Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-hfldf Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-28T16:42:48.276Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

9 - Integration in post-Soviet Central Asia: Shadow-economy practices and the cross-Eurasian flow of commodities

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 November 2020

Get access

Summary

Abstract

The 2010s became the time of active search for new forms of integration in the wide Eurasian space between Europe and East Asia. The most well-known is China's One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). A 7000-kilometre border between China and the EAEU was formed in 2015, which became a crucial factor in the cooperation of China and Post-Soviet Central Asia. Many regard the EAEU as just a Moscow geopolitical project and underestimated its real impacts on economic and political ties in Eurasia, particularly in post-Soviet Central Asia. This chapter examines the EAEU as a factor of international relations in the global discussion about the OBOR initiative.

Keywords: One Belt One Road, regional integration, shadow economy, cross-border exchanges, trans-continental transportation

Introduction

Multinational integration and globalization are major trends in world history today, and the beginning of the 21st century has become a time of conflicting movements. Just as globalization has become a globally accepted ideal, a strong momentum has emerged across societies worldwide for the ‘recovering of local identity, which was challenged by diminished national politics, culture and economic sovereignty in a globalized world’ (Baunov, 2017). This has resulted in the conservative, anti-globalist, and even nationalist agenda popular worldwide today, empowering leaders who appeal directly for national self-reliance without the intermediacy of globalized elites. Along with Brexit, this trend has become the most serious challenge to the neoliberal model of globalization since the previous Cold War dichotomy of a bipolar world. In the post-Soviet space (particularly in Russia), this trend is met with encouragement, as the neoliberal model of globalization is associated with US domination, while moving away from this model is seen as forming a ‘polycentric world’ with Russia as one of its centres. Paradoxically, ideas of multinational integration still dictate the foreign policy agenda in most countries, including post-Soviet nations.

There are several reasons for this. First, nostalgia for the Soviet Union is strong in parts of these societies (particularly in Russia), and elites seek to use this agenda to legitimize their ruling position (White, 2010). Second, the weakness of certain post-Soviet states, the difficulties of forming autonomous economies there, and the dependence of their economies on infrastructure networks inherited from the Soviet Union (Obydenkova, 2011: 88) all compel them to look for greater regional integration.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press
Print publication year: 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×