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Geopolitical Economy of Russia’s Foreign Policy Duality in the Eurasian Landmass



At a time of critical geopolitical economic changes, Russia has been pursuing different foreign policy lines on the two sides of the Eurasian landmass. On the one hand, it has been intensifying its economic ties with Asia-Pacific. On the other hand, it pursues an assertive policy against the interests of the West (e.g. in Georgia, Ukraine and Syria). In this light, the chapter aims to explain this foreign (economic) policy duality of Russia. Adopting a neoclassical realist approach and the concept of geopolitical economy, it argues that at a time of profound global changes, the Russian elites' perceptions regarding their country’s role in the Eurasian landmass have created such a duality. It concludes that Russian elites’ sense of geopolitical exposure and economic policy preferences have not only prompted this discrepancy in Russia's foreign (economic) policy but also undermined the country’s great power prospects in the twenty- first century.
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The emerging trend in Russia’s foreign policy is its reorientation from active interstate and socio-economic interaction with the states of the "collective West" to the countries that make up the Asian macroregion. The article presents the qualitative and quantitative assessment of the emerging relations between Russia and the countries of the East, namely the ASEAN countries, Northeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific region. Assuming that the prerequisites for the strengthening of such relationships between countries should be reflected in changes in trade relations, increased migration flows, and changes in policy in terms of countries' military spending, the study attempts to evaluate such changes econometrically. We use the method of constructing multiple linear regression, as well as indicators for assessing country-by-country correlation and cluster analysis. The object of the research is the countries of Northeast Asia (China, Japan, Republic of Korea); ASEAN countries (Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore); India; Australia and Oceania. The empirical base of the study is the official statistics of World Bank, SIPRI, FSGS. The findings indicate the emerging conditions for Russia's turn to the East. The analysis reveals a number of stable features indicating the possibility of modeling a reasonable predictive scenario. The proposed estimates can also be used for further study of the directions of interaction between Russia and the East, methodological and empirical clarification of the emerging relationships, determination of significant factors strengthening the noted interactions.
This book volume, to which thirteen researchers have contributed, is the result of the second phase of the joint research program between the Institute of West Asia & African Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Energy Program Asia of the International Institute for Asian Studies. As directors of this program and editors of and contributors to the volume presented here, we are grateful to the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), Amsterdam, as well as Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Beijing, for providing us with the opportunity to publish the second part of the results of our joint research program. China’s transition to an urban-industrial society relies, first of all, on its abundant domestic coal supplies, and secondly, on an increase in oil—and gas imports. For this reason, China’s strategic investments in the oil and gas industries of resource-rich, energy-exporting countries have vastly increased. Because of high levels of import-dependency, the domestic power-wealth structures of both China (and the EU) rely on interrupted supplies from beyond state borders. To ensure supply security, import-dependent major actors have two options. One is to reduce dependency by, for instance, increasing energy efficiency. Another option is to increase the security of energy imports. This requires improving supply security from resource-rich oil—and gas exporting countries—and regions. This part of the research provides an analysis of the strategies and practices of China’s three oil majors—the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC). Their complex relations with host-governments and with local communities and other stakeholders lie at the center of the research program. The resource-rich countries under study are Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, Saudi-Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and, Russia. After analyzing the involvement of Chinese National Oil Companies (NOCs) in these countries, we found that package deals dominate China’s access strategy. As part of this strategy, the oil trade and investments in both the upstream and downstream parts of the industry are combined with political and financial support for wider strategic economic cooperation. We consider the growing international and transnational activities of China’s State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) to be part and parcel of economic globalization processes (Marcel 2006; Xu, 2007; Harris 2009; Jiang, J. & Sinton 2011). In establishing energy-supply security, state-led economic activities have the potential advantage of including long–term policy objectives, such as energy security, in the energy supply process. However, given man’s limited ability to control the future, the question remains of to what extent China (and the EU) will be able to create trade-offs between these contradictory objectives and the demands of domestic and international actors. Fossil fuel imports also supply the largest