In This Review

Getting It Wrong: Regional Cooperation and the Commonwealth of Independent States
Getting It Wrong: Regional Cooperation and the Commonwealth of Independent States
Edited by Martha Brill Olcott, Anders Aslund, and Sherman W.
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1999, 271 pp

The first systematic, broad-based attempt to size up the Commonwealth of Independent States. Until now, there has been no serious attempt to study whether the successor cis states have built significant new bonds in any sphere -- economics, security, border management, anti-terrorism, and the like -- or whether, on the contrary, they are still scattering like the pieces of an exploded meteorite. As the authors go through each dimension, including the complex relationship between national-identity formation and interstate cooperation, they find failure on every front. A large part of the reason, not surprisingly, has to do with Russia's imperial past, its often insensitive policies, and the size of its shadow. But the more subtle explanations also look to the self-seeking behavior of the other states. A unique and useful book.