Integration Process in Central Asia: The Interaction of Nationalism and Regionalism

  •  Huan Cao    


After the end of the cold war, Central Asia reappeared in the international community's view and became an important region in geopolitics. The independent Central Asian States have begun to seek regional cooperation in order to maintain regional security and stability and develop their national economies. But so far, the process of integration in Central Asia has been tortuous and slow. The Central Asian region has even been described by some scholars as the region with the lowest degree of regionalization in the world. By sorting out the history of the development of ethnicity and nationalism in Central Asia, this paper analyzes the reasons hindering the development of regional integration in Central Asia from the perspective of the interaction between nationalism and regionalism. The methodological basis of the paper is a synthesis of methodological regionalism and methodological nationalism. The paper argues that ethnic problems and nationalism in Central Asia constrain the formation of the concept of regional identity. At the same time, regionalism in Central Asia has triggered concerns of Central Asian nation-states about the loss of sovereignty of some states and state nationalism. The interaction of the two factors ultimately negatively affected the development of integration in Central Asia.

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