share of the European Union’s energy demand. Developing clean sources of energy and securing energy supplies are therefore important long-term development goals of the EU. Currently, member-states are still in control of the external policy of energy security, and decide on their domestic energy-mix themselves. However, the EU-regulations on domestic energy policies do constrain the external energy security policies viable in member states. Furthermore, energy-security policies touch upon a wider set of objectives, such as climate change, energy efficiency, and the development of renewable energy. As far as the EU and China are concerned, their growing share in renewable energy has not been accompanied by a reduction in the fossil fuels imported. On the contrary, import reliance has increased throughout the last two decades. This has partly been induced by the relatively low prices of some imported fuels, in particular coal and oil. Import levels are expected to increase even higher in the upcoming decades. According to expert opinion, the development of shale gas and tight oil will not substantially reduce the EU’s import dependency. This research explores the challenges to the Union’s energy security in general, and to fossil fuel supplies in particular. The focus in this part is on non-Russian suppliers, namely the Middle East, North Africa, and the Caspian Region. In three parts, the volume describes and analyzes the following, interconnected themes: (a) China’s energy policies, with a focus on the cross-border activities of China’s NOCs in selected resource-rich countries, namely: Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Ghana. (b) China’s dilemma in expanding fossil fuel production and consumption (mainly coal and oil) to meet the energy needs of its massive urbanizing, developing society, and at the same time reducing the level of pollution in major cities and reaching agreement with its partners on international efforts to limit climate change accompanied by possibilities for the development and implementation of alternative and renewable energy resources. (c) The energy security challenges of the European Union, and its energy security policies in countries and regions of supply, in particular the Middle East, North Africa, and the Caspian Region. The member states of the European Union (EU) simultaneously face the need to fuel their high-income economies—each with a high level of per capita energy consumption—and to secure energy supply security and sustainability. As this volume will clarify, both China and EU, the world’s largest energy importers, are cooperating to escape the fossil fuel trap by developing clean sources of energy.
War and Change in World Politics introduces the reader to an important new theory of international political change. Arguing that the fundamental nature of international relations has not changed over the millennia, Professor Gilpin uses history, sociology, and economic theory to identify the forces causing change in the world order. The discussion focuses on the differential growth of power in the international system and the result of this unevenness. A shift in the balance of power - economic or military - weakens the foundations of the existing system, because those gaining power see the increasing benefits and the decreasing cost of changing the system. The result, maintains Gilpin, is that actors seek to alter the system through territorial, political, or economic expansion until the marginal costs of continuing change are greater than the marginal benefits. When states develop the power to change the system according to their interests they will strive to do so- either by increasing economic efficiency and maximizing mutual gain, or by redistributing wealth and power in their own favour.
This book sets out a concrete analytical and empirical framework to understand the Euro-zone crisis and the deep disintegrative tendencies of Euro-Atlantic neo-imperialism. It explores how the authoritarianism and austerity led from above in the transatlantic world cultivate right-wing populism and racist hysteria from below, especially in relation to the global power-shift to China and other emerging economies. The authors argue that ordoliberal/neo-liberal austerity cannot reverse the decline of western economies; if anything, it precipitates their downfall and the re-launching of globalization under Asian primacy. The book will appeal to students, scholars and policymakers across the fields of International Political Economy, European Politics and Critical Social and Political Theory.
Geopolitical Economy examines the significance and nature of free trade agreements (FTAs), the primary policy tool through which modern nations seek access to international markets and promote economic growth. The book focuses specifically on how South Korea, the world's leader in the number and significance of FTAs as well as the world's sixth largest export economy, uses FTAs. Jonathan Krieckhaus argues that geopolitics-the struggle between powerful nations over specific geographic regions around the globe-influenced FTA strategy and economic policy in South Korea and beyond. This perspective illustrates the security approach to FTAs, but adds that the geographic specificity of security concerns deeply shape FTA policy. Geopolitical Economy also looks at Korean FTAs through the lens of development strategy. South Korea is singularly successful in garnering FTAs with all three players in the global economy: the United States, the European Union, and China. This unprecedented success was built on a strong commitment from three consecutive Korean presidential administrations, each operating within a favorable state-society context that enjoyed the existence of a centralized and effective trade bureaucracy.