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Central Asia: The Great Game Replayed : An Indian Perspective
By Nirmala Joshi

First Published : 2003
ISBN : 817708058x
: 978817708058x
Pages : 315
Binding : Hardbound
Size : 5 x 9
Price : US$ 60

      In the nineteenth century, The Great Game was played between two major colonial powers of the time ¾ Tsarist Russia and Great Britain. The prize was “The Jewel in the Crown” ¾ India, and the pathway to it ran through Afghanistan. Today, the pathway still runs through Afghanistan but the players are different ¾ the United States of America, Russia and China, with Iran, India, Pakistan on the periphery. The prize is the oil and mineral wealth of Central Asia and its geo-political and strategic positioning.

     Over the years, particularly after the Soviet invasion in 1979 and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Afghanistan has emerged as the hub of religious extremism and international terrorism. In the aftermath of the terrorist attack on the US in September 2001, this region has become the field of intense competition among the major powers. The resultant American military presence in Afghanistan and some of the states of Central Asia, a new dimension has been added to the geo-politics of the region. The possibility of Russia finding common cause with China to contain the US hegemonic influence is almost inevitable. Iran feels equally uncomfortable with its arch enemy America’s presence in its neighbourhood.

        While India does not share a direct boundary with any of the states of Central Asia, nevertheless, because of its geographical proximity and historical cultural ties, and its interest in the sources of energy, India considers Central Asia as part of its extended neighbourhood .

       This book provides an in-depth analysis of the Indian perspective on the Great Game as it unfolds and its geo-political ramifications for this country.

      Edited by Professor Nirmala Joshi of the Centre for Russian and Central Asian and East European Studies of Jawaharlal Nehru University, the study includes contributions by leading Indian experts on the area, geopolitical affairs, strategic concerns, economic and cultural connections between Central Asia and India.


1. Introduction

Nirmala Joshi

2. Russia and Central Asia: Emerging Pattern of Relationship

Devendra Kaushik

3. United States of America and Central Asia: Beginning of the Great Game

Amitabh Mattoo

4. Issues in Central Asian Stability

Nirmala Joshi

5. India and Central Asia: Towards A Co-operative Future

S.D. Muni

6. China’s Emerging Ties With Central Asia

Sujit Dutta

7. Politics of Energy Resources of Central Asia

R.G. Gidadhubli

8. Understanding Central Asian Economic Models

Gulshan Sachdeva

9. India and Central Asia: Linkages and Interactions

Mansura Haidar


  Professor Nirmala Joshi of the Centre for Russian, Central Asian and East European Studies in the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University has been teaching and guiding research on Russia and Central Asia for a number of years.  She was the Chairperson of the Centre for two years (1997-99) and later was appointed the Director of the University Grants Commission’s Programme on Russia and Central Asia for three years. She has contributed several articles to scholarly journals and books covering a wide range of issues on Russia and Central Asia.  Her major areas of research are foreign and security policy, democratisation and energy security of Russia, Central Asia and the South Caucasus.  Professor Joshi is the author of Indo-Soviet Relations: Unofficial Attitudes and Contacts: 1917-47 and has edited India and Hungary: Perspectives on the Changing World Order. Presently, she is working on Central Asia’s Security Concerns: Implications for India.

        Professor Nirmala Joshi has been the member of the Indo-Russian Joint Commission for Co-operation in Social Sciences. She was nominated a member of the Executive Council of the Indian Council of World Affairs.  She is member of the Standing Committee of the UGC’s Area Studies Programme.  Professor Joshi has widely travelled to Russia, Europe and the United States of America.

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