Eurasian Regionalism: The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation by Stephen Aris (auth.)

By Stephen Aris (auth.)

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RATS is composed of a Council and an Executive Committee. The Executive Committee is the permanently functioning element of the RATS based at its headquarters. Its role is to oversee the running of the RATS and the functional implementation of its work, and it is comprised of the senior staff stationed at the headquarters. The Council is the main decision-making body of the RATS, and is made up of the ministers in charge of counterterrorism efforts in the respective member states, and the Director of the Executive Committee.

Kurtov (2008, 50) notes that this factor has an important psychological significance for Central Asia. Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan gained the opportunity to position themselves as equal partners (in their eyes) of the leading powers. This was a flattering assumption for regional leaders, which helped them play on this fact for propaganda purposes before their people. The SCO joint declarations, photo calls and treaties serve as a legitimising agent for the Central Asian regimes by enabling them to associate themselves with the strength and prestige of two of the most significant powers in the international system.

In this way, the development of the SCO agenda is the product of communication and agreement between its member states, rather than a predetermined plan. , 2007, personal interview, 10 May). Chinese analyst Chen Xulong (2007, personal interview, 20 June) considers that the SCO is an evolutionary mechanism, because The SCO’s Model for Regional Cooperation 43 when the initial border demarcation negotiations were conducted within the Shanghai mechanism in the mid-1990s, there was no grand design to create a full regional organisation, and instead the SCO emerged out of the perceived success of the Shanghai process up to that point.

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