The term Greater Central Asia seems to have caught on. I used the term in an article written as the
- “Restructuring in Greater
Central Asia: Changing Political Configurations,” Asian Survey, Vol. 32, No. 10 (Oct., 1992), pp. 875-887.
Two years later the Russian political scientist Vyacheslav Ya. Belokrenitsky used the term again in the same journal:
Russiaand Greater Central Asia” Asian Survey, Vol. 34, No. 12 (Dec., 1994), pp. 1093-1108.
The term seemed to me useful even though its meaning was at that point somewhat imprecise, including the several nations (different ones, depending on how you count) that were liable to link up together, once the Soviet Union had expired.
It's interesting to track what has happened to the term since then.
The term was used in a paper written in January, 1996, and published in 2000:
- “The New Great Game in Muslim
Central Asia,” by Mohammed E. Ahrari with James Beal. McNair Paper 47. January 1996. Institute for National Strategic Studies. . National Defense University Washington, D.C.http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=rd-OCF M4UEC&dq=%22mohammed+e+ahrari%22+central+asia&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=OAFEpedzOd&sig=oxmW4Xl3qrPjDWieUrdpZUSsuWo#PPP3,M1
The Environmental and Social Impacts Group used the term in 2002 in its proposal but they referred to a more easterly sector of the region (Xinjiang) than Belokrenitsky and I had in mind (see also their ESIG Alert # 1 report).
- “Development of a
Desert Affairs Centerin Western China,” ESIG Alert #2, November, 2002.
In 2003 Rajan Menon used the term in a sense more consistent with our usage:
· “The New Great Game in
Menon defined “Greater Central Asia” as “the region consisting of the five Central Asian states, plus Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Xinjiang, and Afghanistan” and he argued that it had been “strategically transformed” by the American commitment to the region after the attack of September 11, 2001. During that time the several authoritarian governments of the region were trying to take advantage of the new American interest in their neighborhood to escape the historic Russian hegemony. But they would be frightened by the “Rose Revolution” in
It was not long before the political exigencies and economic possibilities of the time were being recognized in the term “Greater Central Asia.” Now the term stood for a new region of geopolitical interest, to the
- "A ‘Greater Central Asia Partnership’ Partnership’ for Afghanistan and Its Neighbors,” in a publication of the Central Asia -Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program and in Foreign Affairs magazine (July / August, 2005) http://220.127.116.11/search?q=cache:lkrBqq2AldUJ:www.stimson.org/newcentury/pdf/Strategy.pdf+Greater+Central+Asia&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=firefox-a; http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20050701faessay84412/s-frederick-starr/a-partnership-for-central-asia.html
Starr advocated the formation of a Greater Central Asia Partnership for Cooperation and Development in which, of course,
· “Faultlines of Conflict in Central Asia and the
The new American interest in the region worried the Chinese, as reflected in another publication in 2005 that used the term:
Chinaand Central Asia: A new Great Game or traditional vassal relations?” by Niklas Swanström. Journal of Contemporary 14(45, Nov.) 569-584. http://www.silkroadstudies.org/docs/publications/2005/JCC_Swanstrom.pdf (Also see People’s daily 8/4/06: http://english.people.com.cn/200608/03/eng20060803_289512.html.) China
And it had a similar impact on the Russians.
- “Russian foreign policy experts debate interaction with America in Greater Central Asia,” by Igor Torbakov, Volume 2, Number 196, Friday, October 21, 2005.
EurasiaDaily Monitor. [ Foundation.] http://www.jamestown.org/edm/article.php?article_id=2370378 Jamestown
- "Partnership, Trade, and Development in Greater Central Asia"
, April 1-2, 2006 updated April 25, 2006. http://www.silkroadstudies.org/new/inside/forum/trade_kabul_description.html Kabul, Afghanistan
At this conference
KazakhstanCalls for a Greater Central Asia" news Bulletin [Embassy of Republic of Kazakhstan to theUSA and Candada] Vol. 6, No. 14. April 7, 2006. http://18.104.22.168/search?q=cache:xzBZAV1-UzEJ:www.kazakhembus.com/April_7.pdf+%22Greater+Central+Asia%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=14&gl=us&client=firefox-a Kazakhstan
Representatives of the United States government also participated and indicated an interest in “partnering” with the states of the region on matters of trade, and a panel discussion took place in Washington, DC, on July 18, titled “The New Silk Roads: Transport and Trade in Greater Central Asia.” It was sponsored by the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute (CACI). One wonders if the drug trade was given much attention in either of these conferences, but clearly it was already a powerful source of wealth for some of the countries of the region. In fact, Svante E. Cornell was sounding an alarm at about this time.
