Region out of Balance? Central Asia’s Changing Security and Geopolitics, 2014 and Beyond

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RUSImotif 2A briefing event by Professor Alex Cooley

The withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan has put into motion important changes in Central Asia's regional security architecture and relations with outside patrons. As Russia, China and the United States reposition themselves in the region, the "multivector" balance that characterized the foreign policies of all the Central Asian states from 2001-2012 is now being challenged and, in some cases, overturned. Russia's annexation of Crimea, and its bid to forge closer ties with selected client states across Eurasia, is further heightening regional anxieties. Professor Cooley will discuss how these emerging regional challenges now threaten to destabilize Central Asia, even as the West disengages politically and militarily from the region.

Alexander Cooley is Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University in New York and a Deputy Director of Columbia's Harriman Institute. His research examines how external actors have affected the sovereignty and political development of the post-Soviet and Eurasian states. His books include Logics of Hierarchy (2005), Contracting States: Sovereign Transfers in International Relations (2009) and Great Games, Local Rules: The New Great Power Contest in Central Asia (2012). In addition to his academic work, Professor Cooley has published a number of policy commentaries in leading media outlets and serves on a number of international committees, advisory boards and working groups engaged in global governance in the post-Soviet space.

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