Events Calendar

Jun
21
Thu
2012
Iranian Religious Presence in the Republic of Azerbaijan: Roots, Forms and Security Implications @ Conference Room 505
Jun 21 @ 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Iranian Religious Presence in the Republic of Azerbaijan: Roots, Forms and Security Implications @ Conference Room 505

with Fuad Aliyev

Fulbright Scholar at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
Iranian religious influence in Azerbaijan has recently become a ‘hot’ topic. However, there is little insiderknowledge, or data-based analysis of the situation on the ground. Is Iran indeed capable of usingreligious activists as its fifth column in the Republic of Azerbaijan? How are Iran-backed groupsorganized and funded? What are Iran’s real threats to various Azerbaijani strategic projects?
Azerbaijan has been the subject of Iranian political interests and religious influence since the first days ofits independence. Due to the contemporary interpretations of the Shi’a principles and the way it isintertwined with the political system of post-revolutionary Iran, the relationship between the twocountries is indeed a matter of concern for Azerbaijan.
Although the Azerbaijani government has always feared Iran’s possible aspirations and capacities toinfluence its domestic affairs using the Shi’a believers as the key channel through which to exert pressure,Iranian official and semi-official organizations have been allowed to spread their version of Islamthroughout Azerbaijan. However, recent developments, public statements, “spy” and “terror” plots, massprotests, arrests in both countries, and the revival of tensions around the Iranian nuclear weaponsprogram show that the previously set lines in the relations between two countries have been crossed.Understanding the roots, forms and security implications of Iranian religious influence in Azerbaijan mayprove to be helpful in forecasting possible outcomes of this relationship.
Fuad Aliyev is a Fulbright Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced InternationalStudies’ Central Asia – Caucasus Institute. Dr. Aliyev has a Master of Arts degree in Political Sciencefrom the Central European University (Budapest, Hungary) and PhD in Economics from AzerbaijanState Economic University. Dr. Aliyev previously worked as Department Head at the FinancialMonitoring Service under the Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan. He authored severalpublications on Islamic economics and finance, and Islamic activism in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
Oct
16
Tue
2012
Islam and Politics in Tajikistan: An Insider’s View @ Lindner Commons
Oct 16 @ 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Islam and Politics in Tajikistan: An Insider’s View @ Lindner Commons

with Muhiddin Kabiri, Chairman of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan

Muhiddin Kabiri, Chairman of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, will discuss the current situation in Tajikistan including the preparation for the presidential elections in 2013, the new restrictive laws on religion, the difficulties faced by the Islamic Renaissance Party, and the tensions in the Gorno-Badakhshan region since last July.
Marlene Laruelle, Director of the Central Asia Program, will moderate.
A light lunch will be served and time will be given for a Q&A session and interaction with the public.
Mar
20
Thu
2014
Bottom-up Secularism in the Top-down States of Eurasia @ Alumni House
Mar 20 @ 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
Bottom-up Secularism in the Top-down States of Eurasia @ Alumni House

with John Schoeberlein, Nazarbayev University

The resurgence of religion in the post-Soviet space has been accompanied by heightened appeals to secularism as a social and political order.  Most research on secularism in Eurasian contexts —and indeed, in general — has focused on the top-down institutional construction of the secular order. Furthermore, scholarship on post-Soviet societies tends often to present social construction as a largely top-down process; this being a legacy of the Soviet context where a state with high ambitions for penetrating and transforming society was at the center of most analysis of social process. John Schoeberlein will explore the ways in which bottom-up processes shape the formation of secularism in post-communist states. Drawing on an ethnographic perspective from field research in Central Asia and the Caucasus, he will make an argument that what might be called “secular sensibilities” of people who inhabit all levels of the social process are a crucial factor in shaping the ways that religion has assumed a new role in social and political processes.
Mar
25
Tue
2014
Are US strategic interests in Azerbaijan at risk? @ Voesar Conference Room
Mar 25 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Are US strategic interests in Azerbaijan at risk? @ Voesar Conference Room

with Dr. Farhad Aliyev, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute

The current US policy of disengagement from Southern Eurasia may have  a negative impact upon the US strategic interests in the region in the long-run, with Azerbaijan becoming more vulnerable to falling under Russia’s influence and having to manage a difficult relationship to Iran. Moreover, domestic evolutions are on their way: roll back in democratization and the influence of changes in values among the youth, especially under the influence of Turkey’s internal changes, may make the US position in the country more difficult.
Nov
18
Tue
2014
Between Co-operation and Insulation: Afghanistan’s Relations with the Central Asian Republics @ Voesar Conference Room, Suite 412
Nov 18 @ 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Between Co-operation and Insulation: Afghanistan’s Relations with the Central Asian Republics @ Voesar Conference Room, Suite 412 | Washington | District of Columbia | United States
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]with Dr. Christian Bleuer, Afghanistan Analysts Network

Christian Bleuer will give a presentation based on recent field research and his Afghanistan Analysts Network report “Between Co-operation and Insulation: Afghanistan’s Relations with the Central Asian Republics.” The main focus will be on the real and imagined trans-national security threats in this region that cross the Afghan border in both directions. He will analyse the past and present cross-border relations, including trade, refugees, insurgency, terrorism and cultural ties with an emphasis on how these phenomena affect stability in the region.

Dr. Christian Bleuer is a 2012 PhD graduate of the Australian National University. He has spent the last three years in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan researching security and governance with a focus on the connections between Afghanistan and the Central Asian states. Most recently he was worked for the OSCE Academy in Bishkek and the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia in Dushanbe. Currently he works at the Afghanistan Analysts Network, based in Kabul. His full list of publications can be downloaded at ChristianBleuer.com.

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