Sean Kay
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Geopolitical constraints and institutional innovation
The dynamics of multilateralism in Eurasia

This chapter assesses the relationship between traditional state-based security concerns and the development of multilateral institutions in Eurasia from 1992 to 2002. In Eurasia, the security dilemma drives the nature of state choices for international cooperation. Much strategic analysis of Eurasian geopolitics focuses on access to oil and related transportation routes. Many strategists thus predict increased competition over natural resources in a new 'great game', as historically practised between Great Britain and Russia in the nineteenth century. Russia's residual hegemony in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is primarily economic and is exercised through pre-existing, Soviet-era personnel networks and bilateral linkage strategies. The most significant attempt at regional balancing against Russia's residual hegemony is the GUUAM grouping of Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldova. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is viewed in western circles as a potential balancing mechanism designed by China and Russia to frustrate American global dominance.

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Limiting institutions?

The challenge of Eurasian security governance


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