- “The Narcotics Threat in Greater
Central Asia: From Crime-Terror Nexus to State Infiltration?” Chinaand EurasiaForum Quarterly, Volume 4, No. 1 (2006) p. 37-67.
And Richard Weitz was warning that a “great game” was taking form like that of the nineteenth century.
- “Averting a New Great Game in
Central Asia.” The Quarterly • 29:3 pp. 155–167. 2006. Washington
And M. K. Bhadrakumar was suggesting that
- “'The Great Game' comes to
South Asia.” Asia Times, May 24, 06 http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/HE24Df04.html
Indeed it was clear that the Russians were bothered by American meddling in their backyard:
Moscowmaking Central Asiaits own.” M K Bhadrakumar. AsiaTimes Online, Aug 25, 2006. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/HH25Ag01.html
All of these articles referred to the region as “Greater Central Asia”.
The new geopolitical focus prompted research activity. In 2006 the Social Science Research Council announced that it would provide teaching tools on the history of Greater Central Asia.
- “Teaching Resource Tool: Histories of
Central Asia.” http://programs.ssrc.org/eurasia/TRT_CentralAsia/
In 2007 an important work was published, firmly anchoring the terminology for the region in the strategic discourse.
- The New Silk Roads: Transport and Trade in Greater
Central Asia. Edited by S. Frederick Starr. Washington, D.C.and Uppsala, Sweden: Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program. 2007. 514 pp. http://www.silkroadstudies.org/new/inside/publications/GCA.html
With chapters by S. Frederick Starr (overview), Masood Aziz (Afghanistan), councilor at the Afghanistan Embassy in Washington, D.C., Aftab Kazi (Pakistan), professor of international and comparative politics at American University in Bishkek, Abbas Maleki (Iran), director general of the Institute for Caspian Studies in Tehran, Niklas Norling (China), project director of the Silk Roads Studies Program, Taleh Ziyadov (Azerbaijan), deputy executive director of the U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce, and others.
Robert M. Cutler has delimited the region precisely, distinguishing “Central Asia” from “Greater Central Asia” from “
- “U.S.–Russian Strategic Relations and the Structuration of
Central Asia,” by Robert M. Cutler. Perspectives on Global Development and Technology Vol. 6, No. 1-3: 109-125. (2007). http://www.robertcutler.org/download/pdf/ar06pgdt.pdf
- “TAPI in the Asian Energy Space,” Powerpoint presentation, November 13, 2007. www.harrimaninstitute.org/MEDIA/01097.ppt and http://www.robertcutler.org — firstname.lastname@example.org
So the term “Greater Central Asia” is now a real place, having been reified by geopolitical policy and debate. Some recent works using the term are the following:
- “Political Development and Organized Crime: The Yin and Yang of Greater
Central Asia?” Niklas Swanström. Chinaand EurasiaForum Quarterly, Volume 5, No. 4 (2007) p. 83-101. http://www.isdp.eu/files/publications/cefq/07/ns07politicaldevelopment.pdf
- “Central Asia: Managing the delicate balance between the ‘discourse of danger,’ the ‘Great Game,’ and regional problem solving,” by Dennis J.D. Sandole. Communist and Post-Communist Studies. Vol 40 (1): 257-267. 2007. (Special Issue). http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VGF-4NTHMYN-1&_user=741313&_coverDate=06%2F30%2F2007&_rdoc=11&_fmt=high&_orig=browse&_srch=doc-info(%23toc%236037%232007%23999599997%23660270%23FLA%23display%23Volume)&_cdi=6037&_sort=d&_docanchor=&_ct=11&_acct=C000041138&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=741313&md5=85deec427c4379e7b5f0bf96c2e19ce5
U.S. Aims in Central and South Asia Challenged by Russia and ,” by Richard Weitz World Politics Review Exclusive, 27 Jul 2007. http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/Article.aspx?id=964 China
· “Eurasian Trade And Transport: New Silk Roads Or Old Pipedreams? “
Richard Weitz. Eurasianet 7/24/07 http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav072407a.shtml
· “Americans Still Think All Stans Are Same,” Adam Kesher. Politics, Foreign Affairs, April 16th, 2008 http://kazakhstan.neweurasia.net/2008/04/16/americans-still-think-all-stans-are-same/
- [seminar proposal] Security in Greater Central Asia, Tensions and possibilities of destabilization from Astana to
. Didier Chaudet. Islamabad