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Russia's Far East: A Region at Riskby Judith Thornton
Synopses & Reviews
The security environment of Northeast Asia is increasingly affected by developments in the Russian Far East, including a longstanding economic crisis, changes in Russia's military policies, and the devolution of power to regional governments. Continuing poverty in the Russian Far East, the pervasiveness of organized crime, and weak state authority have provided a fertile breeding ground for illicit activities that may prove harmful to Russia's Pacific neighbors. Hopes that resource development and integration into the Asia-Pacific economy would fuel regional recovery have been frustrated by poor infrastructure, a difficult business environment, and Russian concerns about becoming a "resource appendage" to the developed world.
Russia's Far East: A Region at Risk comprehensively assesses the relationships among the economic collapse of the region; the post-Cold War role of Asia in Russia's security policy; trends in Russia's center-regional relations that impact tax collection, resource extraction, the military, and other issues; Russia's ability to manage potential areas of conflict like the maintenance of the nuclear fleet, nuclear dumping of radioactive materials in the Sea of Japan, and illegal migration from China; and the shifting balance of power in Asia.
An interdisciplinary team of specialists from the United States, Russia, China, Japan, and Korea discuss the historical, political, and economic contexts, as well as the strategic implications, of these developments. The contributors address the vital questions of how to achieve a stable political order in the Russian Far East, how to develop economic growth in the region, and how to promote efforts to link Russia and the Asia-Pacific powers into a cooperative framework of diplomatic relations.
Judith Thornton is professor of economics at the University of Washington. Charles E. Ziegler is professor and chair of political science at the University of Louisville.
"The post-Soviet transition of Russia has no clear destination, nor does it follow stable or coherent rules. What are the implications of this reality for Russia's Far Eastern territories? Some of the most astute observers of the current scene in the Russian Far East offer penetrating and insightful analyses of a rich array of issues, including national and regional perspectives, balance of power concerns and financial and economic problems, resource sectors and defense industry, Chinese migration and regional political mentality, and relations with the United States, China, Japan, and South Korea. Russia's Far East: A Region at Risk is essential reading for all who are interested in Russia and its role in Asia." - Tsuneo Akaha, Monterey Institute of International Studies
"The immense size and natural resources of the Russian Far East, and its crucial geopolitical position, assure it a prominent place in the interests and concerns of Russia and the other powers of Northeast Asia and the Pacific Rim, despite its small population. This splendid book offers a comprehensive analysis of the region, during the Soviet period and since, that covers economic, social, and political conditions and the role of the region in the foreign and security policy of Russia and other regional states. The book brings together an impressive array of scholars and practitioners who provide unprecedented depth and breadth in their analysis of post-communist change." - Herbert J. Ellison, University of Washington
Book News Annotation:
Eighteen articles explore the political, economic, and geostrategic contexts of the Far Eastern region of Russia. Presented by Thornton (economics, U. of Washington) and Ziegler (political science, U. of Louisville) the articles discuss such topics as U.S. foreign policy interests in the region, the effects of the 1998 financial crisis; social and economic differentiation; case studies of the fishing, energy, and agricultural sectors; regional military security policy; local influence of nuclear facilities; the impact of Chinese migration; threat perceptions in relation to China and South Korea; and economic relations with Japan and South Korea.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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History and Social Science » Economics » General