Alexander Cooley, Saltzman Institute Member and Tow Professor for Distinguished Scholars and Practitioners in Political Science at Barnard College, discussed his research on great power rivalry in Central Asia for NPR’s “The Takeaway.” The interview focused on the competition for power in the region currently underway between Russia, China, and the United States. Prof. Cooley, who has just a book on the subject, Great Games, Local Rules: The New Great Power Contest in Central Asia (Oxford University Press, 2012), argued that the Central Asian nations can often benefit from this competition by the great powers off each other. He also noted that, while Central Asia has traditionally been part of Russia’s sphere of influence and the U.S.’s involvement with Afghanistan has led it to engage with the area to a large extent, China’s investment and assistance in the region has placed it in the most advantageous position there.

An audiorecording of the interview and a text summary are available at NPR’s website.