We are pleased to offer you another special issue of our journal. This time it is dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the creation of the international regional organization—GUAM. As President of the Azerbaijan Republic Ilham Aliev noted in his speech at the Baku GUAM Summit (18-19 June, 2007), this organization has “an important role to play in regional cooperation on the Eurasian continent.” The authors of the papers in this issue are experts at the world’s leading research centers who essentially present the first in-depth and comprehensive analysis of GUAM’s role and place in the globalizing world.
The two global integration formations of the past—the world capitalist and socialist systems—have disappeared to be replaced by principally new mechanisms for forming a regional structure in the Eurasian geopolitical expanse of the present. This makes an analysis of GUAM’s development problems highly pertinent. Particularly important are the newly arising regional structural elements based on principles of socioeconomic compatibility and complementarity among neighboring states, as well as their ability to function together in world politics and the global economy.
These regional structural elements, which have different internal political-legal and institutional forms, can be grouped as follows:
the marginal regions—this refers to separate areas of Europe and Asia;
the pivot area, which is located at the intersection between the Eurasian vectors (East-West and North-South)—Central Eurasia, which includes Central Europe, the Central Caucasus, and Central Asia.
Thus, Central Eurasia as the planet’s pivot area systemically performs the role of a connecting link throughout the Eurasian expanse. This presumes the existence of efficient interstate institutional mechanisms for ensuring the socioeconomic integration of large and relatively independent areas of the Eurasian mainland. In our opinion, GUAM’s development could lead to the formation of such mechanisms.
We hope that the ideas and proposals found in the papers of this collection will provide clear reference points and be beneficial to politicians and experts in their search for optimal development models for the Central Eurasian region, keeping in mind the imminent formation of a new regional structure in the Eurasian geopolitical expanse.
Chairman of the Editorial Council Eldar M. Ismailov