Caspian Energy Politics

Overland, I., Kjaernet, H. and Kendall-Taylor, A. (eds). (2009) Caspian Energy Politics: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. New York: Routledge.

Offering an expansion on the discussion about energy politics and Russian and Chinese interests in the Caspian-Eurasian region started out in Eurasian Corridors of Interconnection, this book, Caspian Energy Politics: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, provides an in-depth analysis of three of the most resource-intensive countries in the region.

97804The book offers enlightening contributions by noted professors and researchers, and covers both the domestic and international sphere of these three countries. It starts off with a polemic discussion regarding the “curse” of being a resource intensive country with an authoritarian government, as the authors perceive Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. It then enters into the individual and collective relations these countries have with China, Russia or both, and how this dynamic plays out in the region and in relation to their domestic situation. Caspian Energy Politics provides a thought-provoking picture of these three countries and how they are dealing with their new found wealth from oil and gas exports, how this affects their national governments, and the relationships with two of the region’s biggest players, Russia and China. It offers a broad panorama while also threading on a controversial path of debate that is sure to inspire many discussions. In the author’s words,

“[…] it is too early to count all the blessings and curses they [revenues] entail for the development of these countries. The ultimate impact of oil and gas […] will be determined largely by the ability of the governments to manage de dilemmas associated with the production and export of petroleum resources and the resulting revenues” (Overland, Kjaernet, and Kendall-Taylor, 2009. pp. 1),

dilemmas which are thoroughly debated throughout the book. A recommended read for anyone wants to understand the domestic and regional dynamics playing out between substantial players in the energy sector.