Eurasia and Eurasian Integration: Beyond the Post-Soviet Borders
‘Eurasia’ seems to be a relatively clear concept in terms of physical geography, but much less so for social sciences. While the word ‘Eurasia’ is constantly used in various contexts (more today than twenty years ago), the specific notion of what it actually means is unclear. According to Laruele (2008), the term ‘Eurasian’ was actually invented in the 19th century to refer to children of mixed European-Asian couples, and it was later used to highlight the geological unity of the continent. Throughout the last two decades, Eurasia has been more and more commonly used by both scholars and practitioners, but the definition of the term remained unclear. It goes even to a greater extent for the concept of ‘Eurasian integration’ – which is, in fact, what this yearbook (and the companion Journal of Eurasian Economic Integration, which is published in Russian) is devoted to. This paper intends to elaborate on the concept of Eurasia and Eurasian integration, distinguishing between three notions of ‘Eurasia’ and corresponding views of Eurasian integration, considering their importance in the literature and possible research developments. The ideas presented in this paper heavily draw from the discussion in our book, published in English as Vinokurov and Libman (2012a) and in Russian as Vinokurov and Libman (2012b).
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