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Troubled Waters: The Geopolitics of the Caspian Region. (Book reviews: books in brief).

TROUBLED WATERS THE GEOPOLITICS OF THE CASPIAN REGION

By R Hrair Dekmejian and Hovann H Simonian Published by IB TAURIS ISBN 1 86064 639 5 price 39.50 [pounds sterling] hardback

Once the landlocked backwater between Iran and the Soviet Union, the Caspian has in the last 10 years emerged as the epicentre of conflicting interests in a region where massive geopolitical issues converge with enormous energy resources and dramatic latent instability. Russia's conflict in Chechnya is a direct by- product of the strategic importance of the Caspian region.

Troubled Waters presents a comprehensive analysis of the political and economic dynamics of the Caspian basin. It examines the area's historical evolution and the diverse issues and players in what has become a modern variant of the `Great Game' of the 19th century. Following a historical overview of the region and its oil industries, the book analyses the domestic politics and the foreign policies of the five states bordering the Caspian -- Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. It further identifies all the external interests involved in the Caspian's political rivalries and control over its resources and territory, including the US, the major European powers, various nationalist movements, Islamic militants, multinational corporations, NGOs and international financial institutions. These features coupled with the political and economic risk assessment of the Caspian basin, which this book provides, makes this a unique contribution to our understanding of a region, which is positioned at the juncture of Russia, China, East Asia and the Middle East.
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Author:Rhodes, Fred
Publication:The Middle East
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Feb 1, 2002
Words:249
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