Events Calendar

Diversification of an Energy-Producing Economy Agricultural Policy in Kazakhstan
Jan 8 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Diversification of an Energy-Producing Economy Agricultural Policy in Kazakhstan @ Conference Room 505

with Richard Pomfret, Professor of Economics, University of Adelaide, Australia

Kazakhstan has used energy revenues to save for the future, invest in human capital, and diversify the structure of production with the goal of becoming one of the “fifty most competitive, dynamically developing countries in the world”. Agriculture has been a key part of the diversification strategy ever since the government committed a billion dollars to the 2003-5 Agriculture and Food Program. Since then agricultural policy has passed through several phases, mirroring evolving attitudes in Kazakhstan towards the role of government and of the market in economic development. This seminar analyses the content and consequences of agricultural policy, and agriculture’s role in Kazakhstan’s economic transformation.

Richard Pomfret, Professor of Economics at the University of Adelaide, Australia, and adviser to the Australian government and to international organizations such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

European and U.S. policies in Central Asia: Will transatlantic cooperation work in Central Asia towards and beyond 2014?
Feb 19 @ 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
European and U.S. policies in Central Asia: Will transatlantic cooperation work in Central Asia towards and beyond 2014? @ Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the European Union
The seminar aims to bring together experts and policy-makers from both sides of the Atlantic to discuss the connecting points and divergences of policies of the European Union and the U.S. in Central Asia. Both have similar – though not identical – interests and objectives inCentral Asia but their policy-approaches differ substantially. What can be done in terms of cooperation and coordination in the light of the NATO draw-down from Afghanistan and how can both partners cooperate in Central Asia post-2014?

During the seminar EUCAM will also present its latest Working Paper: The Afghanistan-Central Asia relationship: what role for the EU? 

Understanding Conflict and Ethnic Violence in Kyrgyzstan
Mar 5 @ 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
Understanding Conflict and Ethnic Violence in Kyrgyzstan

with Neil Melvin, Director of Program Armed Conflict and Conflict Management, SIPRI

Over the last two decades, Kyrgyzstan has experienced two major outbreaks of violence involving the main ethnic communities in the country: the Kyrgyz and the Uzbeks. These violent incidentshave generally been viewed as ethnic conflicts and much of the response to the violence from thegovernment, local communities, and the international community has been framed within thisunderstanding. At the same time, Kyrgyzstan has also experienced other, less significant violent events and political crises that have often been linked temporally to the “ethnic conflicts”. This suggests that a full understanding of the nature of armed conflict in Kyrgyzstan and the involvement of ethnic communities in violence at a minimum requires a broader examination of the context of the violence. Neil Melvin is director of Program Armed Conflict and Conflict Management at the StockholmInternational Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), and has also worked at a variety of leading policy institutes in Europe. 

The Central Asia Security Workshop
Mar 25 @ 8:45 AM – Mar 26 @ 12:00 PM
The Central Asia Security Workshop @ Lindner Commons

NATO members are exiting from Afghanistan at different speeds, dictated by pressures from their domestic public opinions. This withdrawal has re-launched debates on the security of the Central Asian region. In the years to come, the post-2014 changes in the regional landscape will intersect with domestic evolutions including changes in political leadership, in demographics, and the end of the Soviet legacy. GW’s Central Asia Program seeks to participate in the policy debate on Central Asia by providing current research on the different sources of potential insecurity in the region.

MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013 (8.45 am – 4 pm)
8.45 am. Registration9 am. Opening Remarks
Chair: Chantal de Jonge Oudraat (SIPRI-North America) and Marlene Laruelle (George Washington University)
Deconstructing the ‘Spillover’ Narrative
Scott Radnitz (University of Washington)
Afghan Spillover Oversell: The Greater Danger of Self-Inflicted Harm in Central Asia
Georges Gavrilis (Hollings Center for International Dialogue)
The Closing of Central Asia’s Borders
Sebastien Peyrouse (George Washington University)
Drug-Trafficking: Identifying the Real Challenges
11-11.30 am. Coffee break
Chair: Scott Radnitz (University of Washington) and Sean Roberts (George Washington University)
Dilemmas of Democratization: The Problems of Transitioning from Authoritarian Rule in Kyrgyzstan andImplications for other Countries in the Region
Eric McGlinchey (George Mason University)
My Property, your Courts: The International Litigation of Contested Central Asian Assets
Erica Marat (American University)
Regulating Private Security Companies in Central Asia
Jan Harfst (UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS)
Effective resolution of water related issues as a crucial factor for security in Central Asia
1.15-2.15 pm. Lunch
Chair: David Abramson (State Department)Sarah Kendzior (Al Jazeera English)
The Crisis of Consistency in Uzbekistan
Gael Raballand (Institute Choiseul, Paris)
Redistribution of oil revenues in Kazakhstan: excessive expectations from the population?
Nate Schenkkan (Freedom House)
Kyrgyzstan: When Consolidation Fails
Zohra Ismail Beben (College of William and Mary)
Statecraft in Tajikistan: A blunt instrument for a fine task?
TUESDAY, MARCH 26, 2013 (9.30-11.30 am)
Noah Tucker (  
Islamic “revival” in Central Asia: Social trend or political threat?  
Nathan Barrick (Strategic consultant, CLI Solutions)
Geostrategic factors in the Islamist militant threat to central Asia
Azizullah Ghazi (Independent Scholar)
Activities of Central Asian Islamic militant organizations on the internet and social media
11.30-12 pm. Wrap up
Book Launch: Globalizing Central Asia-Geopolitics and Challenges of Economic Development
Apr 2 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Book Launch: Globalizing Central Asia-Geopolitics and Challenges of Economic Development

Part of IERES’s Book Launch Series

Marlene Laruelle, Research Professor of International Affairs, GWU
Sebastien Peyrouse, Research Professor of International Affairs, GWU
Discussant: Johannes Linn
Former World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia
Central Asia, as it emerges from a political and economic system that was closed until the end of the twentieth century, is a textbook case for globalization. The book Globalizing Central Asia: Geopolitics and Challenges of Economic Development traces the region’s entry into the highly competitive global arena, not only through state interaction with numerous external players, but also in geo-economic terms. The region’s natural resources compel the attention of rivalrous great powers and ambitious internal factions. Russia and China dominate the horizon, with other global players close behind.The local regimes are caught between the need for international collaborations to valorize their resources and the need to maintain control over them in the interest of state sovereignty. Local patterns of development thus become a key driver of external actors’ involvement and shape the mechanisms by which the Central Asian states are forging a place for themselves in the globalized world.   
American and European Policies in Central Asia: Similarities and Divergence
Apr 16 @ 3:15 PM – 6:30 PM
American and European Policies in Central Asia: Similarities and Divergence @ City View Room
Panel 1: Debating Similarities and Divergences in European and American Policies Toward Central Asia (3:15-4:45)
Jos Boonstra, Senior Researcher, Head of EUCAM programme, FRIDE, Brussels
Alexander Cooley, Tow Professor, Barnard College, New York 
Jeff Goldstein, Senior policy analyst for Eurasia, Open Society Foundations
Sebastien Peyrouse, Research Professor, Central Asia Program, GWU
Panel 2: European and American Policy Priorities in Central Asia(5:00-6:30)
Patricia Flor, EU Special Representative for Central Asia, European External Action Service
Lynne Tracy, Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs
The seminar aims to build on the existing dialogue among experts and policy-makers from the two sides of the Atlantic, with the goal of finding pragmatic policy solutions and converging the objectives of the two actors in the region. While there is a general consensus that the objectives ofEurope and the U.S in Central Asia are similar, the methodologies in perusing those objectives differ. What are the priorities of the two actors in the run up to 2014 and beyond in the view of the value-based approach versus security constraints linked to the 2014 draw-down from Afghanistan. More information can be found at
Politics and Cinema: Divergence in Post-Soviet Central Asian Film
Apr 30 @ 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Politics and Cinema: Divergence in Post-Soviet Central Asian Film @ Voesar Conference Room

