The Newsletter 70 Spring 2015

Reading the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

Emilian Kavalski

Since its establishment in 2001, the development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) remains a conundrum for many commentators. On the one hand, the organisation brings together a seemingly unlikely group of members – China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. On the other hand, the SCO attracts an equally disparate group of observer countries (Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia, and Pakistan), dialogue partners (Belarus, Sri Lanka, and Turkey), and guests (Turkmenistan, the Association for Southeast Asian Nations, and the Commonwealth of Independent States).