Catching the ‘Shanghai Spirit’: How the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Promotes Authoritarian Norms in Central Asia

  title={Catching the ‘Shanghai Spirit’: How the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Promotes Authoritarian Norms in Central Asia},
  author={Thomas Ambrosio},
  journal={Europe-Asia Studies},
  pages={1321 - 1344}
Abstract This article examines how the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) seeks to undermine democratisation in Central Asia. Prior studies of the interplay between international organisations and democracy have tended to examine only one half of this relationship: whether, how, and under what circumstances do international organisations promote democracy? However, the opposite has been largely ignored: how do international organisations sustain autocracy? Authoritarian governments are… Expand
The dark side of regionalism: how regional organizations help authoritarian regimes to boost survival
ABSTRACT The international dimension of authoritarian resilience is receiving increased attention by scholars of comparative politics and international relations alike. Research suggests thatExpand
Undermining Western democracy promotion in Central Asia: China’s countervailing influences, powers and impact
ABSTRACT This article examines whether and to what extent China’s involvement in Central Asian countries undermines the democracy promotion efforts of the European Union and the United States.Expand
Who’s Socialising Whom? Regional Organisations and Contested Norms in Central Asia
Abstract The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) represent competing sets of international norms in Central Asia. TheExpand
Understanding Authoritarian Regionalism
Abstract:This article examines the goals, methods, and implications of regional organizations founded and dominated by autocracies—including the Commonwealth of Independent States (spearheaded byExpand
Competing perspectives on democracy and democratization: assessing alternative models of democracy promoted in Central Asian states
This study examines alternative understandings of democracy and democracy promotion advanced by the US, EU, Russia and China in Central Asia using frame analysis. In the context of this study,Expand
European Union democracy promotion in Central Asia: Implementation in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan
The EU has made the area of democracy, human rights, rule of law and good governance a top cooperation priority under the framework of the EU Strategy towards Central Asia. The inclusion of strongExpand
Great powers, civil society and authoritarian diffusion in Central Asia
ABSTRACT This article draws on the authoritarian promotion literature to assess contending pressures for democratization and authoritarianism in Central Asia. Domestic actors ultimately determineExpand
Feeling safe, being strong: China's strategy of soft balancing through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
This article is an empirical analysis of China's use of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to engage in soft balancing behaviour against the United States. The author argues that China aimsExpand
Beyond the balance of power: the logic of China's engagement in regional multilateralism
Over the past decades, China has adopted a proactive attitude towards regional multilateral cooperation that signals a dramatic shift of Chinese foreign policy. What explains the rationales behindExpand
Explaining the pattern of Russian authoritarian diffusion in Armenia
ABSTRACT The literature dealing with the international dimensions of authoritarianism suggests that regional hegemons may exploit linkage and leverage to counter democracy and diffuse authoritarianExpand


International actors and democracy promotion in central and eastern Europe: the integration model and its limits
This article focuses on the key influence of international organizations, and specifically the European Union, in the process of democratization in central and eastern European (CEE) states. ItExpand
Democratisation and the prospects for participatory regionalism in Southeast Asia
This article explores the impact of democratic transitions in Southeast Asia on regional co-operation, and the relationship between this process and the development of a non-official regionalism.Expand
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, trade, and the roles of Iran, India and Pakistan
ABSTRACT This article seeks to explore the implications of Shanghai Cooperation Organization's (SCO) engagement with India, Pakistan and Iran. Not in terms of power-politics or as a counterbalance toExpand
Whatever Happened to "Asian Values"?
The discourse contrasting the defects of “Western” individualism and democracy with the virtues of “Asian” communitarianism and good governance, which blossomed during East and Southeast Asia’sExpand
China Turns West: Beijing's Contemporary Strategy towards Central Asia
The past decade has witnessed a fundamental shift in Chinese foreign policy. Its involvement in the Six-Party Talks on North Korea, ASEAN, the ASEAN Regional Forum, as well as warming relations withExpand
Democracy from the Outside-In? International Organizations and Democratization
Scholars and policymakers alike have recently begun to tout the ability of international organizations (IOs) to encourage and secure democracy throughout the world. Despite this stance, littleExpand
Chinese strategies in a US‐hegemonic global order: accommodating and hedging
China's economic, political and military influence has been increasing at a time when the United States, as sole superpower, dominates the international order. This article outlines Chinese eliteExpand
The Political Success of Russia-Belarus Relations: Insulating Minsk from a Color Revolution
Abstract: This article explores how the Russia-Belarus relationship has countered external forces that have been shown to promote democratization. It seeks to answer the following questions:Expand
Against the Current: The Survival of Authoritarianism in Burma
THE LAST TWO DECADES have witnessed an unprecedented growth of democracy around the world. Freedom House estimates that the number of "free" countries, that is, democracies without serious violationsExpand
Is Democracy Promotion Effective? Comparing Conditionality and Incentives
Many studies suggest that conditionality is a more effective democracy promotion strategy (DPS) than incentives. This paper confirms the validity of this hypothesis by demonstrating that conditionalExpand