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This book provides the first in-depth, multidisciplinary study of re-urbanization in Russia's Arctic regions, with a specific focus on new mobility patterns, and the resulting birth of new urban Arctic identities in which newcomers and labor migrants form a rising part of. It is an invaluable reference for all those interested in current trends in circumpolar regions, showing how the Arctic region is becoming more diverse culturally, but also more integrated into globalized trends in terms of economic development, urban sustainability and migration.
Military action in South Ossetia, growing tensions with the United States and NATO, and Russia's relationship with the European Union demonstrate how the issue of Russian nationalism is increasingly at the heart of the international political agenda.This book considers a wide range of aspects of Russian nationalism, focussing on the Putin period. It discusses the development of Russian nationalism, including in the Soviet era, and examines how Russian nationalism grows out of - or is related to - ideology, culture, racism, religion and intellectual thinking, and demonstrates how Russian nationalism affects many aspects of Russian society, politics and foreign policy. This book examines the different socio-political phenomena which are variously defined as 'nationalism', 'patriotism' and 'xenophobia'. As Russia reasserts itself in the world, with Russian nationalism as one of the key driving forces in this process, an understanding of Russian nationalism is essential for understanding the dynamics of contemporary international relations.
Is Russia Fascist? argues that the charge of "fascism" has become a strategic narrative of the current world order. Through a detailed examination of the Russian domestic scene and the Kremlin's foreign policy rationales, it disentangles the foundation for, meaning, and validity of accusations of fascism in and around Russia.
This timely book provides a balanced and comprehensive overview of the geographical, historical, political, cultural, and geostrategic factors that drive Russia today. Russia has long inspired fear in the West, but as the authors argue, Russia is fearful as well. Three decades after the transformations launched by perestroika, multiple ghosts haunt both Russian elites and ordinary citizens, ranging from concerns about territorial challenges, societal transformations, and economic decline to worries about the country's vulnerability to external intervention. Faced with a West that emerged victorious from the Cold War, a shockingly dynamic China, and former Soviet republics claiming their right to emancipate themselves from Moscow's stranglehold, Russia is constantly questioning its identity, its development path, and its role on the international scene. The country hesitates between two strategies: take refuge in a new isolation and revive the old notion of being a ';besieged fortress,' or replay the messianic myth of a Third Rome, the last bastion of Christian values in the face of a decadent West. Explaining Russia's perspective, Marlene Laruelle and Jean Radvanyi offers a much-needed analysis that will help readers understand how the country deals with its domestic issues and how these influence Russian foreign policy.
The southernmost and poorest state of the Eurasian space, Tajikistan collapsed immediately upon the fall of the Soviet Union and plunged into a bloody five-year civil war (19921997) that left more than 50,000 people dead and more than half a million displaced. After the 1997 Peace Agreements, Tajikistan stood out for being the only post-Soviet country to recognize an Islamic partythe Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT)as a key actor in the civil war as well as in postwar reconstruction and democratization. Tajikistan's linguistic and cultural proximity to Iran notwithstanding, the balance of external powers over the country remains fairly typical of Central Asia, with Russia as the major security provider and China as its principal investor.Another specificity of Tajikistan is its massive labor migration flows toward Russia. Out of a population of eight million, about one million work abroad seasonallyone of the highest rates of departure in the world. Migration trends have impacted Tajikistan's economy and rent mechanisms: half of the country's GDP comes from migrant remittances, a higher share than anywhere else in the world. However, it is in the societal and cultural realms that migration has had the most transformative effect. Migrants' cultural and societal identities are on the move, with a growing role given to Islam as a normative tool for regulating the cultural shock of migration. Islam, and especially a globalized fundamentalist pietist movement, regulates both physical and moral security in workplace and other settings, and brings migrants together to make their interactions meaningful and socio-politically relevant. It offers a new social prestige to those who work in an environment seen as threatening to their Islamic identity.The first section of this volume investigates the critical question of the nature of the Tajik political regime, its stability, legitimacy mechanisms, and patterns of centralization. In the volume's second part, we move away from studying the state to delve into the societal fabric of Tajikistan, shaped by local rural specificities and social vulnerabilities in the health sector and gender relationships. The third section of the volume is devoted to identity narratives and changes. While the Tajik regime works hard to control the national narrative and the interpretation of the civil war, society is literally and figuratively on the move, as migration profoundly reshapes societal structures and cultural values.
In this global era, Central Asia must be understood in both geo-economic and geopolitical terms. The region's natural resources compel the attention of rivalrous great powers and ambitious internal factions. The local regimes are caught between the need for international collaborations to valorize these riches and the need to maintain control over them in the interest of state sovereignty. Russia and China dominate the horizon, with other global players close behind; meanwhile, neighboring countries are fractious and unstable with real potential for contagion.This pathbreaking introduction to Central Asia in contemporary international economic and political context answers the needs of both academic and professional audiences and is suitable for course adoption.
This book offers the first comprehensive examination of Russia's Arctic strategy, ranging from climate change issues and territorial disputes to energy policy and domestic challenges. As the receding polar ice increases the accessibility of the Arctic region, rival powers have been manoeuvering for geopolitical and resource security. Geographically, Russia controls half of the Arctic coastline, 40 percent of the land area beyond the Circumpolar North, and three quarters of the Arctic population. In total, the sea and land surface area of the Russian Arctic is about 6 million square kilometres. Economically, as much as 20 percent of Russia's GDP and its total exports is generated north of the Arctic Circle. In terms of resources, about 95 percent of its gas, 75 percent of its oil, 96 percent of its platinum, 90 percent of its nickel and cobalt, and 60 percent of its copper reserves are found in Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions. Add to this the riches of the continental shelf, seabed, and waters, ranging from rare earth minerals to fish stocks. After a spike of aggressive rhetoric when Russia planted its flag in the Arctic seabed in 2007, Moscow has attempted to strengthen its position as a key factor in developing an international consensus concerning a region where its relative advantages are manifest, despite its diminishing military, technological, and human capacities.
