Date of Award

Summer 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


International Studies

Committee Director

Steve A. Yetiv

Committee Member

Donald Zeigler

Committee Member

Austin Jersild


This dissertation develops a unique way of analyzing the interstate relationship in the Caspian region over the development of Caspian oil resources. Based on three different independent variables, this dissertation seeks to understand the main reasons behind the absence of interstate cooperation in the Caspian Sea region.

Among the variety of factors that might have affected the nature of interstate relationships and cooperation in the region, national interest considerations among the littoral states and external powers involved in the affairs of the Caspian Sea region proved to be the most important factor(s) that explain the lack of cooperation in developing the Caspian oil industry. While competition for influence and resources impeded the establishment of an environment conducive to interstate cooperation, the rise of military conflicts and widespread wars also contributed to the deterioration of the international environment for the development of the Caspian oil industry. The lack of effective international institutions and the failure of the Caspian states to come up with a regime or a system of governance that would normalize interstate relationships in the region further reduced chances for a smoothly functioning oil industry in the region.

Although the advances made—after more than a decade—in the development of oil industry and transportation systems stands as a success, the current level of development hardly satisfies the littoral states and those of external powers as well as oil companies