The Reality of Environmental Cooperation and the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea

Agha Bayramov*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
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    Using insights from classical functionalism, this article analyses the complex relationship between the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea and the Caspian Environment Programme (CEP). The article pursues three objectives. First, it shows how shared ecological issues challenged individual littoral states and brought their respective governments under the CEP umbrella in 1998. Second, it shows how key actors (UNEP, UNDP, GEF, and World Bank – besides states) are involved in shaping the politics of the Caspian Sea region and how their preferences, both political and economic, and networks affect the capacity, opportunity and will of governments (e.g., ministries, parliaments and presidents) to cooperate. Third, it explains the link between low environmental politics and the uncertain legal status of the Caspian Sea. I find that lessons learned from environmental cooperation spilled over into the discussion of the legal status of the sea, which culminated in the signing of the Convention.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)500-519
    Number of pages20
    JournalCentral Asian Survey
    Issue number4
    Early online date7-Oct-2020
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • Caspian Sea
    • Environmentalism
    • functionalism
    • Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea
    • geopolitics
    • Caspian Environment Programme
    • Tehran Convention

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