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Publications GEORGIA AND THE SYSTEMIC IMPACT OF THE FINANCIAL CRISIS (139 Kb)
This paper analyses the potential effects that the systemic developments stemming from the global financial crisis and the August war are likely to have in Georgia, within a context of hegemonic stability theoretical fundamentals. According to this perspective, both events have undermined the role of the US as the sole world hegemon. As a result, the Western strategic priorities toward the Caucasus are likely to shift, to the detriment of the special relationship between the Saakashvili administration and the US. To demonstrate this, the analysis will focus on the case study provided by energy- and transit-related Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), as the Georgian political and economic dependence on a geopolitical rent is strongly connected to them and is likely to disappear in the aftermath of the recent events.
Publications PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS FOR THE “FOURTH CORRIDOR”: THE POSITIONS AND ROLE OF TURKEY IN GAS TRANSIT TO EUROPE (316 Kb)
The subject of Caspian and Middle East gas pipelines to Europe has become increasingly important and emotive in the late 2000s with many projects and aspirations being advanced to create a “4th corridor” aimed at significant reducing dependence on (primarily) Russian gas. The role of Turkey will be critical for all of these projects. While the details of pipeline projects are well known, the role and aspirations of Turkey as an energy transit country have received less attention. Some have portrayed Turkey as a country critical to European energy security and a potential hub for Caspian and Middle East (oil and) gas supplies. But some Turkish statements and commercial positions in relation to pipeline projects have raised questions about the conditions which the country may intend to attach to this role, some of which could be seen as obstacles to natural gas transit. Because of the partisan nature of much of the current debate, it was important to find an author capable of making an expert, but unbiased, assessment of the Turkish position.
Publications Political Risk and Threat Advisory Briefing: Putting Putin’s Russia Strategy into Perspective
In the spring of 2009 Russia remains in the midst of deep recession, as the country seeks to pull itself out of the biggest economic crisis faced since 1998. The political challenge this poses to the current Russian government of Prime Minister and former-President, Vladimir Putin, is substantial...
Publications Russia in the global economic storm (72 Kb)
Russia has been badly affected by the economic crisis, because in the boom years - when it was able to rely on oil and gas exports - it had not diversified its economic base or introduced any major structural economic reforms, speakers agreed at an EPC Policy Dialogue organised with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and with World Bank support. They hoped the crisis would spur Moscow to introduce reforms, particularly to modernise the banking sector, public administration and governance structures.
Publications The Big Caucasus. Consequences of the "Five Day War", Threats and Political Prospects (1 Mb)
Sergey Markedonov, a prescient analyst of the Caucasus, assesses in this Xenophon Paper the possible implications of the August 2008 “five day war”. He initiates a discussion on the region’s “unfreezing of the conflicts” and provides an in-depth description of the existent non-recognised state entities and the other ethno-political conflicts with which the Caucasus is ridden. The author also explores the perspectives of major regional and extra-regional stakeholders in the area and the ambitious policies they deploy at the moment: the Russian stabilisation project, the American “Greater Middle East” project and the European Union social and economic (soft security) project...
Publications A New Energy Charter: Myth or Reality? (136 Kb)
Since the January 2009 gas crisis, top-level Russian officials have been suggesting that the Energy Charter Treaty should be reviewed. The Treaty was signed in 1994, but never ratified, by Russia. Russian gas giant Gazprom repeatedly invoked the Treaty’s incompatibility with its own interests and often claimed that it should be amended. One of the main dilemmas for Gazprom has always been the question of transit: how to ensure a reliable gas transit through Belarus and Ukraine on the one hand, while preserving a monopoly on the gas transit from Central Asia on the other?...
Publications North African Security Outlook: Trans-national Islamic Extremism in the Maghreb
Publications The World of Central Asian Oil and Gas. Power Politics, Market Forces, and Stealth Pipelines. (531 Kb)