Listen as political science professor Alexander Cooley discuses his new book, Great Games, Local Rules, in an interview on "The Takeaway." An excerpt:

""In the new Great Game, the actors want different things," Cooley says. For the United States, Central Asia is a vital staging area for its operations in Afghanistan. Russia sees an opportunity to expand its prestige, and China's primary interest is security for Xinjang, its westernmost region. 

"Sometimes these interests coincide," Cooley says. "Sometimes there's begrudging enabling of each other, and sometimes there's outright competition.""

Prof. Cooley is Tow Professor of Political Science at Barnard and a Faculty Member of Columbia’s Harriman Institute.  His research examines how external actors– including international organizations, aid donors, multinational companies, non-governmental organizations, and foreign military bases – have influenced the political and economic development of the former Soviet states, with a focus on Central Asia and the Caucasus.