Energy and Conflict in Central Asia and the Caucasus

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9780742500631: Energy and Conflict in Central Asia and the Caucasus
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This timely study is the first to examine the relationship between competition for energy resources and the propensity for conflict in the Caspian region. Taking the discussion well beyond issues of pipeline politics and the significance of Caspian oil and gas to the global market, the book offers significant new findings concerning the impact of energy wealth on the political life and economies of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. The contributors, a leading group of scholars and policymakers, explore the differing interests of ruling elites, the political opposition, and minority ethnic and religious groups region-wide. Placing Caspian development in the broader international relations context, the book assesses the ways in which Russia, China, Iran, and Turkey are fighting to protect their interests in the newly independent states and how competition for production contracts and pipeline routes influences regional security. Specific chapters also link regional issues to central questions of international politics and to theoretical debates over the role of energy wealth in political and economic development worldwide. Woven throughout the implications for U.S. policy, giving the book wide appeal to policymakers, corporate executives, energy analysts, and scholars alike.

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About the Author:

Rajan Menon is Monroe J. Rathbone Professor of International Relations, Lehigh University and adjunct professor, Harriman Institute, Columbia University. Robert Ebel is director, Energy and National Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Review:

The 'Caspian' no longer refers merely to a sea, but has become a new geopolitical concept denoting Eurasian rivalries over energy and geopolitics in the region. Amid a welter of recent books that often hype the topic with little professional depth, this volume offers a welcome contrast characterized by realism in its exploration of the shifting balance of economics, politics, ethnic groups, religion, societies, and geopolitics by some of the savviest authors around on these subjects. One of the best books on the outlook for this complex region. (Graham E. Fuller, former vice chair of the National Intelligence Council, Central Intelligence Agency)

It is refreshing to read a collection of twelve highly professional papers compiled by Ebel and Menon that address in considerable depth the complex and varied issues of Energy and Conflict in Central Asia and the Caucasus. The book presents the results of a year-long project within the National Bureau of Asian Research, which involved both academia and industry. The result is excellent. This is an important book that marks a milestone in the developing awareness of the commercial, social and political realities that surround high-risk energy investment in the Caucasus and Central Asia... (Royal Society For Asian Affairs)

This excellent collection is highly recommended to readers interested in the political economy of Caspian Sea oil in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Articles, most written by well-known international experts, are clear and informative. (CHOICE)

The volume's twelve essays bring together well-known scholars and specialists to provide a thorough and detailed review of the region and the larger issues affecting the nexus. Each essay provides a detailed account of the energy issue and interests at stake. The volume also includes important contributions on the lessons of OPEC for the energy producers of the region, the trends and limits of regional cooperation, and the influence of the Afghan civil war. (International Affairs)

This timely study is the first to examine the relationship between competition for energy resources and the propensity for conflict in the Caspian region. Taking the discussion well beyond issues of pipeline politics and the significance of Caspian oil and gas to the global market, the book offers significant new findings concerning the impact of energy wealth on the political life and economies of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. It realistically explores the shifting balance of religion, politics, ethnic groups, and societies in the region. (Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society)

For too many Americans, Central Asia and the Caspian region represent unfamiliar territory combining mystery, romance, and ignorance. All three are captured in the misleading comparison to the nineteenth-century 'Great Game' between Britain and Russia―misleading since the United States has no stake equivalent to India, then Britain's Jewel in the Crown. This collection of essays, rich in context and in content, will go far to dispel that gap in knowledge. If the usual flaw in treatment of this region is the glittering generality passed off with a wave of the hand, this collection is detailed, specific, and comprehensive, treating the nations concerned both individually and collectively. (James Schlesinger, former Secretary of Defense, former director of Central Intelligence)

It is refreshing to read a collection of twelve highly professional papers compiled by Ebel and Menon that address in considerable depth the complex and varied issues of Energy and Conflict in Central Asia and the Caucasus. The book presents the results of a year-long project within the National Bureau of Asian Research, which involved both academia and industry. The result is excellent. This is an important book that marks a milestone in the developing awareness of the commercial, social and political realities that surround high-risk energy investment in the Caucasus and Central Asia. (Royal Society For Asian Affairs)

An excellent introduction to the region and the energy sector. (Development and Change)

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