Thursday, August 1, 2013

Update on Developing Eurasia Initiative

Global South Caucus for 

         International Studies (GSCIS)  



               INITIATIVE (DEI)


While the recently independent states of the former Soviet Caucasus and Central Asia exhibit many of the conditions and characteristics associated with post-colonial and developing nations—including struggles with hegemonic influences, resource dependency, economic inequality, institutional incapacity and unresolved internal conflicts—the study of these countries in the U.S. academy has traditionally been either relegated to a generic "post-communist" or “Russian and Eastern European” subfield, or framed according to narratives of an enduring geopolitical dichotomy between competing power centers representing an objectified "East" and "West". It is thus arguable that these disciplinary conventions have imposed unnecessary limitations on the ability of regional scholars to introduce new approaches, and, more importantly, to generate novel findings regarding the domestic evolution and international relations of these states. It is in response to these concerns that the Global South Caucus for International Studies (GSCIS) seeks to establish a research agenda directed at designing conceptual frameworks that serve to both integrate theoretical approaches and facilitate comparative analysis of Eurasian and developing world (Asian, African, Middle Eastern, and Latin American) regions in IR. One recent empirical example which highlights the relevance of this endeavor is provided by the case of Azerbaijan, which in May 2011 became the fourth former Soviet republic (following Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Belarus) to join the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), defying the assumptions of observers who have sought to characterize its foreign policy as being inherently "pro-Western" or "Euro-Atlantic" in orientation. The introduction of the Developing Eurasia Initiative (DEI) is intended to attract greater participation by both scholars and professionals who question prevailing standards of categorization, to critically analyze current trends in Eurasian studies, and to expand the scope of regional knowledge within the IR discipline. Membership in DEI is open to all faculty, students and specialists in the fields of comparative politics, international relations, development policy and area studies interested in contributing to these activities. For questions and additional information please direct correspondence to:

Jason E. Strakes
Researcher and Visiting Lecturer
Ilia Chavchavadze State University                                               
Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia


Murad Ismayilov Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy

Galmyzhan Kirbassov SUNY Binghamton

Dedibatta Aurobinda Mahapatra Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance, University of Massachusetts at Boston

Kazim Mammadhuseyn Sciences Po Paris Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Campus/University of Nice - Sophia Antipolis


“Situating the ‘Balanced Foreign Policy’: The Role of System Structure in Azerbaijan’s Multi-Vector Diplomacy”, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2013, pp. 1–31

“The Former Soviet South in the Global South: Toward a Synthesis in Comparative Regional Studies”

“Belarus and Non-Alignment: Non-Viable Policy or Systemic Alternative


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