone with a view to understanding the scale of their transformation. A second part discusses dimensions of state weakness across the region. Next, the chapter considers the impact of third parties on regional security/insecurity, and finally it outlines the structure of the volume.
  • Topic: Security, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Iran, Central Asia, Turkey, Caucasus, Middle East, Soviet Union, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
  • Author: Roberto Aliboni
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This paper deals with the impact of the Iraqi crisis on Mediterranean dynamics. Four such dynamics are taken into consideration, assuming their particular significance: (a) the Israeli- Palestinian conflict and, more broadly, the opposition between Israel and the Arab-Muslim countries; (b) the stability of regional regimes and their transition to democracy; (c) the development of the EU Mediterranean policies and their relevance in the region; (d) Turkey's national and regional interests.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Fiona Hill
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Before 1991, the states of Central Asia were marginal backwaters, republics of the Soviet Union that played no major role in the Cold War relationship between the USSR and the United States, or in the Soviet Union's relationship with the principal regional powers of Turkey, Iran, and China. But, in the 1990s, the dissolution of the Soviet Union coincided with the re-discovery of the energy resources of the Caspian Sea, attracting a range of international oil companies including American majors to the region. Eventually, the Caspian Basin became a point of tension in U.S.-Russian relations. In addition, Central Asia emerged as a zone of conflict. Violent clashes erupted between ethnic groups in the region's Ferghana Valley. Civil war in Tajikistan, in 1992-1997, became entangled with war in Afghanistan. Faltering political and economic reforms, and mounting social problems provided a fertile ground for the germination of radical groups, the infiltration of foreign Islamic networks, and the spawning of militant organizations like the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). The IMU first sought to overthrow the government of President Islam Karimov in Uzbekistan, later espoused greater ambitions for the creation of an Islamic caliphate (state) across Central Asia, and eventually joined forces with the Taliban in Afghanistan. With the events of September 11, 2001 and their roots in the terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, Central Asia came to the forefront of U.S. attention.
  • Topic: Cold War, Religion
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, United States, China, Europe, Iran, Central Asia, Turkey, Asia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Taliban, Soviet Union
  • Author: Helmut Reisen
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The increased importance of rating agencies for emerging-market finance has brought their work to the attention of a wider group of observers - and under criticism. This paper evaluates whether the importance of ratings for developing-country finance has changed since the Asian Crisis and whether rating agencies have modified the determinants for their rating decisions. It also provides an analysis on recent suggestions by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, as these are very important for gauging the future role of sovereign ratings for foreign debt finance in developing countries. While the explanatory power of conventional rating determinants has declined since the Asian crisis, recent rating performance for Argentina and Turkey can still be qualified as lagging the markets, as variables of financial-sector strength and the endogenous effects of capital flows on macroeconomic variables seem to remain underemphasized in rating assessments. The market impact of sovereign ratings is predicted to decline as agencies have started to modify their country ceiling policy and as market participants try to exploit bond trading opportunities arising from the lagged nature of ratings. The paper presents theory and evidence to suggest that the Basel II Accord will destabilise private capital flows to the developing countries, if the current proposal to link regulatory bank capital to sovereign ratings is maintained: Assigning fixed minimum capital to bank assets whose risk weights are in turn determined by market-lagging cyclically determined ratings will reinforce the tendency of the capital ratio to work in a pro-cyclical way.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Asia, Argentina
  • Author: Antonio Missiroli
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: Last spring, the research team of the then WEU Institute for Security Studies came up with the idea of carrying out a targeted screening of the prevailing (and evolving) views on CFSP and ESDP in the candidate countries. In order to preserve some homogeneity and comparability, the screening would be limited to the ten Central European applicants. In fact, the Mediterranean candidates (Cyprus and Malta, let alone Turkey) pose completely different problems, while the whole exercise was intended to try and assess what CFSP/ESDP means to the part of Europe that was 'kidnapped' for almost half a century – according to Milan Kundera's well-known metaphor from the 1980s – and is now about to 'return' where it belongs. In a way, however, the project was also intended to try and assess what such a 'return' might mean for CFSP/ESDP, and how the two processes would interact and dovetail.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Cyprus
