Central Asia Program
Photo by Abel Polese
Message from our Founder
Once I settled in Washington DC, I had in mind the idea of launching a program on Central Asia that would showcase competing viewpoints and disciplinary approaches. I spent five years in Tashkent at the French Institute for Central Asian Studies and have fond memories of its collegiality, something I wanted to reproduce here in DC. In 2012, I had the chance to receive a small grant from the Elliott School of International Affairs to launch the Central Asia Program, originally only for organizing a few seminars and publications. It rapidly grew thanks to the support of the foundations based in the US as well as partnerships with local institutions, such as the Bolashak program, Nazarbayev University, and the OSCE Academy in Bishkek. A decade later, I remain amazed by the thirst for knowledge and training expressed by Central Asia’s younger generations and hope that we will continue to deliver academic and policy knowledge on the region and by the region.
For an inclusive knowledge on and for Central Asia.
The Central Asia Program (CAP) at George Washington University advances high-quality research on contemporary Central Asia by empowering local voices and international scholars and experts alike, and serves as an interface for academic and policy communities.
We pursue our mission through a multidisciplinary approach of:
- producing high quality academic and policy research on Central Asia;
- training a new generation of Central Asian public policy experts through our fellowships;
- promoting local and emerging voices by supporting their initiatives and publications;
- contributing to the development of the region through online analytical websites, and executive educational programs; and
- building a global network of organizations and experts on Central Asia by bringing policy, academic, diplomatic, and business communities together.
Over the last decade, CAP has come to be at the vanguard of academic knowledge on Central Asia, as well as a global informational and educational platform on and for the region.
The Program calls for a multidisciplinary approach combining the fields of political science, sociology, anthropology, economics, history, development studies, and security studies. It provides a platform for different—and often contradictory—points of view on contemporary Central Asia.
CAP focuses on the wider Central Asian/Central Eurasian space, which includes the five post-Soviet Central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan), Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Xinjiang, Mongolia, as well as Russia’s Muslim regions.