In a widely read article published in 2001, shortly after the election of Vladimir Putin as President of the Russian Federation, Michael T. Klare predicted a new form of geopolitics driven by conflicts over energy. Noting that the US military’s upgrade of its senior command authority for Central Asia had received little more than a passing mention, Klare referred to the sub-region as shifting from a peripheral concern to a ‘major strategic prize’ (Klare, 2001, p. 49). He went on to note that, whereas Cold War-era alliances and lines of conflict were legitimated by ideology, economic competition had come to dominate international relations, and contests over natural resources were bound to intensify. Rather than focusing on ideational divides or ethnic violence, Klare argued that a much better predictor of political and economic stresses, and hence the potential for conflict, lay in seeing international politics through the prism of contested resources.
KeywordsHydrocarbon Income Coherence Eurasia Kazakhstan
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