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Central Asia and South Caucasus Affairs: 2006
Central Asia and South Caucasus Affairs: 2006
Regional Security Issues: 2006
Regional Security Issues: 2006
Between the Black and Caspian Seas: New Challenges and Opportunities for the South Caucasus
Between the Black and Caspian Seas: New Challenges and Opportunities for the South Caucasus
Regional Security Issues
Regional Security Issues
The South Caucasus as a Part of the Wider Europe
The South Caucasus as a Part of the Wider Europe
International Seminar on Globalisation and Eurasia

Globalisation has introduced new opportunities for integration into world markets, access to new technologies and population mobility. Eased flow of goods, people, ideas and capital can create new prosperity. However, the purpose of the seminar is to discuss how far the benefits of reforms are evenly spread among various sections of the population. Have different elements of globalisation, namely, the economic, political, cultural, technological have adversely impacted vast areas of the newly independent countries of Eurasia? It is this concern that led analysts like Jan Pieterse to argue that "globalisation generates so much anxiety, insecurity and resistance".
Mary Kaldor argues that globalisation generates schisms and the excluded often take recourse to a parallel globalised war economy that flourishes with new wars. She argues that states in Africa and Asia have to cope with the disillusion of hopes generated by independence, the failure of the developing project to overcome poverty and inequality, the insecurity of rapid urbanisation and the break-up of traditional rural communities, as well as the impact of structural adjustment policies of stabilisation, liberalisation and deregulation.

The social and cultural dimensions of globalisation merit further attention from the point of view of studying conflict in the context of globalisation. The link between globalisation and conflict can ultimately be posited only in the context of the empirical case studies and their findings. One of the issues of this seminar is to deliberate on if and how globalisation has caused or exacerbated social disharmony and conflict by transforming the spatial organisation of social relations and transactions.

There is also a perspective that argues that globalisation and market-oriented reforms would lead to greater prosperity for an ever increasing number. There are positive economic indicators in terms of GDP growth and FDI in some Eurasian countries. However, these do not necessarily translate into improved living conditions. Is it because of economic mismanagement, lack of transparency and widespread corruption, where by a small group of entrepreneurs and government officials increasingly benefit from economic expansion, leaving the rest of the society behind? Or, the reforms are structurally flawed and would necessarily give rise to social inequalities?
Post-Socialist economic reforms in Eurasia have several facets. Of particular relevance are those aspects of reforms that have direct bearing on state capabilities and distributive policies. Transition from a centrally planned economy to a market-oriented one has so far been complex. The consequent policy and institutional reforms have been wide-ranging, and affect output, income and employment in different ways. The impact on the social sector and the living standard of the population in general needs to be studied.

Can social inequities adversely affect political stability? For example, is there a correlation between the ‘coloured revolutions’ and the popular discontent resulting from the reforms? Economic hardship and social discontent often correlate and Eurasia is no exception. Demographic and economic pressures, regional schisms, corruption and organised crime, and a range of social challenges that affect the health and well-being of the population are stresses that could set off future unrest.

Can poverty and human insecurity be linked to state's failure in its redistributive function and its inability to ensure a certain level of social well being of the population? This seminar will study liberal reform policies and their implementation, as impacting upon regions, ethnic groups and society as a whole in Eurasia. The principal aim is to delineate the local contexts for the implementation of sustainable development strategies. Social and cultural dimension of post-Socialist changes will be discussed in the context of a range of economic and political transformations - economic development, democratisation, role of the state and ruling elite, human security, to name but a few. The proposition that links changing alignment of state with society in the context of globalisation to human security/insecurity and social harmony/disharmony will be scrutinised in this seminar.

The role of external agencies, state and non-state is an important ingredient in the process of globalisation. The instrumentalities like free market, trade liberalisation and foreign investments are intended to integrate Eurasian countries with the global economy. At the same time, it appears from the selective use of democracy and human rights standards, military engagements and promotion of friendly regimes that the priority is geopolitical influence, control of resources and their transportation routes in Eurasia. This seminar would discuss the strategic environment in Eurasia and issues related to security, stability and inter-state relations in Eurasia. The involvement of external powers and their relations with different Eurasian countries would form an important theme of the seminar.

For the purpose of this seminar, Eurasia would include only the former Soviet republics. The participants are expected to discuss issues in the context of globalisation process in Eurasia. Papers are expected to cover themes like economic policies, industry, agriculture and services, trade and commerce, social sector, human development issues, cultural dimensions of globalisation, gender and religious issues, state and ruling elite, political system, democratisation process, strategic and security issues, inter-state relations, and other related themes.

Schedule of the Seminar:

The seminar would be held for three days, from 10-12 November 2008. Those willing to participate are requested to send their abstracts by 1 August 2008. The selected participants would be informed of their status by 15 August 2008. The final date of submission of complete draft of the paper is 15 September 2008. English would be the only language medium for the Seminar.

All the seminar participants would be provided accommodation, food and local transportation including travel from the Delhi airport/railway station by the Seminar Organisers. Indian participants would be paid travel allowances as per the university rules.


Prof. Ajay Patnaik
Director, Russian & Central Asian Area Studies Programme
School of International studies
Jawaharlal Nehru Unviersity
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