Events Calendar

The Second Central Asia Security Workshop @ Lindner Family Commons
Feb 24 all-day
The Second Central Asia Security Workshop @ Lindner Family Commons
Join us for the Second Security Workshop to celebrate the two year anniversary of the CentralAsia Program. We will discuss the current state of affairs in Central Asia and offer a fresh look at the main policy issues, including the future of the US Silk Road Strategy in the wake of the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the stakes of forthcoming presidential successions in Uzbekistan andKazakhstan. The Workshop will also explore what the Program considers as key societal and political issues that will shape the future of Central Asia, i.e. the small and medium business circles. For its anniversary the Program is launching a new web initiative, the Uzbekistan Initiative,which will be presented first at this Workshop. The country’s history and culture, its geographic allocation at the heart of Central Asia, and its booming demography and economic potential shape the overall picture of the region and its strategic weight. However, Uzbekistan has increasingly become a kind of ‘black hole’ in terms of scholarly and policy-oriented analysis. The goal of this Initiative is to create an apolitical platform of discussion for knowledge exchanges that promote Uzbekistan beyond the divergences in assessing its current course.

8:30               Breakfast and Registration

9:00               Introductory Remarks by Marlene Laruelle, Director, Central Asia Program

9:15-10:45   Session I. Lessons Learned and Unlearned for the US Silk Road Strategy

Chair and Moderator: Peter Rollberg (George Washington University)

Alexander Diener (The University of Kansas)

Mobilities and Immobilities in Central Eurasia: A Geographical Perspective on the New Silk Road

Marlene Laruelle (George Washington University)

“Silk Road”: Historical Metaphor, Ideology, Wishful Thinking?

Gael Raballand (Choiseul Institute) and Sebastien Peyrouse (George Washington University)

An Economic Assessment of the Potentialities of the US Silk Road

10:45-11:15 Coffee-break

11:15-12:45 Session II. Presidential successions. Real and False Stakes

Chair and Moderator: Cory Welt (George Washington University)

Eric McGlinchey (George Mason University)

Goodbye Karimov, Hello Status Quo

Sean Roberts (George Washington University)

Nur-Otan as a Vehicle for Presidential Succession: Turkey’s CHP or Russia’s Yedinaya Rossiya?”

Myles Smith (Media Sustainability Index at IREX)

The Stakes of Successions: Turkmenistan and Elite Redistribution

12.45-1:30   Lunch

1:30-3:00     Session III. Peeking behind the Iron Curtain: Uzbekistan in 2014 and Beyond

Chair and Moderator: David Abramson (State Department)

Roundtable Discussion:

Laura Adams (Harvard University), Sarah Kendzior (Al-Jazeera English services), Lawrence Markowitz (Rowan University), and Noah Tucker (Managing Editor,

3:15-3:45     Coffee-break

3:45-5:15     Session IV. The Missing Piece: Small and Medium Business Circles

Chair and Moderator: Marlene Laruelle (George Washington University)

Gul Berna Özcan (University of London)

The Political and Moral Economy of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Central Asia

Regine Spector (University of Massachusetts)

Made in Kyrgyzstan: The Reassembling of Apparel Manufacturing in a    Peripheral State

Alexander Libman (Frankfurt School of Finance & Management)

The Small and Medium-sized Enterprises world in Kazakhstan and the Implications of the Customs Union


STOCKHOLM – Uzbekistan Beyond the ‘Curtain’. Approaches, Fieldworks and Topics
Jun 11 – Jun 12 all-day
STOCKHOLM - Uzbekistan Beyond the ‘Curtain’. Approaches, Fieldworks and Topics
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A Conference organized by The George Washington University’s Central Asia Program (CAP), and the Swedish Institute of International Affairs

Uzbekistan is at the core of Central Asia. It is the region’s demographic power with close to 30 million inhabitants, its second-largest economic power behind Kazakhstan thanks to its cotton production and still developed industrial network, and a key cultural and historical power. However, since the early 2000s, Uzbekistan increasingly became a kind of ‘black hole’ in terms of scholarly research.

The country’s growing isolationism, the authoritarian hardening of the regime, and its shutting out of researchers have all worked to hinder the ability to conduct fieldwork, thus affecting our knowledge of the country’s domestic evolutions. Nonetheless a new form of knowledge about Uzbekistan has noticeably arisen, and stems from the Uzbek diasporas scattered throughout the world, including Russia, Europe, and the United States. These Uzbek communities abroad provide news from the ground that attests to a quickly evolving societal fabric, as well as to new cultural and socio-economic dynamics at the grassroots level.

In this context it is time to generate a kind of introspective approach of what have we have learned over the last two decades. This two-day conference brings together some of the main scholars to have contributed to our knowledge of Uzbekistan. The aim is to open a genuine discussion about the approaches used to analyze the country’s society, politics and identities.

Uzbekistan beyond the Curtain: Approaches, Fieldworks and Topics