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Security, Democracy and Development

In the Southern Caucasus and the Black Sea Region

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Edited By Ghia Nodia and Christoph H. Stefes

Since the early 1990s, the southern Caucasus and its larger neighbourhood, the Black Sea region, have experienced deep and sometimes painful transformations, including bloody conflicts. They have also become an arena of geopolitical and geoeconomic competition between great powers. This has attracted growing attention from social scientists. In this volume, authors from universities in Europe, the United States and the southern Caucasus focus on several of the most topical problems of the region, particularly how nascent states and societies grapple with the results of unresolved ethno-territorial conflicts and how they try to construct new civil societies from the cultural mosaic that they inherited from their Soviet past. How do elements of democracy and autocracy combine in the political regimes of the new states? Can the West have an effect on their internal development and, if so, how? How do the rich mineral resources of the Caspian region influence the development of the region’s economies and define the geopolitical standing of these countries?
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The New Gas Era: Shaping Energy Policy in the South Caucasus Region

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ABSTRACT: The shale gas revolution had important consequences for the global energy industry. Shale gas is considered to be a promising source of energy to satisfy growing energy demand, increase energy security, generate economic benefits and reduce the carbon footprint. Discoveries and technological advances in shale gas industry have led to cheaper gas production and lower gas prices, decoupled from oil prices. Shale gas deposits are mostly found in emerging markets, creating a potential for import-dependent countries to improve their energy security. Considering the attitude to and knowledge of shale gas development in the United States and the EU, this chapter shows the potential impact of shale gas on South Caucasus region and its energy policy and its future gas market development.

KEYWORDS: South Caucasus, shale gas, natural gas markets, hydraulic fracturing, energy policy

Until quite recently nobody anticipated that shale gas would become a major rival of other energy sources and an energy “game changer” worldwide. Discoveries of massive shale gas reserves together with technological advances made it economically viable for large-scale production and more attractive to the business sector. Starting from the boom in the United States, the shale gas revolution has significant implications for international gas markets and has created huge uncertainties throughout the energy mix.

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