Friday, October 14, 2011

IMPORTANT: Incorporating Eurasia into GSCIS

The GSCIS wishes to initiate a Developing Eurasia subsection. Here is a proposal from
Jason E. Strakes
International School for Caucasus Studies
Ilia State University
Tbilisi, Georgia
Please take a moment to review.

While the recently independent states of former Soviet Eurasia exhibit
many of the conditions and characteristics of post-colonial and
developing nations, the study of these countries in the U.S. and
Western European academy has traditionally been either relegated to a
generic "post-communist" subfield,
or framed according to narratives of an enduring geopolitical dichotomy
between power centers representing a reified "East" and "West". It is
thus arguable that these disciplinary conventions have possibly imposed
unecessary limitations on the ability of regional scholars to introduce
new approaches and, more importantly, to generate novel findings
regarding the foreign policies and international relations of these
states. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to extend a
proposal for establishing a research agenda within GSCIS directed at developing a conceptual framework for integrating
"Eurasian" and "developing"/Global South perspectives in IR. One recent
empirical example which underscores the relevance of this endeavor is
provided by the case of Azerbaijan, which in spring 2011 became the
third former Soviet republic (following Belarus and Turkmenistan) to
join the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), defying the expectations of
observers who have sought to characterize it as an inherently
"pro-Western" or "European-oriented" state. The creation of a
Eurasian/developing north facility within GSCIS would serve to attract
participation by regional scholars who question prevailing standards of
categorization, as well as to address current trends and expand the
scope of regional studies within the discipline. Interested parties may
direct correspondence to:

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