Roundtable with Prof. Alex Cooley on ‘The Rise of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization: A New Force for Non-Western Cooperation or Paper Tiger?’
Date & Time: October 24, 2013, 12:30 -14:30
A roundtable discussion was held with Prof. Alexander Cooley, moderated by Prof. Şuhnaz Yilmaz of Koç University.
About the roundtable:
The rise of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization–comprised of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan– as a new type of multilateral organization in Eurasia has excited policymakers and media commentators across the world. The organization is often viewed as a robust military alliance, a dynamic free trade-organization, an alternative to the European Union, and even as a source of norms, cultures and values to counter Western influence in Eurasia. However, the SCO's exact role and achievements are often misunderstood, while its internal rivalries and tensions with existing international norms are often overlooked. This roundtable seeks to assess the SCO's regional achievements over the past decade and to critically examine its remaining challenges in the areas of security, economics, and human rights. Understanding the organization's actual accomplishments and enduring weaknesses is critical for evaluating Turkey's potential for engagement as its newly established "Dialogue Partner."
Alexander Cooley is professor and chair of the Political Science Department at Barnard College, Columbia University in New York and Deputy Director of Columbia's Harriman Institute. Professor Cooley's research examines how external actors have shaped the political development and sovereignty of the post-Communist states, with a focus on post-Soviet Central Asia and the Caucasus. He is the author of dozens of articles and four academic books. His most recent, Great Games, Local Rules: The New Great Power Contest in Central Asia (Oxford 2012), examines U.S.–Russia–China relations in Central Asia from 2001-2010 as a case study of the emerging politics and values promoted by a multipolar world. Professor Cooley conducted the research for the book in China, Russia and Central Asia as an inaugural Global Fellow with the Open Society Foundations, during which he assessed the development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and its implications for global governance.
In addition to his academic work, Prof. Cooley serves on several international advisory boards and working groups and is a frequent commentator on Eurasian issues for international media outlets such as the New York Times, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy.