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EUCACIS in Brief
EUCACIS Online Paper


EUCACIS Online Paper No. 12: Karina Turan - Prosperity and Resilience as the New Panacea? The New Central Asia Strategy in View of the Security - Development Nexus 

July 28, 2020

Since the independence of the five Central Asian republics in the 1990s, the European Union has been enhancing its ties with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In 2019, the European Commission and the High Representative adopted the Joint Communication on “The EU and Central Asia: New Opportunities for a Stronger Partnership” which intended to update the first Central Asia strategy of 2007. This paper looks at the guiding paradigms of the new Central Asia strategy within the scope of the security-development nexus. The goal of this paper is to show that the EU identifies a strong correlation between security and development issues in the case of Central Asia. It will be seen that the European understanding of security and development becomes a key element of the EU’s new strategy to the given region.  The detrimental impact of terrorism, illicit drug trafficking and water security affect not only human security but the regional stability as a whole.

EUCACIS Online Paper No. 12 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS in Brief No. 15: Janny Hollstein - The Crisis in Kyrgyzstan: The Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Society and Culture - Interview with Florian Coppenrath 

July 28, 2020

On 18 March, Kyrgyzstan confirmed the first three cases of the Covid-19 pandemic. The country has declared a state of emergency and and closed its international borders. As of 30th June, Kyrgyzstan counted 5296 confirmed cases of Covid-19, 2370 recoveries and 57 covid-19 related deaths. A containment of the spread of the virus in the Central Asian country is currently not foreseeable. Florian Coppenrath, who is conducting field research in Bishkek, discusses his experience and observation on how the pandemic unfolded during the past months in Kyrgyzstan.

EUCACIS in Brief No. 15 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS in Brief No. 14: Salome Mineashvili - Georgia`s Response to Covid-19 and Its Effects on Academia and Research: Interview with Kornely Kakachia 

July 7, 2020

Georgia, similar to the other countries, has been struggling with the Covid-19 since February 2020. In an interview, Professor Kornely Kakachia discusses how the government and society have been handling the pandemic since then and particularly, how the virus has affected Georgian academia and the research field.

EUCACIS in Brief No. 14 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS in Brief No. 13: Bruce Pannier - Tajikistan`s Predictable Parliamentary Elections and the Presidential Election Later This Year

April 14, 2020

Tajikistan just held its first parliamentary elections since the country’s main opposition party lost its registration and was declared an extremist group in 2015. As expected, President Emomali Rahmon’s party received the most votes, maintaining its dominance in a parliament that is anyway packed with deputies from other pro-presidential parties. The March 1 elections further cemented Rahmon’s hold on power and paved the way for him to do whatever he wishes when Tajikistan holds its presidential election in November this year. And Rahmon, who has been in power since 1992, must decide to whether to run for fifth term in office or install a successor.

EUCACIS in Brief No. 13 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS Online Paper No. 11: Violetta Manukyan - Non-Recognized States, Security Threats and Post Conflict Stateness: The Quartet of post-Soviet Space

April 7, 2020

The way of formation of statehood and ‘stateness’ is rather long and complicated for countries, that have not been recognized yet. Their additional difficulties for ‘stateness‘ are conditioned by challenges and consequences of conflict, stringent limitation of international relations, lack of experience and knowledge of how to build a sovereign state. The paper proposes an integral model of assessment of ‘stateness’, the so-called ‘Peace Index’ to comprehensively capture the levels of ‘stateness’ of such states. The index is discussed based on the examples of four non-recognized states of Post-Soviet space: Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistriа.

EUCACIS Online Paper No. 11 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS in Brief No. 12: Jamshid Normatov - Eurasian Economic Union and Uzbekistan: Accession prospects and economic implications

March 31, 2020

In 2019, Uzbekistan announced its intention to join the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). At the same time, the country formally re-opened WTO accession after the 1994 opened negotiations had stalled. Jamshid Normatov discusses how these two integration projects relate to each other, and points out economic and political implications if Uzbekistan decides to join either of the organizations. He gives the recommendation that integration into the WTO should remain a priority. Moreover, the decision on the EAEU should be based on the type of agreed terms concerning the balance between the trade and sovereignty issues.

EUCACIS in Brief No. 12 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS in Brief No. 11: Jasur Salomov - Uzbekistan`s Accession to the Eurasian Economic Union: Another Step in Economic Integration or Russian Political Pressure?

March 31, 2020

Jasur Salomov analyses the current development of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and potential advantages and disadvantages of Uzbekistan joining this organization. The paper argues that, although, in a formal sense, the EAEU is an economic organization, the Kremlin`s motivation to draw Uzbekistan into this structure is political. The author notes that is it important for Uzbekistan to carefully study all possible risks before joining the organization or alternatively, choose a “middle ground” and join the EAEU with an observer status.

