This book is a guide, which gives an overview of the main political economic issues of Caucasus and Central Asian economies.  Ian Jeffries, a member of the Centre of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Wales, presents a unique level of details on political and economic development of eight countries: Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.  This book is the fourth volume of a series of guides edited by Ian Jeffries on Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union countries.  The present volume is mainly a collection of quotations and excerpts from various articles, and based on several sources: (1) reports from IFIs such as EBRD, IMF, UNECE, UNESCAP, World Bank; (2) international newspapers and magazines; (3) quarterly reports such as Armenia Economic Trends, Azerbaijan Economic Trends . . . .  The first part summarises in 3-5 pages the main recent events (up to 2002) for all the selected countries.  Although this is a comprehensive guide, the book suffers from two main shortcomings: (1) the unique use of sources in English; (2) the already outdated information for several countries such as Georgia, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, which have lived through major political events in the recent years.  It is then a useful reference for all those interested in the important events of the Caucasus and Central Asian countries.  However, despite its usefulness for scholars interested in the first decade of the transition, this book should not be considered as a handbook on these economies.

Gaël Raballand, Choiseul Institute, Paris
CER: I-8.1-693