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Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road Economic Belt: How the Two Projects Will Shape the Future of Central Asian Economic Integration?

Student: Konstantina Boutsioukou

Supervisor: Maxim Bratersky

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: International Relations in Eurasia (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2016

Central Asia is characterized by high geostrategic significance and abundance of natural resources. Despite these great advantages, the region has fallen short of realizing its full economic potential. Barriers pertaining to trade policy, transport, border management and transit barriers, while also behind-the-border impediments such as poor business and investment climate are considered major bottlenecks to the economic growth of the region. In order for these impediments to be overcome, regional integration and cooperation are vital. This study seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon of Central Asian regionalism from a theoretical point of view. To address this issue, the paper analyzes regional integration theories such as neofunctionalism, intergovernmentalism, new regionalism and the new concept of ‘connectivity wars’ and attempts to apply them in the context of integration under the newly-established Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

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