EUCACIS in Brief No. 11 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS Online Paper No. 10: Suhail Ahmad - The roots of political instability in Afghanistan and the implications of (mis)governance

December 3, 2019

The paper looks at two forms of governance in the recent history of Afghanistan: the elected Afghan government and the Taliban, analysing both in terms of their contribution to the current and continued misgovernance of the country. Two concepts are guiding this analysis:  the notion of ‘good governance’ as it is defined by the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI), and the principles of Islamic governance (Khilafat), as defined by four of the most influential post-modernist Islamic thinkers; juxtaposing the Taliban’s implementation of Islam with these principles. The paper concludes with some recommendations on how to improve the difficult situation in the country.

EUCACIS Online Paper No. 10 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS in Brief No. 10: Magda Arsenyan - New Challenges of Armenian Parliamentarism and Multiparty Democracy: Illussions and Reality. Interview with Ashot Aleksanyan

September 27, 2019

The final achievement of the political struggle of the opposition leaders and civil society actors of the non-violent, velvet and popular revolution in April-May 2018 in Armenia were the early parliamentary elections held on December 9, 2018. According to the public opinion these elections should have been the momentum of democratic reforms. However, the newly elected political authority has made a reverse turn into the past starting a fight against the leaders of previous political elites. This policy endangers the future of democracy and the development of parliamentary culture, as most of the public resources is being consumed on populism, discrediting and political persecution of the previous political elites. Since the "Velvet Revolution", the creation of "anti-heroes" has become the only successful way towards the maintenance of political legitimacy. Current political processes show that there is a deep abyss between the statements of "velvet movement" and current policy of "Civil contract" party. This hinders the implementation of revolutionary citizenship-centric ideas, of democratization, the transformation of the parliamentary form of government, and of deepening the European integration processes.

EUCACIS in Brief No. 10 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS Online Paper No. 9: Azad Garibov - Friends and Foes in the South Caucasus: Sources of divergent security policies and alliances in the region

September 5, 2019

The paper addresses the question of why the South Caucasus states have employed divergent and often conflicting alignment and alliance strategies since their independence, although having had similar “departure points”. It argues that perceived security threats and the need for protection against them constitute the major incentive for alliance/alignment choices and employs the materially/ideationally hybrid Regional Security Complex (RSCT) theory to uncover the sources of divergent threat perceptions. According to the paper, in the South Caucasus a combination of the three major variables of RSCT—namely long-standing enmities and amities, inherent state weaknesses, and penetration of big powers—produce divergent alliance and alignment policies pursued by Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.

EUCACIS Online Paper No. 9 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS in Brief No. 9: Susann Heinecke - EU-Central Asia relations: New opportunities for a stronger partnership? Interview with Peter Burian

August 13, 2019

In June 2019, the European Council adopted the new EU strategy for Central Asia “The EU and Central Asia: New Opportunities for a Stronger Partnership”, updating its strategy with the region first set out in 2007. Since then, Central Asia as well as its regional and international surroundings have changed, and the region’s relations with the EU have developed further. In light of these developments, Dr Susann Heinecke, senior programme manager at CIFE, has conducted an interview with the EU Special Representative for Central Asia, Ambassador Peter Burian, to receive his assessment of the new EU Central Asia strategy and its implementation.

The interview was held on 11th July 2019 in Brussels. A shortened version of the interview has been published at the H2020 project “SEnECA – Strengthening and Energizing EU-Central Asia relations” website as a blog post:

EUCACIS in Brief No. 9 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS Online Paper No. 8: Tamar Gamkrelidze - The changing image of Russia in the European project of post-Soviet Georgia in 2004-2012

July 18, 2019

Tamar Gamkrelidze elaborates on the role of Russia in Georgia’s European project. The puzzle is why the European project, which initially aimed for peaceful coexistence with Russia, led to a situation where Georgia’s northern neighbour became a chief antagonist. The findings reveal that President Saakashvili and his government tried to redefine an image of Russia in the period of 2004 to 2012 in order to implement the European project, after the initial plan of allocating Russia as a strategic partner in the process of Georgia’s Europeanization has failed. The paper bases on the analysis of 464 speeches of the former Georgian President.

