Once the landlocked backwater between Iran and the Soviet Union, the Caspian has in the last ten years emerged as the epicentre of vast 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 nineteenth 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, multi-national 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 strategically positioned at the territorial juncture of Russia, China, East Asia and the Middle East.
R. Hrair Dekmejian is Professor of Political Science at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He is the author of the much-acclaimed 'Islam in Revolution' as well as many other works on international affairs. Hovann H. Simonian is research scholar at the Department of Political Science, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Preface v Part One: The Caspian Basin: History, Politics and Resources 1. The Caspian in a Globalized World 3 2. The Caspian in History 10 3. Legal Status and Environmental Issues 19 4. Energy Estimates, Costs and Pipelines 28 Part Two: The Riparian States 5. The Riparian States: Politics and Interests 43 6. The Riparian States: Interstate Relations 74 Part Three: The External Actors 7. The Inner Circle 99 8. The Outer Circle 115 9. America, Europe, Japan and Asia 131 10. Non-State Actors in the Caspian Basin 150 11. The Caspian in the Global Marketplace 167 References 175 Bibliography 215