The article argues that if the macro-regional frameworks of the Eurasian Economic Community, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation still largely represent a form of virtual regionalism, they also offer to Central Asian states an increasingly important function of protective integration. On the first hand, the existence of non-complementary trade and economic relationships between Central Asian states reinforces the obstacles to substantive regionalism. On the second hand, a primary motivation for Central Asian leaders’ engagement in these frameworks has been the reinforcement of domestic regime security and resistance to external agendas of good governance and democracy promotion, especially in the aftermath of the 2003-5 ‘colour revolutions’.

The Redaction
CER: II-7.4.A-617