EUCACIS Online Paper No. 8 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS in Brief No. 8: Azad Garibov - Key disputes remain unsettled in the Caspian Sea despite the signing of the Convention on legal status

June 18, 2019

Negotiations to resolve the dispute over the legal status of the Caspian Sea have been long and uneasy. The dispute hindered opportunities for regional cooperation, particularly with regard to the establishment of trans-Caspian energy corridors from Central Asia to Europe. While the recently signed Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea was met with much optimism in the region and beyond as the long-expected solution to the problem, it also left caveats in the way to the final settlement of the major disputes around the sea, most importantly two issues: (1) the delimitation of borders across the seabed and resultant clarification of the ownership of the disputed fields, and (2) the construction of underwater trans-Caspian pipelines.

EUCACIS in Brief No. 8 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS in Brief No. 7: Magda Arsenyan - The development of Parliamentary Culture from an Axiological Perspective: Interview with Mariam Margaryan  

June 3, 2019

The transition to the parliamentary system of government is a real challenge for the Armenian political system and for society. Even after the "Velvet revolution", the current state of political relations between parliamentary parties, an increasing public mistrust towards the authorities, the dependence of civil society organizations—which is a result of cohesion with the authorities—, and the manipulation of the public discourse led to a shrinking effectiveness of the parliamentary governance, and to an enhancement of a "super prime-ministerial" system or "prime-ministerial dictatorship." Taking into regard the necessity to re-evaluate the importance of the development of parliamentary culture, the interview explores the essence of parliamentary culture and the cultural perspective of the development in general.  Furthermore, it outlines the obstacles, preconditions and necessary steps that will foster the continuous democratisation of parliamentary governance in Armenia.

EUCACIS in Brief No. 7 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS Online Paper No. 7: Daniel Weissenrieder - Brussels and the Land of Fire. A brief overview of the development of the EU-Azerbaijan Relations 

April 29, 2019

Daniel Weißenrieder elaborates in his paper the history of the 25-year relationship of the EU with Azerbaijan which is characterized by common interests, but also by contentious issues such as corruption, the human rights situation, authoritarian trends, and the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Weißenrieder also discusses the role of other actors in the region that need to be considered, like Russia, China, Turkey, and Iran. The paper concludes that it needs to be seen to what extent and on which fields the currently negotiated new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) will impact the relations and the situation in the EU’s most remote Eastern Partnership country.

EUCACIS Online Paper No. 7 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS Online Paper No. 6: Jasur Salomov - Mirziyoyev's Uzbekistan: Towards Openness and Real Democracy 

April 12, 2019

In his paper, Jasur Salomov analyses the transformation process of Uzbek politics by referring to political, social and economic development within the two-year activities of the government from September 2016 until June 2018. He addresses President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s attempts in modernizing the political and economic system, and in reshaping governmental considerations and actions towards international and regional cooperation, as well as towards human rights issues.

EUCACIS Online Paper No. 6 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS Online Paper No. 5: Ashot Aleksanyan - Trade Unions as an actor of regional citizenship and European social integration of the South Caucasus 

February 22, 2019

Ashot Aleksanyan examines the transformation of trade unions in the South Caucasus in the context of the transition of the region’s countries to market economies and the upheavals of the entire system of economic and social relations this transition entails. Proceeding from the European model of social integration which assumes an active and productive role of trade unions in the social system, he explores the development of social responsibility and the role of trade unions in Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. The paper concludes that the relatively high share of informal (“shadow”) economy in the South Caucasus limits and hinders trade unions to participate effectively in the regulation of social and labour relations.

EUCACIS Online Paper No. 5 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS Online Paper No. 4: Gulzana Kurmanalieva - Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan: Endless Border Conflicts 

February 19, 2019

Gulzana Kurmanalieva analyses the situation of scarcity of pastures and water in the trans-boundary region of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan which leads to interethnic tensions and non-sustainable use of resources. The paper argues that the lack of institutional arrangements leads to unequal pasture and water access and use in the region, and gives recommendations on how to contribute to a solution of the conflicts.

EUCACIS Online Paper No. 4 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS in Brief No. 6: Albina Muratbekova - Recent Changes in the Kazakh-Uzbek Relations: Interview with Erkin Baydarov 

February 13, 2019

Since the beginning of Shavkat Mirziyoyev's presidency in Uzbekistan in December 2016, dynamics of Kazakh-Uzbek relations significantly increased. In an interview with EUCACIS fellow Albina Muratbekova, Dr Erkin Baydarov, senior researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies in Almaty, Kazakhstan, evaluates the current political, economic and cultural ties between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. He describes the key activities and major progress done in bilateral cooperation, especially during the "Year of Uzbekistan" in Kazakhstan in 2018.

