Great Games, Local Rules: The New Great Power Contest in Central Asia

ISBN : 9780199929825

Alexander Cooley
272 ページ
162 x 236 mm

The struggle between Russia and Great Britain over Central Asia in the nineteenth century was the original "great game." But in the past quarter century, a new "great game" has emerged, pitting America against a newly aggressive Russia and a resource-hungry China, all struggling for influence over one of the volatile areas in the world: the long border region stretching from Iran through Pakistan to Kashmir. In Great Games, Local Rules, Alexander Cooley, one of America's most respected Central Asia experts, explores the dynamics of the new competition over the region since 9/11. All three great powers are pursuing important goals: basing rights for the US, access to natural resources for the Chinese, and increased political influence for the Russians. But Central Asian governments have proven themselves powerful forces in their own right, establishing local rules that serve to fend off foreign involvement, enrich themselves and reinforce their sovereign authority. Cooley's careful and surprising explanation of how small states interact with great powers in this vital region greatly advances our understanding of how world politics actually works in this contemporary era.


Chapter 1: The New Multipolar Politics of Influence in Central Asia
Chapter 2: Local Rules: The Origins and Politics of Central Asian Regime Survival
Chapter 3: Washington's Strategy: Juggling Interests and Values on the Road to Afghanistan
Chapter 4: Moscow's Strategy: The Quest for a Privileged Role
Chapter 5: Beijing's Strategy: The SCO, Xinjiang and China's Great Leap Westward
Chapter 6: Anti-Terrorism, Democratization and Human Rights
Chapter 7: Geopolitical Competition and Political Stability: The Case of Kyrgyzstan
Chapter 8: Corruption and Governance: Competition and Collusion in Contracting
Chapter 9: Regional Integration: So Many Proposals, So Little Cooperation
Chapter 10: Conclusion: Central Asia's Multipolar Politics in Comparative Perspective
Appendix 1: Laws Passed after Color Revolutions that Introduced New Restrictions on NGOs
and the Media
Appendix 2: Election Monitor Assessments, ODIHR/SCO/CIS


Alexander Cooley is the Tow Professor for Distinguished Scholars and Practitioners in the Department of Political Science at Barnard College and Columbia University. His books include Contracting States, Logics of Hierarchy, and Base Politics.