Charting a new Silk Road? The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Russian foreign policy




Gonzalez, Benjamin F.

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The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) first came into being as a result of border negotiations between Russia and China but evolved shortly thereafter into more than this. A regional organization comprised of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and China the SCO’s mandate now encompasses trade and security. Most secondary literature on this organization tends to detail the interests of its constituent members, while overlooking the historical relationships underlying the SCO’s growth and evolution. This thesis argues that Russia’s long-standing relationships with the states of Central Asia created the conditions making the SCO a necessary tool of Russian foreign policy, while Moscow’s relations with China and the US have driven the development of the group. It concludes that the SCO has become the most viable of Central Asia’s regional organizations because it has effectively resolved contradictions and conflicts in Russia’s relationships with the other SCO members.



Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Russian foreign policy, Central Asia, Regionalism, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, China, United States