EUCACIS in Brief No. 6 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS in Brief No. 5: Bruce Pannier - Uzbekistan's New Regional Policy: Positives and Potential Pitfalls 

December 11, 2018

Bruce Pannier outlines Uzbekistan’s new foreign policy approach with regard to its regional neighbours since Shavkhat Mirziyoyev became leader in December 2016. For that purpose, he delivers a brief portrait of the Karimov era, depicting the challenges the new government is confronted with, and the steps taken so far. Pannier concludes that Mirziyoyev’s government has rekindled possibilities that have long been on hold, but also reviews that a more unified Central Asia, looking to Uzbekistan for leadership, might raise concerns in Russia, China, and other countries.

EUCACIS in Brief No. 5 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS Online Paper No. 3: Azad Garibov - Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey: Advancing the Military Dimension of the Trilateral Partnership 

November 28, 2018

Azad Garibov traces the evolution of the trilateral partnership between Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey that started to be institutionalized at the beginning of the 2010s. While initially the cooperation was mainly focused on military preparedness to protect the energy-transport infrastructure in emergency cases, it gradually expanded to encompass other fields. The policy paper examines the key issues of what is the rationale behind, obstacles before and opportunities ahead of the trilateral Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey defense partnership. It offers possible further steps to more comprehensively utilize the opportunities provided by the trilateral partnership.  

EUCACIS Online Paper No. 3 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS Online Paper No. 2: Jamshid Normatov - Uzbekistan's Long Way to the World Trade Organization 

October 30, 2018

Jamshid Normatov reviews the accession process of Uzbekistan into the World Trade Organization (WTO) since the country’s application in 1994. According to the research, WTO accession is likely to produce higher gains for Uzbekistan than for other Former Soviet Union states. Normatov argues that WTO accession is important for Uzbekistan in order to advance its market reforms and make them irreversible. Therefore, the paper recommends to accelerate and promote WTO accession for Uzbekistan.  

EUCACIS Online Paper No. 2 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS Online Paper No. 1: Sholpan Tazabek - From the Soviet System to Bologna: A Critical Analysis of Doctoral Education Reforms in Kazakhstan 

October 5, 2018

Sholpan Tazabek delivers a critical policy analysis of doctoral education reforms that have been made since Kazakhstan's independence in 1991. The author gives insights into the transition from a Soviet to the Bologna system that help to understand the challenges of doctoral education in the country. Ultimately, the research finds that although the shift to the European model of a PhD is a major step for Kazakhstan towards the integration into the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), some improvements are needed from the doctoral programs to meet the existing shortcomings.  

EUCACIS Online Paper No. 1 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS in Brief No. 4: Tamar Gamkrelidze - EU integration: A view from Georgia - Interview with Ghia Nodia 

August 17, 2018

Tamar Gamkrelidze conducted an interview with Prof. Nodia of the International School of Caucasus Studies at the Ilia State University in Tbilisi on the threats, opportunities and challenges of European integration for Georgia. Prof. Nodia points out that, despite domestic and external challenges, there is political consensus on - and stable popularity of - European integration in Georgia.   

EUCACIS in Brief No. 4 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS in Brief No. 3: Violetta Manukyan (Petrosyan) - Keeping up with Armenia: The key developments of the post-revolutionary period

August 13, 2018

Manukyan is describing and assessing the political situation in Armenia after the anti-governmental protests of April and May 2018, in particular the steps taken by the new government to fight corruption and establish resilient democratic rules, as well as the changing attitudes of the people. The brief gives deep insights into the political and societal transformations currently going on in the country.

EUCACIS in Brief No. 3 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS in Brief No. 2: Sergey Yun - Some EuropeanEurasian perspectives on regional integration

April 20, 2017

The author offers a brief analysis of two integration projects in Eurasia – Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and China’s Silk Road Economic Belt initiative. He scrutinizes the different approaches to integration among the EAEU member states. What’s more, he sees the interests of other countries in cooperation with EAEU as an indicator of the Union’s economic viability. The author also claims that the EU’s reluctance to established official ties with EAEU is seen in Moscow as being driven by geopolitics, which the EU itself always condemns. For the Silk Road Economic Belt, he explains the reasons for Russia’s skepticism related to this particular project.

EUCACIS in Brief No. 2 can be downloaded here.


EUCACIS in Brief No. 1: Frederick Starr - Central Asia, the West, State and Religion

April 20, 2017

Considering the Western policy towards Central Asia in the direct aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Starr sees general blindness of the West to the importance of cultural values. That led the West to severely undervalue or even ignore the importance of its own values, especially in the area of religion. Therefore, Starr explains that the West should affirm the importance of secular states and laws as such and to work with Central Asian states to develop institutions and practices that best embody these ideas in the context of their societies.

EUCACIS in Brief No. 1 can be downloaded here.


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