Narek A. Mkrtchyan
Key words – Kazakhstan, Russia, nation building, national identity, Islam, Turkic Identity, securitization, Turkism .
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many Central Asian leaders approached the nation building process as an innovative idea to their states. Former communist leaders also relied upon the discourse of nationalism to achieve public consent and to legitimize the continuity of their regimes with strong patrimonial features. Indeed, the groundwork and basis of national ideas were formed during the Soviet Union, which as the architect of national ideas in the Central Asian region created union republics based on ethnic belonging. Moreover, it would provide unique national space for the formation of cultural-national identity aimed at destroying the overarching Islamic identities. In this context, it is quite interesting to focus on the paradigm of Kazakhstan’s nation building in the post-Soviet era. The Kazakh paradigm of nation building is a result of multidimensional responses to the challenges of post-Soviet history. Kazakhstan stands out among other post-Soviet countries as an example of inter-ethnic understanding, which provides not only rational but also inclusive ideas of the collectivity of diverse ethnic commonalities. In the present article, the issue under scrutiny is the challenges of Islam and Turkism in the post-Soviet Kazakhstan. President Nursultan Nazarbayev came to pursue an ambitious project of nation building, which contained components of patrimonial use of authority, ethnicizing and civic policies with emphasis on western style administration. The ethnic and civic approaches of nation building policies of Kazakhstan are unique not only in terms of multiculturalism and political stability but also for addressing Turkic and Islamic challenges. The breakdown of the Soviet Union left an ideological vacuum in Central Asia. This situation contained serious challenges and risks concerning possibly filling the vacuum with Islamic ideologies. Nevertheless, Kazakhstan did not provide Islamic responses to the challenges of post-Soviet realities; instead, it tried to overcome traditional/tribal relations and to establish innovative tendencies for the development of national ideas. Next, for the government of Kazakhstan, the exclusion of radical Islam became one of the most strategic priorities of nation/state building processes. To this end, the Nazarbaev administration pursued a policy of “securitization of foreign Islam” to keep Kazakstan far from the external influence of radical/political Islam and have balanced relations with the Christian Russia. Compared to other Central Asian countries Kazakhstan is more open to the world. To maintain the balance of power among Russia, China, Iran, United States, European Union and Turkic states the Nazarbaev administration proclaimed about Kazakhstan’s multi-vector foreign policy.
Mnatsakan A. Safaryan
Key words – China’s foreign policy, South Caucasus, Armenian Genocide, Armenian-Chinese relations, Chinese-Turkish relations, crimes against humanity.
The last decades have seen the growth of China’s international stature and influence. As studies of China’s foreign policy are thriving worldwide, many issues of China’s policy in the South Caucasus remain largely unresearched. In this connection it is cognitive to detect China’s approaches to the issue of the Armenian Genocide, in particular, in the view of the ongoing dynamic change in China’s attitude towards such crimes against humanity as the Holocaust and the Nanjing Massacre.
The July 2009 events in Urumqi sparked a reaction of Turkey’s government: Prime Minister Erdogan said that the events in Urumqi were like genocide. At the request of China’s authorities Turkey’s foreign ministry issued an explanatory statement, which was followed by intensive diplomacy between the two countries to ease the strained Chinese-Turkish relations. Prior to these events the issue of the Armenian Genocide has not been a matter of special academic research in China. To be precise, it received marginal coverage in China’s central media sources, in those cases when the issue was brought forward by the world’s prime media outlets. The issue of the Armenian Genocide in China’s academic research first appears in 2010-2011 period. Moreover, China’s stance on the Armenian Genocide acquired new quality. In February 2011 China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi visited the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex in Yerevan and paid tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide. In reply to Anadolu Agency’s question China’s Foreign Ministry made a statement, saying that China is aware of the complexities of the historical problems between Turkey and Armenia and wants it to be solved through dialogue.
China’s evolving major power diplomacy has broadened its foreign policy outlook, which has brought the issue of the Armenian Genocide to the attention of China’s academic and social circles. The China’s diplomatic strategy is taking into account the nuances of regional situation in the South Caucasus and the neighboring areas. Despite the fact that the issue of the Armenian Genocide has gained its place in the toolbox of the Chinese diplomacy and is reflected in academic studies, the issue of the official recognition by China’s government is not on the agenda due to many factors. Firstly, China still pursues the notion of noninterference to some extent, at least for the time being. Secondly, the relations between Turkey and China are considered to be of high mutual importance, as both countries make use of the developing multipolar world. Nonetheless, Turkey’s nationalist policies, as well as the growing institutionalization of universal values in China may set the conditions for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by China.
Sasun L. Saribekyan
Key words – sect, totalitarian sect, global masonry, geopolitical function, geopolitical agent, New World, antichristianism, association of religions, religious intervention, mind control, “New Age”, “Jehovah’s Witnesses”, Mormons.
Sects are important actors in the geopolitics: their activities are directed against states and the ethnos because of the establishment of a very dangerous world order for them, union of religions and destruction of the Christian civilization. Separating the world population and eliminating its quality, the sects have drastically negative effect on the geopolitical resources, situation, strength, competitiveness, relations, security and development of the given country, in particular, reduces the possibility of impacting beyond the state borders and providing counter-weights against different types of expansion applied by other actors.
Totalitarian sects are of great geopolitical importance, especially the “New Age”, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Mormons), “Jehovah’s Witnesses”, “Church of Scientology”, “Unification Church (Sect of Mun)”, “International Society for Krishna Consciousness” and “TranscendentalMeditation”.