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: In April 2002, the National Intelligence Council sponsored a conference that examined the impact of events in Afghanistan since 11 September on a variety of regional actors, including Russia, Iran, Turkey, India, Europe, Pakistan, and the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The conference brought together government and outside experts and consisted of four workshops with presentations from ten academic and regional experts, followed by lengthy discussion sessions. The purpose of the conference was not to arrive at a consensus but to deepen understanding of the complex geopolitical dynamics at work in the region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Regional Cooperation, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Russia, Europe, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
  • Author: Dietrich Jung
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: “There is only one way to escape these dangers, which is to emulate the progress of the Europeans in science, industry and military and legal organization, in other words to equal them in civilization. And the only way to do this is to enter European civilization completely” (Ziya Gökalp1876-1924). These words of Ziya Gökalp, the most prominent nationalist intellectual of the late Ottoman Empire, whom Mustafa Kemal Atatürk himself called the “intellectual father of the new Republic”, nicely reveal the historical paradox behind Turkish-European relations. They are an expression of both Turkey's desire to be acknowledged as a European state and the deeply rooted Turkish mistrust vis-à-vis the intentions of Europe. The victim of European power politics wants to be equal to its victimizers. On the basis of this paradox, this article claims that the mutual suspicions that have marred Turkish-EU relations cannot be understood without taking the historical legacies of Ottoman-European relations into account. In particular, it presents a critique of the flawed strategy of some circles that try to facilitate Turkey's EU accession by exploiting the country's geo-strategic assets. In putting the focus on security issues, the article will unmask the contradictions in this strategy, which rather contributes to maintaining the historically caused, distorted and sometimes hypocritical communication between Turkey and the EU.
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Aleksandar D. Jovovic
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • Abstract: The Institute for the Study of Diplomacy hosted the fall 2001 meetings of the Schlesinger Working Group on the topic of Turkey. Our selection of Turkey is a reflection of the daunting choices and challenges that face this country, as well as its inherent importance. Turkey is at a crossroads not only due to its strategic geographic location, but also because of the key internal economic, social and political problems it must resolve. It faces difficult dilemmas on the question of Cyprus, its relations with Greece, and its cooperation with Israel. It has been forced to accept open-ended delays on EU membership, and it may have to yield some influence on the issue of European defense. Turkey walks a fine line between firm support for the Iraqi containment scheme and tacit admission of its dependence on the resulting smuggling business. On the home front, its tendency to ban pro-Islamist parties and its treatment of the Kurdish question may be unsustainable, while serious structural problems and rigidities in the economic system threaten to derail the impressive economic gains of past decades. And finally, the political system itself, rife with corruption and sustained by a bloated bureaucracy and entrenched party politics, is under growing strain.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Asia, Cyprus
  • Author: Martha Brill Olcott
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: To address drug proliferation and trafficking in the context of non-traditional security threats and to try to find ways out of the potentially explosive situation, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace sponsored a meeting of representatives of the five Central Asian states, Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, the United States, the United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Aga Khan Development Network, held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in May 1999. This paper analyzes the situation in the region based on the conference proceedings and aims to raise international awareness of the seriousness of the problem. It also advocates the need for a concerted effort within the region and without to help these countries fight this evil.
  • Topic: Security, International Law
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Turkey, Asia, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Over the past decade the South Caucasus region has faced bloody internal conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and to a lesser extent South Ossetia. It continues to display potential for instability as Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia exhibit the combined characteristics of war-torn societies and countries in transition. Given the geostrategic importance of the Caucasus and the strong interests of regional and international powers—particularly in the potential energy output—renewed armed confrontations would have serious economic, political and security implications across national borders. Moreover, spill-over into other volatile zones could bring about the open intervention of powerful neighbors, such as Iran, Iraq, Russia and Turkey, and could threaten larger peace and security arrangements.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Asia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Abkhazia