Vol.3. No.2 2014

Volume 3. Issue 2. August 2014.


  1. Alex Calvo (Nagoya University, Japan) EU: Flexibility and pragmatism necessary with Armenia.
  2. Alex Calvo (Nagoya University, Japan) Kyrgyzstan and natural resources — challenges ahead.
  3. Anick Otieva Bride kidnapping: A key test for Kyrgyzstan.
  4. Special Extended Article: Jonathan Ratcliffe “Some comments on the longevity of the fable of Bundled Arrows in Inner Asian cultures and its reception in the West.”
  5. Alexandra V. Orlova (Ryerson University) Plugging the baby gap? The struggle to reverse demographic decline in Russia.

The Articles

Alex Calvo (Nagoya University, Japan) EU: Flexibility and pragmatism necessary with Armenia

Words 1,398


* The European Union has been pushing some countries in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus to choose between a comprehensive free trade agreement and integration into Russia’s led customs union.
* Although there may be technical arguments in favour of this position, it does not reflect political and security realities on the ground, as clear from recent developments.
* Instead of pushing these countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) to make this hard choice, the EU should strive to gradually build up relations with them, without forcing them to choose between Brussels and Moscow.
* As a pragmatic, business oriented country, the UK is in a unique position to push for such views.

Download the article here: Alex Calvo 1 – Eurasia Studies Society Journal Vol 3 No 2 2014


Alex Calvo (Nagoya University, Japan) Kyrgyzstan and natural resources — challenges ahead

Words 1,700


* Kyrgyzstan remains one of the least developed former Soviet republics. In 2012 her GDP dropped by 2.6%.
* In contrast with some other Central Asian republics, it is not considered to be particularly rich in natural resources. An exception, hydro power, suffers from lack of capital to complete long standing dam projects.
* However, recent years have produced increasing reports of potential mineral and energy riches.
* At the same time, tensions between authorities and foreign investors have also featured often in the media. Also popular hostility towards Chinese investors and workers.
*More generally, there is the question of the always complex relationship between natural resources and economic development. Some voices are warning about the “resource curse”, and cautioning that minerals and energy do not always lead to higher development.
* It is in the British national interest to promote equitable economic relations with Kyrgyzstan, in the context of an open Central Asia.

Download the article here: Alex Calvo 2 – Eurasia Studies Society Journal Vol 3 No 2 2014


Anick Otieva Bride kidnapping: A test for Kyrgyzstan

Words 2,400


* Bride kidnapping remains prevalent in Kyrgyzstan, affecting an estimated 35-45% of women.

* Despite being illegal, under both domestic and international law, it is de facto tolerated and even supported by state structures and local authorities.

*The weakness of the institutions and the law in the new state, on the other hand, made it unable to control the situation, causing the re-emergence of other social mechanisms, which are the local councils and religious authorities, in their turn supporting the new-pseudo traditions of bride kidnapping.

 *Modern societies, however, have reached unprecedented levels of complexity, involving the presence of international agencies and international aid organizations. In addition to local actors, these also get involved in the process of state building. Therefore, at present we can observe several institutions on the local, national and international levels operating out of their own interests, sometimes opposed to each other.

* The Islamic revival funded by countries in the Gulf threatens to downgrade the status of women, making it even more difficult to eradicate this practice, despite not being originally Muslim.

* At the other end of the spectrum, international NGOs are fighting against it, while its prevalence is damaging Kyrgyzstan’s image and soft power abroad.

Download the article here: Anick Otieva – Eurasia Studies Society Journal Vol 3 No 2 2014


Special Extended Article: Some comments on the longevity of the Fable of Bundled Arrows in Inner Asian cultures and reception in the West

By Jonathan Ratcliffe

Words 8,000-9,000


The allegory delivered by the matriarch Alan Qo’a in The Secret History of the Mongols to Temüjin (Chingis Khan) and her other sons using singular and bundled arrows in order to demonstrate the power of concord, is perhaps one of the most famous instances in mediaeval Inner Asian literature. However, aside from some comments by Moses and de Rachewiltz, little has been said by scholars regarding the continuity of this pattern of allegoric fable from the Scythians of antiquity to the Tu-yü-hun and Seljuk Türks, before it is ever found in conjunction with the Mongols. For that matter, this allegory, told in connection with Chingis Khan, played a central role in European representations of the Mongols as far wiser and more just than even the Christian rulers of Europe during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, where it reached its apex in the popular bricolage of texts: The Travels of Sir John Mandeville. In this paper I will look to both the recurrent similarities and the integral differences inherent in each of the versions of this pattern of allegory in turn. Of chief importance in my analysis will be the enduring social organisation of nomad rulership, structured around the family, and the possession of power through control over the archers who composed the military force of the confederated ancient and mediaeval Inner Asian state.

Keywords: Chingis Khan, Arrows, Secret History of the Mongols, Scilurus, Aesop, Tu-yü-hun, Saljuq-Nama.

Download the article here: Jonathan Ratcliffe – Eurasia Studies Society Journal Vol 3 No 2 2014


Alexandra V. Orlova (Ryerson University) Plugging the baby gap? The struggle to reverse demographic decline in Russia

Words 6,206


Recently, Russia has been struggling to reverse plunging birthrates by adopting a number of radical policies designed to encourage women to have more babies. This article focuses on the maternal capital subsidy for the birth of two or more children that took effect in 2007. It deals with two questions. The first question is, why has maternal capital fraud been so prevalent? The second question is, does maternal capital make a difference when it comes to increasing Russia’s birthrate? The article concludes that the overly restrictive design of the maternal capital program provides a fertile ground for fraud and that this subsidy fails to address the many complex causes underlying Russia’s declining fertility rates, thus limiting its effectiveness.

Keywords: Russian Federation; maternal capital; fraud; fertility rates; gender

Download the article here: Alexandra V Orlova – Eurasia Studies Society Journal Vol 3 No 2 2014