Following several hundred years of relative isolation, Central Asia has re-emerged as an important region on the international scene. Its importance derives from its strategic location astride the main economic and political centers of the Eurasian continent. While this location poses significant challenges to the landlocked states of the region, it also provides opportunities to them and to their neighbors – not least, the gradual re-emergence of land trade and transportation routes connecting Europe and Asia. ISDP uses a historical definition of Central Asia that goes beyond the five countries of Soviet Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) to include also Afghanistan and China’s Xinjiang-Uighur Autonomous Region.
ISDP’s activities on Central Asia, conducted within the framework of the Joint Center with the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute in Washington, D.C., focuses on research and analysis on the political development and regional security in the region, Central Asia’s relations with the EU and U.S., as well as the re-emergence of continental trade and transport. The Joint Center publishes the biweekly Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, a leading sources of analysis on regional developments.
Religion and the Secular State in Kazakhstan
Executive Summary At independence, Kazakhstan shared with the successor states to the Soviet Union the challenge of replacing Soviet atheism with new state approaches to religion. Like the rest of […]
The Economic Modernization of Uzbekistan
Executive Summary When Shavkat Mirziyoyev succeeded Islam Karimov as President of Uzbekistan, many observers expected his tenure to represent continuity rather than change. And while continuity is present in terms […]
Political Reform in Mirziyoyev’s Uzbekistan: Elections, Political Parties and Civil Society
Executive Summary Since taking over from long-time President Islam Karimov in 2016, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has pursued an aggressive policy to transform Uzbekistan’s decision-making processes, invigorate civil society, encourage political […]
Judicial and Governance Reform in Uzbekistan
Executive Summary Since President Mirziyoyev assumed power as interim president in September 2016, a major agenda of reforms has been introduced in Uzbekistan. In this broader agenda, judicial and governance […]
Uzbekistan’s New Foreign Policy: Change and Continuity under New Leadership
Since Uzbekistan gained independence in 1991, its government has sought to maximize its national security and sovereignty by limiting dependence on foreign actors. This priority has continued under former President […]
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 […]