Alexander Cooley, Chair of Barnard College’s Political Science Department and a Member of the Saltzman Institute, has been interviewed for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty about his latest book, Great Games, Local Rules (Oxford University Press, 2012).

In the interview, Dr. Cooley explains that, though the U.S., China, and Russia are all competing for influence in Central Asia, “local rules” still apply because the countries in the region are able to play the great powers against each other in order to secure their own interests. The game being played in the region is very competitive, but unlikely to lead to overt conflict between the great powers because their interests are not mutually exclusive. Ultimately, the real damage being done is to the rights of citizens, as Central Asian elites have used the situation to avoid criticism on their worsening human rights records.

The interview is available on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s website.