Date of Graduation

Fall 12-19-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS)

College/School

College of Arts and Sciences

Department/Program

International Studies

First Advisor

Filip Kovacevic

Abstract

The disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the newly independent states in Central Asia are among the most important historical events of the 20th century. As one of these newly independent and sovereign state, Kyrgyzstan found itself in the sphere of the geopolitical rivalry among the Great Powers, such as the U.S., Russia, and China. Even though a relatively small and militarily weak state, Kyrgyzstan came to play an important role in their Eurasian agenda. In this thesis, I examine in detail the international relations of Kyrgyzstan with all its neighboring states, but focus extensively on Russia. I analyze the relation between Kyrgyzstan and Russia in the framework of the ideology of Eurasianism. As a counterpoint to the Russian influence, I also chronicle the relations between Kyrgyzstan and the U.S. and the mechanisms of the "soft power" used by the latter. I consult the relevant academic literature in both English and Russian language in order to be able to present a more complete picture. My hope is that this thesis will deepen the understanding of the geopolitical dynamics in Central Asia and provoke more interest for this region of the world.