The geopolitics of
Central Asian energy
This chapter assesses the rising geostrategic and geoeconomic importance of
Central Asian oil and natural gas for China and the United States – the most
transparent source of Sino-American conflict in this region. The initial
rationale for Chinese engagement in Central Asia, despite the emergence of
China as a net oil-importing nation in 1993, was not driven by the search for
an alternative and secure source of oil and natural gas.1 Rather, Chinese
policy reflected a
In events that have since become known as the Arab Uprisings or Arab Revolutions,
people across the Middle East took to the streets to express their anger and
frustration at political climates, demanding political and economic reform. In a
number of cases, protest movements were repressed, often violently, with
devastating repercussions for human security and peace across the
region. While a number of scholars have sought to understand how the
protests occurred, this book looks at sovereignty and the relationship between
rulers and ruled to identify and understand both the roots of this anger but
also the mechanisms through which regimes were able to withstand seemingly
existential pressures and maintain power.
), The Modern/Colonial/Capitalist
World-System in the Twentieth Century: Global Processes, Antisystemic Movements, and the
Geopolitics of Knowledge ( Westport, CT :
Praeger Publishers ), pp.
xi – xxix .
Ndlovu-Gatsheni , S.
J. ( 2012 ),
‘ Coloniality of Power in Development Studies and the Impact of Global
Imperial Designs on Africa ’, Australasian Review of African
Studies , 33 : 2 ,
48 – 73 .
Ndlovu-Gatsheni , S.
J. ( 2018 ),
‘ Racism and Blackism on a World Scale ’, in
Korea and various other countries today use ‘Westphalian diplomacy’ and the
‘geopolitics of nations’ – European inventions – to question the
hierarchy of this European system led by the US.
From our point of view, it was exactly this convergence and normative homogenisation in the
inter-state system, on the one hand, and the increasing power of states that question American
exceptionality and centrality using rules authored by the US itself, on the other, that began to
threaten the global power of the US. This obliged the US to make an
Staff Security and Civilian Protection in the Humanitarian
geopolitics. In other words, even if
humanitarian agencies themselves value all lives equally, their actions are
shaped by a world which does not.
Greater obligations and opportunities with respect to staff security as compared
with the wider civilian population may explain the harder security measures and
more frequent advocacy on behalf of aid workers, but analysis of policy guidance
German Responses to the June 2019 Mission of the Sea-Watch 3
Claußen , S. ( 2015 ), Die Seenotretter: 150 Jahre DGzRS ( Erfurt : Sutton Verlag ).
Cuttitta , P. ( 2018 ),
‘Repoliticization through Search and Rescue? Humanitarian NGOs and Migration Management in the Central Mediterranean ’, Geopolitics , 23 : 3 , 632 – 60 .
del Valle , H. ( 2016 ), ‘ Search and Rescue in the Mediterranean Sea: Negotiating Political Differences ’, Refugee Survey Quarterly , 35 : 2 , 22 – 40 .
Di Cesare , D. ( 2019 ), ‘ Eine Antigone unserer Zeit ’, Zeit
4 July , www.zeit.de/2019/28/carola
it by the 1930s; US racialised imaginaries of African primitivity then, later, African-American physicality, musicality and criminality; and Soviet imaginaries of state socialist Europe at the vanguard of a new humanitarian civilising mission to develop and modernise postcolonial Africa all contributing (Todorova 2006 ). Equivalent sources for the Yugoslav region's translations of ‘race’ would be similar but – because of its pre-unification history as well as the geopolitics of socialist Non-Alignment – not the same.
general geopolitical trends in the
region. Consequently, as the following discussion shows, the institutional
forms that reflect hegemonic stability, regional balancing and global balancing are key to understanding the geopolitical trend-lines of Eurasia. As this
chapter illustrates, many of the core components are in place for a general
regional concert system in Eurasia. Whether that concert system can
successfully be translated into a new cooperative security arrangement is a
critical policy and theoretical question confronting Eurasian security.
Geopolitics and the
). It is not
surprising that the history of Classical archaeology maps onto geopolitics. After all, with their shared claims to universality, Classics and
empire have much in common (Porter, 2006; Bradley, 2010); Classical
materials – like so many other desirable goods – gravitate toward power.
Of course, Classics has never been the sole provenance of the powerful. Even the geopolitically ‘marginal’ have sought their share of
Classical culture (see Stephens and Vasunia, 2010), to say nothing of
so-called ‘source’ nations such as Greece and Italy (see Hamilakis, 2007
What are President Obama’s chief legacies across Asia and the Pacific, the
new fulcrum of world economics and geopolitics? Was there a distinctive
underlying philosophy and strategy for the region which guided Obama’s
thinking and policies, such as ‘pragmatic realism’, hegemonic
ordering/liberal internationalism, or hawkish humanitarianism? Since Obama,
what has President Donald Trump’s ‘principled realism’ meant in practice?
How far has Trump progressed in challenging or disrupting Obama’s strategy
to ‘pivot to Asia’? What differences can we discern in the declared or
effective US strategy towards Asia and to what extent has it radically
shifted or displaced Obama-era legacies? Finally, what might be the
longer-term consequences, both for American power and the Asian region, of
the strategies pursued by the Trump administration and its predecessors?
Though we appear to be at a key historical moment, this is hardly the first
time American elites have faced uncertainty over grand strategy in broad
terms or in the context of specific areas of the world. Yet the stakes now
seem higher, as the spectre of economic and military conflicts hangs over
the Asia, and broader Indo-, Pacific regions.