I want to get back to the blog entries here by re-posting a comment I wrote in reply to one "Alan" who queried my article on the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and Nato. You can find it below. If, Alan, you do see this finally, I would be happy for us to exchange more for the purpose of learning from each other. Thanks!
Alan--many thanks for the education. Perhaps suggesting in this post that I only read a wikipedia article and formed an opinion would be doing a disservice to what I actually have been doing, which is reading around other academic articles and sites about the SCO.
I understand theimpression it might give, but I appreciate the value of research, and would do more than wikipedia. I hope the fact that I have set up this blog itself suggests a lot of reading goes on beyond wikipedia!:-)
That said, I believe in the light of what you have said, it is too early to make such categorical statements--as like life, comparative regional integration is about humans establishing mechanisms and whatnot that make policies work or not; in that respect, it's about shades of gray.
I don't pretend to be an expert on either Nato or SCO, but what I do know about the discipline of comparative regional integration is this: there are complementarities in each regional grouping that must be highlighted and popularised, as there are imperatives.
To date, I have failed to see the imperative of Nato--helping AU peacekeepers in Sudan? Helping in Afghanistan? AT least the piracy issue has given it some raison d'etre! All that said, there is no gainsaying that SCO is a force to reckon with, and will continue to serve as a counterweight to Nato in many respects...