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Regional Integration in the Post-Soviet Space

Tildelt: kr 57 999

My Ph.D. project touches the area of interdependencies, power-balancing structures and political intraregional relations between the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union and the stability of the region. I aim to explore the dynamics of coo peration in regional organizations in the post-Soviet space. When working on relations between the Newly Independent States, the emergence of regional organizations in the last eighteen years is a very salient phenomenon. Their specific dynamics call for explanation. At present ten regional organizations exist in the post-Soviet space. Form and officially declared aims of the organization in the post-Soviet space seem to indicate that the organizations shall function as a means for deeper regional integ ration. Anyhow, activities and success of integration projects provide contrary evidence. Compared to their formal characteristics the organizations` performance is rather disappointing. In view of this paradox my research question is as follows: Whic h domestic factors explain the specific outcomes of regional organizations in the post-Soviet space? Based on the assumption that regional integration can have decisive impact on the domestic institutions, I propose that domestic factors of a state, name ly the political regime and its specific characteristics, can explain a state`s performance and understanding of regional integration. I intend to apply qualitative research methods, which allow me to dig deeper into the cases. I will analyze two cases i n an asymmetric comparison. I will compare the integration behavior of the Ukraine and Azerbaijan. My data base will be composed of secondary literature, official documents and expert interviews. During my research stay at the NUPI I will prepare my fi eld work in the Ukraine with support of Dr. Stina Torjesen and Dr. Geir Flikken. It is foreseen that I make a contribution to brown-bag-lunches or seminars.