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5 - The Silk Road to Goods Substitution: Central Asia and the Rise of New Post-Western International Orders

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 July 2021

Morten Skumsrud Andersen
Affiliation:
Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
Alexander Cooley
Affiliation:
Barnard College, Columbia University
Daniel H. Nexon
Affiliation:
Georgetown University, Washington DC
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Summary

In this chapter, Alexander Cooley details how Central Asian countries use the competing and overlapping infrastructure of external powers to consolidate their own domestic political standing. In the 2000s, after 9/11 and a string of “Color Revolutions,” Russia and China established themselves as alternative providers of public goods in a region hitherto seen as consisting in countries in “democratic transition” under US influence. Consequently, with alternative goods providers available, Central Asian countries themselves leveraged their relationship to the West to achieve political and economic aims and to push back against criticism about human rights abuses and authoritarian policies. Cooley’s example of how Russia deploys and supports alternative election observers to post-Soviet countries drives home the point that the rise of alternative providers and goods substitution has undermined US hegemony and eroded the policies, norms, and institutions of the US-led liberal international order. As the chapter demonstrates, these dynamics escalated very quickly in a region, originally categorized as “post-Communist,” at the outer boundary of the US-led Western sphere of influence.

Type
Chapter
Information
Undermining American Hegemony
Goods Substitution in World Politics
, pp. 104 - 124
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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