Uzbekistan after Karimov: a EU on the sidelines?
On August 29, news broke of the death of the President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, at the age of 78. Amid conflicting reports on the status of the president’s health, ranging from ‘full vigor’ to a possible stroke, it soon became clear that there was no succession plan to speak of in place. The country’s Independence Day celebrations scheduled for September 1 were cancelled, causing states which had prepared to send celebratory delegations to scramble to formulate an entirely different diplomatic response. Born in Samarkand in 1938, Karimov joined the Communist Party in 1964. The longest-ruling leader of any state in the post-Soviet space, he has run the Uzbek SSR and then an independent Uzbekistan since 1989, having been reelected in 2000, 2007, and 2015. The fallout after Karimov’s death, who was a skilled power broker between the country’s various clans and ethnic groups — be it an orderly succession, a power struggle among the elites, or even a civil war scenario — will most certainly be closely watched by leaders of neighboring states who are likely crafting strategies for a generational change in leadership themselves.
Central Asia Is Not a Breeding Ground for Radicalization
Both in Europe and the United States, this argument is made with increasing frequency but it doesn’t reflect reality, argues Svante Cornell. On October 31, a citizen of Uzbekistan was […]
Centralasien – ingen grogrund för radikalisering
OPINION · ”Många pekar finger mot de centralasiatiska länderna. Problemet är att individerna i fråga inte radikaliseras i Centralasien. Förövarna i Stockholm och New York lämnade båda Uzbekistan för närmare ett […]
Europa bör ta chansen när Kazakhstan blickar västerut
När Ryssland och Turkiet vänder sig alltmer bort från Europa visar Kazakhstan tvärtom ett allt starkare intresse för att bli en del av den västliga gemenskapen. Trots det har institutioner […]
The EU and Central Asia: Expanding Economic Cooperation, Trade, and Investment
Since the independence of the Central Asian states, this landlocked region has taken time to reconnect with the world, including Europe. Twenty-five years ago, many underestimated the diverse challenges – infrastructural, economic, political – that impeded the region’s trade and connectivity with the rest of the world. Yet as trade statistics show, much has been accomplished in a quarter century.
How the U.S. Promotes Extremism in the Name of Religious Freedom
On July 26, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his nomination of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback as U.S. ambassador at large for international religious freedom. The position was created by the International Religious […]
Central Asia: All Together Now
After a quarter century of independence, the fragmentation of Central Asia is evident to all. A senior official there might justifiably complain about how each country “[is] pursuing its own […]