RSC Reading Room

RSC Reading Room

The RSC “Reading Room” contains a regularly updated electronic library of reports, documents and other research resources. The RSC collects and compiles this set of electronic material and research resources in order to provide access to a wider body of work for researchers and analysts. Most notably, the RSC “Reading Room” is a key element of our efforts in the areas of public education and research and analysis, as we construct and expand a virtual “knowledge base” of resources covering a wide range of topical issues and geographical areas, many of which are neither widely known nor available in Armenia or the South Caucasus region.

Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI)
IAI Working Paper 1305
Kamal Makili-Aliyev
25 January 2013 

Summary: Azerbaijan is at the crossroads between East and West. Its geopolitical location is both its challenge and its major asset. This paper analyses the general state of relations of Azerbaijan with its largest and geopolitically most important neighbours as well as with other international players in order to see how Azerbaijan is able to maintain a balanced approach in foreign policy, maneuvering politically between the clashing geopolitical interests and ambitions of the different states in the South Caucasus. It is argued that due to its choices in foreign policy and strong focus on the effective development of its economy, Azerbaijan vies to maintain an independent course.

Azerbaijan's Foreign Policy: Between East and West

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Saban Center at Brookings
Middle East Memo, No. 27
Suzanne Maloney
January 2013

Summary: The issue of Iran has become a central preoccupation for the international community in recent months, thanks to the intersection of the historic changes in the region, an American presidential election, sharpening rhetoric from Israel, and Tehran’s relentless determination to advance its nuclear capabilities. The focus of policymakers in Washington and around the world remains fixed on the options for forestalling Iran’s determined march toward a nuclear weapons capability. This is the appropriate objective; the best possible outcome for maintaining peace and security in the Gulf and avoiding a deeply destabilizing nuclear arms race remains a credible, durable solution that curtails Iran’s nuclear ambitions. And while achieving such an outcome remains profoundly problematic, largely as a result of Tehran’s intransigence, preventing Iran from crossing the nuclear weapons threshold—either through persuasion, coercion, or some combination of the two—remains fully and unambiguously within the capabilities of the international community.

“Thinking the Unthinkable: The Gulf States and the Prospect of a Nuclear Iran”

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Summary: The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) released its annual “Human Rights and Democracy Report” highlighting the UK’s human rights policies and concerns on key issues, and features 28 Countries of Concern where the FCO has the most serious wide-ranging human rights concerns. 

“Human Rights and Democracy: The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Annual Report”

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Summary: Syria’s conflict gives its Kurdish population an opening to rectify historic wrongs and push for more autonomy, but facing internal divisions, poor ties with the non-Kurdish opposition and regional rivalries, its challenge is to articulate clear, unified and achievable demands.  Syria’s Kurds: A Struggle within a Struggle, the latest International Crisis Group report, examines the growing influence of Kurdish factions in Syria while warning against entanglement in the broader regional battle over Kurdish independence.

“Syria’s Kurds: A Struggle within a Struggle”

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Matthew Rojansky
Carnegie Endowment
January 2013 

Summary: Ukraine’s 2013 chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) presents Kyiv with a major opportunity to advance an agenda that benefits the entire Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security community. Ukraine must make the most of this unparalleled opportunity and demonstrate its ability to lead and inspire others to achieve real progress on difficult problems.

“An Opportunity for Ambition: Ukraine’s OSCE Chairmanship”

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