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Authoritarian Regionalism and Sustainable Development: Eurasian and Global Challenges

10 hour course by Anastassia Obydenkova (CSIC-IAE and IBEI)

  • Schedule: 21 & 23 May (10.00am - 1.00pm / 2.00pm - 4.00pm)

This course aspires to shed light on autocracies-led regional international organizations, their strategies to engage with neighbouring states and implications for sustainable development in Eurasia and the Arctic (including involvement of Russia, China and the implications for the EU – Post-Communist and post-Soviet region known as Eurasia). Regional international organizations (RIOs) (such as the EU, for example) became important actors in the world politics of 21st century in democratization and diffusion of values of sustainable development and in implementation environmental reforms. However, the 21st century also witnessed the increase in number of autocracies-led RIOs. Examples of these organizations are the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Eurasian Economic Union, among others. The influence of this “authoritarian regionalism” has radically increased in terms of both geographic scope and intensity, creating an unprecedented challenge to democracies and democratization worldwide, as well as for sustainable development. This course will address the impact, importance, causes and consequences of these international organizations in Eurasia, the EU, and the Arctic (touching upon the role of China and Russia in sustainable development and regionalism). Understanding and analysis of comparative regionalism and its implications for sustainable development are relevant from both scientific and policy perspectives. While studies and scholars and policy-makers debate focused on nation-level (e.g., on Russia, on Ukraine, on Belarus, or on China), the role and the impact of RIOs on sustainable development and democracy were left outside of the mainstream debates. This course aims to augment our understanding of the current events in Eurasia (and other regions, such as the Arctic) and their implications for sustainable development in the EU near neighborhood and beyond.