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For The New York Times, Prof. Alexander Cooley on Public Cooperation, Private Rivalry in Central Asia

The New York Times published an editorial by Prof. Alexander Cooley discussing the annual summit for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.  An excerpt:

"On the surface, the 12th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Beijing was a striking success. The regional organization — comprising China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan — took a strong position against externally imposed regime change in the Middle East, admitted Afghanistan as a new observer and announced steps to broaden its agenda into the next decade.

That is the dynamic and active image the S.C.O. seeks to present to the world — as a guardian of regional security and a new-style organization that, unlike Western bodies, does not intrude in the sovereign affairs of its members and condemns outside military action.

A closer look, however, reveals a growing rivalry among its members."

Read the full article here.

Cooley is Tow Professor of Political Science at Barnard and a Faculty Member of Columbia’s Harriman Institute.  His research examines how external actors– including international organizations, aid donors, multinational companies, non-governmental organizations, and foreign military bases – have influenced the political and economic development of the former Soviet states, with a focus on Central Asia and the Caucasus.