Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, new states - most of them muslim - emerged in central Asia and the Caucasus. These new states proved to be both oil-rich and central in the strip of conflict and instability that stretches from central Europe to the Far East. This volume draws attention to previously neglected issues which could result in conflict:
* the water problem and negotiation in central Asia
* the issues of 'Southern Azerbaijan', Ajaria and Javakheti
* the many problems of multi-ethnic Daghestan
* two attempts at unity in the Northern Caucasus.
The book also re-examines some of the established truths regarding the states around the Caspian Sea, and re-evaluates:
* the validity of the term 'Caspian region' and the question of who should be included in this new region
* the general belief that the Caspian region will be a geopolitical centre of the 21st century
* the axiom that the dissolution of the USSR has reopened the 'Great Game'.
Moreover, The Caspian Region thoughtfully re-examines the questions of democracy; of fundamentalist Islam and of the complex, ambivalent relationship between Islam and nationalism in the region.
Part 1: A New Region of International Importance? Part 2: A New Round in an Old Game? Russia, Iran and Turkey Part 3: Birds of a Feather? Central Asian regional concerns Part 4 Between Democracy and Authoritarianism? The states of Central Asia