Sub-national identities are politically relevant in many Asian and African countries, irrespective to their political system. The vote tends to be guided by clanic, ethnic, religious or regional identities, and political parties are organized along primordial loyalties. Identity politics is invoked to justify ingrained power relations or, for those groups who are discriminated against and excluded from economic and political power, to further their interests.
The never-ending power vacuum in Afghanistan continues to be the most critical factor to the security in Central Asia. This is due to two factors: the threats thriving on socio-economic and political turmoil of Afghanistan and the strategic agendas of the external actors involved in the crisis.
The resulting confrontation has defined the geopolitical profile of the region, underpinning the consolidation of the Shanghai agreement between the Russian Federation and China and the following U.S. led intervention in the region.