Events Calendar

May
25
Fri
2012
Informal Justice in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan @ Lindner Commons
May 25 @ 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Informal Justice in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan @ Lindner Commons

with Azita Ranjbar and Dr. Eric McGlinchey

What role does informal justice play in resolving conflict in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan? Is there an inverse relationship between the use of informal justice mechanisms and properly functioning state institutions?  In Kyrgyzstan, aksakal courts (courts of elders) are village-level institutions responsible for resolving community-level disputes, although they are increasingly described as largely obsolete and only used in villages to resolve small disputes. Their authority to resolve cases is gradually diminishing;most aksakal courts surveyed received less than ten cases last year.  In Tajikistan, informal leaders,usually imams, often play a contradictory role: they often act as arbitrators and mitigate conflict within their communities and yet they oversee practices that can violate individual rights and contravene Tajik law, such as officiating marriages and divorces outside of state institutions. In recent years, the authority of informal leaders has increased because of the government’s inability to provide much needed social services, including fair and equal access to justice.
Azita Ranjbar spent a year in Tajikistan as a Fulbright Fellow and two months in Kyrgyzstan interviewing ordinary citizens on the role that informal justice plays in daily life. As an InternationalResearch and Exchanges Board research fellow, she carried out research on legal and economic challenges facing the families of migrant workers in Tajikistan. She worked as a Senior ProgramSpecialist at the U.S. Institute of Peace, on rule of law initiatives and peace building programs inAfghanistan and Pakistan. She previously conducted research in Afghanistan as a research assistant withDartmouth College and the Afghan Women Judges Association in Kabul.
Eric McGlinchey is an associate professor of government and politics at George Mason University and an associate in the Central Asia Program at The George Washington University. He received hisPh.D. from Princeton University in 2003. He is the author of Chaos, Violence, Dynasty Politics andIslam in Central Asia.
Jun
7
Thu
2012
USAID Experience with Legislative Strengthening in the Former Soviet Union @ Voesar Conference Room
Jun 7 @ 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
USAID Experience with Legislative Strengthening in the Former Soviet Union @ Voesar Conference Room
With 
Dr. Eric Rudenshiold, Senior Officer in Charge of Kyrgyzstan and the Central Asian Republics at USAID
Kregg Halstead, Chief of Party of USAIDs “Kyrgyzstan Parliamentary Strengthening Program” being implemented by DAI
 
Moderated by
Dr. Sean Roberts, Director and Associate Professor, International Development Studies Program, The Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University
In the two decades since the fall of the Soviet Union and the emergence of independent states on Russia’s periphery, USAID has led the effort to help parliaments in these countries become more effective in passing meaningful legislation, more engaged with citizens, and more independent of the executive branch. This panel will be a discussion of those efforts, with both a comparative regional overview and a more focused look at recent work with Kyrgyzstan’s Jogorku Kenesh.
Dr. Eric Rudenshiold, the Senior Officer in Charge for Kyrgyzstan and the Central Asian Republics at USAID, has been instrumental in the design and implementation of USAID’s work with legislative institutions in Central Asia, the Caucuses and elsewhere in the region, and will speak on the challenges and successes in those efforts.   
Kregg Halstead is the Chief of Party of USAID’s “Kyrgyzstan Parliamentary StrengtheningProgram” being implemented by DAI, and has worked on legislative strengthening, human rights and rule of law programs in the former Soviet Union for almost 20 years.   
Dr. Sean Roberts is a noted expert on issues of democracy and governance in Central Asia. Between 1998 and 2006 he spent six years in the region designing and managing USAID programs on democracy,  civil society and legislative assistance.
Jun
21
Thu
2012
Border Security Assistance in Central Asia: Implications for Post-2014 Afghanistan @ Voesar Conference Room
Jun 21 @ 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
Border Security Assistance in Central Asia: Implications for Post-2014 Afghanistan @ Voesar Conference Room
with George Gavrilis, Executive Director,The Hollings Center for International Dialogue
A discussion of Central Asia’s Border Woes & the Impact of International Assistance
Occasional Paper Series, Central Eurasia Project, Open Society Foundations
Please join us for a discussion on border security assistance in Central Asia and its implications for the 2014 U.S. and NATO drawdown in Afghanistan. Over the last decade, the states of Central Asia have hosted a number of international programs
designed to overhaul, equip, and reform the region’s border control practices aimed at making the borders more secure and
more open  more secure against threats such as narco trafficking and crossborder extremism and more open to licit civilian crossings and lucrative trade flows.Dr. Gavrilis will assess programs funded by the United States, European Union, United Nations, and other sponsors; discuss the accomplishments and limits that these programs face on the ground, particularly in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan; and present recommendations for policymakers and the donor community as they prepare for a major change in the security environment in neighboring Afghanistan.
George Gavrilis is Executive Director of the Hollings Center for International Dialogue, a nongovernment organization with offices in Washington, D.C., and Istanbul.  He is author of The Dynamics of Interstate Boundaries (Cambridge University Press,2010), which examines how border guards, state officials, and local populations affect border security in new states. He has travelled extensively in Central Asia and the Middle East and has published articles on Afghanistan, the Central Asian republics, Iran, Israel, Turkey, and the West Bank in Foreign AffairsThe Washington Quarterly, and other forums for policy analysis and discussion. He received his PhD in political science from Columbia University and served as an assistant professor in the Department of Government at the University of Texas, Austin. In 200809, he was an international affairs fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations and spent his fellowship working with the United Nations on policy initiatives forCentral Asia and Afghanistan.
Sep
21
Fri
2012
Kyrgyzstan in Its Regional Context @ Room 214
Sep 21 @ 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM
Kyrgyzstan in Its Regional Context @ Room 214

with Asylbek Jeenbekov, Speaker of the Supreme Council of Kyrgyzstan, The Jogorku Kengesh

The George Washington University’s International Development Studies Program and Central AsiaProgram are proud to host Asylbek Jeenbekov, Speaker of the Kyrgyz Parliament, to discuss security and development issues in Kyrgyzstan and in the Central Asian region.
Nov
1
Thu
2012
Merging Eurasian Insights with the Study of Afghanistan
Nov 1 – Nov 4 all-day
Merging Eurasian Insights with the Study of Afghanistan

THE EURASIA PROGRAM of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and the Central Asia Program at the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies atGeorge Washington University are pleased to announce a field development workshop, to be held on the GWU campus November 1-4, 2012.

ELIGIBILITY
Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents and currently either within five years of the completionof their dissertation, enrolled in an accredited PhD program, or enrolled in an area studies MA program.Applicants should have an identified and developed research project that relates to the theme and focus of theworkshop. Preference will be given to those developing their dissertation.
Full instructions on how to apply can be found on the program’s website: http://www.ssrc.org/programs/pages/eurasia-program/crossing-boundaries-merging-eurasian-insights-with-the-study-of-afghanistan/ 
Application materials should be submitted electronically to the SSRC Eurasia Program at eurasia@ssrc.org by5:00 p.m. EDT on October 1, 2012.  Travel costs, workshop meals, and accommodation for participants will becovered by the SSRC. Should you have any questions, please contact the Eurasia Program (eurasia@ssrc.org).