with Michael Denison, Research Director, Control Risks
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Central Asia’s geopolitical salience, from inside and outside the region, has been predicated both on its oil and gas export potential and its proximity to several volatile security complexes. However, rapidly changing patterns of global supply and demand, allied to shifting perceptions of political risk, are altering both the stakes of external engagement and the region’s profile as a zone of geopolitical contestation. This seminar examines where Central Asia is likely to fit into the evolving global energy map and how these shifts might, in turn, reconfigure the region as a geo/political space.
with Nazif Shahrani, Professor, Indiana University-Bloomington
In his presentation Professor Sharhani will discuss the following key questions: What are the most persistent challenges facing Afghanistan and Central Asian republics to over come economic stagnation, increasing poverty, inequality, oppression, radicalism, and terrorism, dependency on outside powers and looming instability and uncertainty in the region? How will the US & NATO withdrawal of combat forces from Afghanistan in 2014 affect political stability in the region? What are the prospects for averting further uncertainty and instability within the region any time soon?
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.