The New Great Game: Rivalry of Geostrategies and Geoeconomies in Central Asia

  • Petar Kurečić
  • Hrvatski geografski glasnik/Croatian Geographical Bulletin, July 2010, University of Zagreb, Department of Geography
  • DOI: 10.21861/hgg.2010.72.01.02

The New Great Game: Rivalry of Geostrategies and Geoeconomies in Central Asia

What is it about?

The paper studies rivalry of geostrategies and geoeconomies in Central Asia and the Caspian Sea region. These regions have strategic value, particularly considering oil and gas reserves, which also represent a peril to the regional security.

Why is it important?

After centuries of Russian dominance, Central Asia became a region with five independent states. The Russian influence declined in the 1990s, only to return gradually, but its rivals have shown up. The USA and China started a quest for Central Asian and Caspian Sea oil and gas. The US presence in Iraq, the US and NATO’s presence in Afghanistan, US military bases, Russian presence and military bases, China’s rising influence, Iran’s and Turkey’s proximity to the region, and military and economic alliances, show that Central Asia is an arena of great power rivalry.


Professor Petar Kurecic
University of the North Croatia

The global strategy of the USA (in which Central Asia plays the role of an important region) is confronted by Russian and Chinese strategies, which have similar goals: to keep US influence out of the region and to increase their own influence. Russia and China will struggle for their part of control over the energy resources of Central Asia in the future, and Russia will have problems in its struggle with China’s economic power, which generates political power that can no longer be completely contained, since it is already present in the region. But when it comes to the struggle with the USA over the control of Central Asia, Russia and China continue to cooperate and maybe even improve and deepen their relations, as well as relations with the countries of the region. This struggle for influence represents a logical triangular strategic game, in which two weaker sides take common ground against the stronger power, by finding compromise over their own differences and satisfying an acceptable level of their interests.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Petar Kurecic