This synthetic paper by a leading author on international relations in the Middle East and Central Asia sheds light on the evolution and functioning of three different kinds of regional integration in Central Eurasia—stressing the presence of lasting obstacles to their development (such as the mutual distrust of member states, real divergences on the international boundaries or on the exploitation of water resources, etc.).  The Organisation of Central Asian Cooperation, the Economic Cooperation Organisation, and the Organisation of Cooperation of Shanghai are successively evoked through the numerous limitations that are a burden on their expansion (e.g., member states acting as mutual competitors rather than as partners).  The OCS is credited of a better success thanks to the primacy of security matters: in this case, the presence of a common threat (viz., the Islamist Movement of Uzbekistan) and the search of a counterweight to Russian or Northern American influence, though political and juridical difficulties (for instance, on the status of the Caspian Sea) may further hamper its evolution.

The Redaction
CER: I-8.4.A-718