Discussion on Kazakh Cinema

Introduction: Peter Rollberg, Director, IERES, GWU

Kazakh Cinema in an Historical Perspective: from Perestroika to Post-Borat Time
Jean Radvanyi, Professor, National Institute for Oriental Languages and Cultures, Paris, France

Politics and Cinema: Divergence in Post-Soviet Central Asian Film
Michael Rouland, co-editor of Cinema in Central Asia: Rewriting Cultural Histories (I.B.Tauris, 2013)

Film Screening (7:00-8:30 pm)- Killer (1998), by Darezhan Omirbaev
Winner of the ‘Un Certain Regard Award’ at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan’s film industry has experienced major changes along with the rest of a Kazakh society. Through movies, Kazakh film-makers have been able to explore the new dimensions of their society and begin to create a new cultural history. This event will be a discussion on Kazakh cinema and its role in Kazakh society as it reexamines past events and their narratives. We will then be showing Killer, Darzehan Omirbaev’s award winning film.

Afghanistan after 2014
May 1 @ 2:00 PM – May 2 @ 5:00 AM
Afghanistan after 2014 @ Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

In partnership with the Kennan Institute and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ South Asia Center.

Spotlight on Central Eurasia Speaker Series 

This event explores local and regional perspectives on the future of Afghanistan against the backdrop of the planned United States withdrawal of military forces from the region. The first session focuses on local politics and governance in Afghanistan, and the second session investigates the ways in which Afghanistan’s neighbors have been discussing and planning for the upcoming changes.                                                                                                                          

2:00-3:15 pm       Views from Within Afghanistan

Noah Coburn (Bennington College), “Elections and the Hazards of Transition: Voting and Local Governance in Afghanistan” author of Bazaar Politics: Pottery and Power in an Afghan Market Town (2011)

3:15-3:30 pm       Coffee Break

3:30-5:00 pm       Views from Afghanistan’s Neighbors

Simbal Khan (Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad, Pakistan and Woodrow Wilson Center Fellow), “Pakistan’s Strategy on Afghanistan: Between Dodging Bullets and Moderating Outcomes”

Marlene Laruelle (George Washington University), “A “regional solution” for Afghanistan? Perspectives from Afghanistan’s Northern Neighbors”


George Washington University’s Central Asia Program

Wilson Center’s South Asia Program

The Spotlight on Central Eurasia Speaker Series, hosted by the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute, aims to inform Washington, DC-based scholars and practitioners of the latest research on a range of topics and from a variety of disciplines impacting the future of the Caucasus and Central Asia.

What’s Wrong in the Relationship Between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan?
May 7 @ 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
What's Wrong in the Relationship Between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan? @ Voesar Conference Room
with Volker Jacoby, Former Human Rights OfficerUN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia 
Volker Jacoby will shed light on the uneasy relationship between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and put it into the broader regional context of Central Asia. He will talk about the water/energy nexus in the region and the struggle over the Rogun Hydropower station project in Tajikistan, the conflict over the Farhad water reservoir, TALCO, border delimitation, railroad connections and other strains between the two neighbors. He will also elaborate on necessity and prospects of cooperation in the region, with a view also towards the withdrawal of international combat forces from Afghanistan.
Legal Aspects of Foreign Direct Investment in the Gold Mining Sector of the Kyrgyz Republic: Towards a Path to Sustainable Environmental Development
May 13 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Legal Aspects of Foreign Direct Investment in the Gold Mining Sector of the Kyrgyz Republic: Towards a Path to Sustainable Environmental Development

with Begaiym Esenkulova, American University of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan

Begaiym Esenkulova is an Assistant Professor of Law at the American University of Central Asia,Kyrgyzstan, an S.J.D. candidate at the Central European University, Hungary, and is currently aColumbia University visiting scholar. She will be discussing the legal aspects of FDI in the gold mining sector in Kyrgyzstan.