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In Great Games, Local Rules, Alexander Cooley, one of America's most respected international relations scholars, explores the dynamics of the new competition for control of the region since 9/11. All three great powers have crafted strategies to increase their power in the area, which includes Afghanistan and the former Soviet republics of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. Each nation is pursuing important goals: Basing rights for the US, access to natural resources for the Chinese, and increased political influence for the Russians.
However, overlooked in all of the talk about this new great game is fact that the Central Asian governments have proven themselves critical agents in their own right, establishing local rules for external power involvement that serve to fend off foreign interest. As a result, despite a decade of intense interest from the United States, Russia, and China, Central Asia remains a collection of segmented states, and the external competition has merely reinforced the sovereign authority of the individual Central Asian governments. A careful and surprising analysis of how small states interact with great powers in a vital region, Great Games, Local Rules greatly advances our understanding of how global politics actually works in the contemporary era.
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By Arthur Simms on 12-28-16
I'm not usually one to review things anywhere, but seeing as there were no reviews yet I thought I would. This book provides an incredibly fascinating insight into an area of the world we rarely hear anything about in the western media. It shines a light on complex geopolitical situations in a generally balanced fashion, stripping the media hyperbole and examining the 3 great powers in great detail.
If you are at all interested in global politics and want to hear about something you likely won't have before I cannot recommend this enough.