Turkish Journal of International Relations

Turkish Journal of International Relations

Volume 1, Number 2, Summer 2002


The New “Great Game” in Central Asia after Afghanistan
By Alec Rasizade



The term ‘Great Game’ was originally coined by R.Kipling to label the 19th century Anglo-Russian rivalry for hegemony in Central Asia. After the demise of the USSR, this buzzword has been liberally exercised by analysts and observers of the region to describe the great powers’ various endeavors to fill the strategic void, and ranging from their military ventures to mere competition for its energy resources and pipelines. After the Afghanistan war, writers have discovered that the age-old ‘Great Game’ is entering a new and more dangerous phase. They warn that the intrigue continues today, with new powers skirmishing over the ‘fabulous’ oil and gas wealth of the Caspian Basin, with new intimations of Islamist violence, and no one willing to openly concede defeat. But only a few scholars try to explain what specifically is the real Central Asia today.

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