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Problems of Regionalization in Post-Soviet Central Asia

D. B. Malysheva ()

Outlines of global transformations: politics, economics, law, 2020

Abstract: Different interpretations of the concept of “Central Asia†(CA) as well as mutual definitions of its geographical borders indicate the incompleteness in the process of forming Central Asia as a region. Regionalization as an effective form of upholding and promoting by Central Asian countries their national interests is distinguished in Central Asia by a multilevel characterization. It includes the desire of the republics to promote their national interests as sovereign states, then to develop their trade, economic and political interaction within the framework of integration processes, and to join various integration initiatives and supranational projects with a wide range of non‑regional participants. Central Asian states’ attempts to develop intra‑regional cooperation in the period from 1994 to 2005 ended in failure. Since 2017, the idea of a “new integration†has been gaining popularity in Central Asia, and it is considered to be a part of the construction within the framework of the Union of Central Asian States which is planned for creation. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan claim for the role of “region‑forming†countries and two cores around which the development of hypothetical regional integration is possible. At the same time, the foreign policy of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, their approaches to security problems have a kind of differences, while their regional neighbors are also differ from each other in their approaches to some economic and social issues; the resource base of Central Asian states is incomparable either. Therefore, there are many factors that hinder a regionalization as well as an integration. Among them are the centripetal aspirations of the Central Asian countries/ They prefer, instead of neighbors in the region, external partners and markets, international financial institutions and donor structures. There are objective obstacles that impede regionalization, including the fact that the five republics of the region reluctant to share the sovereignty acquired after the collapse of the USSR in favor of supranational structures, whether they operate on the scale of the post‑Soviet space or they are planned to be created within the region.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.23932/2542-0240-2020-13-3-8

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