This social and cultural analysis provides a new understanding of Kazakhstan's younger generations that emerged during the rule of Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has been presiding over Kazakhstan for the thirty years since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Half of Kazakhstan's population was born after he took power and have no direct memory of the Soviet regime. Since the early 2000s, they have lived in a world of political stability and relative material affluence, and have developed a strong consumerist culture. Even with growing government restrictions on media, religion, and formal public expression, they have been raised in a comparatively free country. This book offers the first collective study of the ';Nazarbayev Generation,' illuminating the diversity of the country's younger generations and the transformations of social and cultural norms that have taken place over the course of three decades. The contributors to this collection move away from state-centric, top-down perspectives in favor of grassroots realities and bottom-up dynamics in order to better integrate sociological data.
Central Asia is a relatively understudied neighbor of Afghanistan. The region is often placed into a number of historical and political contextsa section of the Silk Road, a pawn in the ';Great Game,' the ';spillover' state that exemplifies the failure of US foreign policythat limit scholarly understanding.This edited volume contributes by providing a broad, long-term analysis of the Central AsiaAfghanistan relationship over the last several decades. It addresses the legacy of Soviet intervention with a unique first-hand selection of interviews of former Soviet Central Asian soldiers that fought in the SovietAfghan War. It examines Afghanistan's norther neighbors, discussing Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistantheir strategy for Afghanistan, their perception of challenges and opportunities of the country, and patterns of cooperation and conflict. The collection also looks at recent US strategic initiatives in the region, in particular the New Silk Road Initiative that envisions a growing Central AsiaSouth Asia connection.
Over the past three decades, Uzbekistan has attracted the attention of the academic and policy communities because of its geostrategic importance, its critical role in shaping or unshaping Central Asia as a region, its economic and trade potential, and its demographic weight: every other Central Asian being Uzbek, Uzbekistan's political, social, and cultural evolutions largely exemplify the transformations of the region as a whole. And yet, more than 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, evaluating Uzbekistan's post-Soviet transformation remains complicated. Practitioners and scholars have seen access to sources, data, and fieldwork progressively restricted since the early 2000s.The death of President Islam Karimov, in power for a quarter of century, in late 2016, reopened the future of the country, offering it more room for evolution. To better grasp the challenges facing post-Karimov Uzbekistan, this volume reviews nearly three decades of independence. In the first part, it discusses the political construct of Uzbekistan under Karimov, based on the delineation between the state, the elite, and the people, and the tight links between politics and economy. The second section of the volume delves into the social and cultural changes related to labor migration and one specific trigger the difficulties to reform agriculture. The third part explores the place of religion in Uzbekistan, both at the state level and in society, while the last part looks at the renegotiation of collective identities.
The European Union in a Reconnecting Eurasia examines the full scope of EU interests in the South Caucasus and Central Asia and analyzes the broad outlines of EU engagement over the coming years.
Kazakhstan is one of the best-known success stories of Central Asia, perhaps even of the entire Eurasian space. It boasts a fast growing economyat least until the 2014 crisisa strategic location between Russia, China, and the rest of Central Asia, and a regime with far-reaching branding strategies. But the country also faces weak institutionalization, patronage, authoritarianism, and regional gaps in socioeconomic standards that challenge the stability and prosperity narrative advanced by the aging President Nursultan Nazarbayev. This policy-oriented analysis does not tell us a lot about the Kazakhstani society itself and its transformations.This edited volume returns Kazakhstan to the scholarly spotlight, offering new, multidisciplinary insights into the country's recent evolution, drawing from political science, anthropology, and sociology. It looks at the regime's sophisticated legitimacy mechanisms and ongoing quest for popular support. It analyzes the country's fast changing national identity and the delicate balance between the Kazakh majority and the Russian-speaking minorities. It explores how the society negotiates deep social transformations and generates new hybrid, local and global, cultural references.
Kyrgyzstan is probably the best known of any central Asian country, the one that has elicited the most academic publications, reports by NGOs or advocacy groups, and op-eds in the media. The country opened up massively to Western influence through development aid for civil society and for economic reforms, faced two revolutions in 2005 and 2010, and experienced bloody interethnic conflict in 2010. Kyrgyzstan is therefore commonly studied as a twin case: that of having been, for more than two decades, both an ';island of democracy' in Central Asiaand the only country of the region to have made the transition to a parliamentary regimeand the archetypical example of a ';failing state,' one marked by endemic corruption, criminalization of the state apparatus, and collapse of public services. This volume goes beyond these two cliches and provides a research-based and unideological narrative on the country. It identifies political dynamics, their powerbrokers, and the role of international organizations; investigates the profound social transformations of both the rural and the urban worlds; and examines the broad feeling, by local actors, that Kyrgyzstan's fragile state identity should be consolidated. This book gives the floor to the new generation of scholars whose long-term vernacular-language field research made it possible to provide new interpretative prisms for the complex evolution of Kyrgyzstan.
The European Union in a Reconnecting Eurasia examines the full scope of EU interests in the South Caucasus and Central Asia and analyzes the broad outlines of EU engagement over the coming years. It is part of a six-part CSIS series, ';Eurasia from the Outside In,' which includes studies focusing on Turkey, the European Union, Iran, India, Russia, and China.