July 30, 2008
"Pourchot's examination of Eastern European and Central Asian national identities and interests provides an insightful perspective on the monumental shifts in Eurasia since the end of the Cold War."—Zbigniew Brzezinski, Counselor & Trustee, Center for Strategic & International Studies
"East European countries have long been seen through the prism of the Cold War standoff between the West and the old Soviet Union. This bias persists. Pourchot argues that this prejudice fails to comprehend the political dynamic underway in this region. She opens the door for a fresh look at an often neglected region."—John J. Hamre, President & CEO, Center for Strategic & International Studies
"At a time when Russia is raising growing concerns for its policies and intentions in Europe, Georgeta Pourchot is giving us a balanced and persuasive history of the post-Soviet space that must be read and understood in full by students and practitioners alike. Students will learn not only what the facts are but also how facts should be managed into a coherent and sound analysis. As to practitioners, they will find in Pourchot’s account a caution against the excessive shifts of mood that have characterized U.S. attitudes toward Eurasia over time."—Simon Serfaty, Professor of U.S. Foreign Policy & Eminent Scholar, Old Dominion University
Although the score of countries comprising Russia's "near abroad" (the former non-Russian Soviet republics) and "far abroad" (the former non-Russian Warsaw Pact states) are behaving with increasing independence in their domestic and foreign policies, Russia continues to regard them as being within the same sphere of influence as formerly under the sway of the Soviet Union. Russia misinterprets bids by these countries to adopt liberalizing structural reforms and to join Euro-Atlantic organizations as foreign inspired and inimical to Russia’s security. Whether Russia can learn to recognize that such bids are in fact normal developments of national self-interest will determine whether healthy and mutually beneficial bilateral relations can develop between Russia and the states of her near and far abroad in the 21st century. No previous study of the dynamics of the new Russian assertive sovereignty has as broad a geographic scope as Eurasia Rising, which considers the whole of post-Soviet space: Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Albania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.