Events Calendar

Oct
16
Wed
2013
The Family Business: Turkmenistan Economy Starts to Look Like its Neighbors
Oct 16 @ 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
The Family Business: Turkmenistan Economy Starts to Look Like its Neighbors

with Myles Smith,  Senior Program Officer and Assistant Managing Editor for the Media, Sustainability Index at IREX

Turkmenistan’s business sector has evolved during the short reign of Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov. What was once the province of a small handful of foreignbusinessmen with close personal relationships with first president Niyazov is now aslightly more open field. The first family and new patrons are prying openopportunities for Turkmenistan-based businesses. Meanwhile, old favorites like Itera, MTC, and Bouygues have struggled to maintain their positions. What are the implications for Turkmenistan’s economy and political system, and what does this shift preface about Turkmenistan’s future development.
Nov
14
Thu
2013
Central Asia, Iran, and the Nuclear Landscape in Asia @ Lindner Commons, 6th Floor
Nov 14 @ 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Central Asia, Iran, and the Nuclear Landscape in Asia @ Lindner Commons, 6th Floor
Co-sponsored by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies’ Rising Powers Initiative
9:00  9:30 AM Registration and Breakfast
9:30  9:45 AM Welcoming Remarks by Douglas Shaw, Associate Dean for Planning, Research and External Relations, GWU
9:45  11:15 AM Panel I. Asia’s Changing Nuclear Landscape
Chair: Douglas Shaw, Associate Dean for Planning, Research andExternal Relations, GWU
Japan’s Nuclear Tremors: Domestic Debates about Energy & Security after 3/
Mike MochizukiSigur Center for Asian Studies, GWU
China’s Nuclear Priorities–Implications for Iran and Central Asia
Robert Sutter, Sigur Center for Asian Studies, GWU
India’s Evolving Nuclear Discourse and Search for Policy Coherence
Deepa Ollapally, Sigur Center for Asian Studies, GWU
11:15  11:30 AM Coffee Break
11:30  1:00PM Panel II. The Iranian Question and its Regional Environment
Chair: Cory Welt, Ponars Eurasia, IERES, GWU
Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions:  US and Israeli Threat Perceptions
Janne Nolan, Elliott School of International Affairs, GWU
Partners or Rivals? Contextualizing the Russian-Iranian Nuclear Relationship
Jeff Mankoff, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Central Asia’s Viewpoint on being in Iran’s Vicinity
Marlene Laruelle, Central Asia Program, IERES, GWU
1:00  2:00 PM Lunch
2:00  3:30 PM Panel III. Central Asia’s Nuclear Strategies and Challenges
Chair: Deepa Ollapally, Sigur Center for Asian Studies, GWU
Managing Radioactive Waste in Central Asia: Successes and Challenges
Dauren Aben, Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies, Almaty
Kazakhstan in the Global Nuclear Order: Carving Out a Role That Matters
Togzhan Kassenova, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Nuclear Domestic Debates in Kazakhstan: Public Opinion and Expert Controversies
Sebastien Peyrouse, Central Asia Program, IERES, GWU
3:30 PM Wrapup
The Sigur Center gratefully acknowledges the support of the John D. and Catherine T.MacArthur Foundation for this conference.
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.
Apr
2
Wed
2014
Diversified Development: Making the Most of Natural Resources in Eurasia
Apr 2 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Diversified Development: Making the Most of Natural Resources in Eurasia
with, Ivailo Izvorski, The World Bank
Economic development discussions in Eurasia often become debates about diversification. For aregion that is resource-rich, this is to be expected. Eurasian economies have in many ways become less diversified during the last two decades. At the same time, people are much better off today thanthey were in the 1990s: poverty has been cut in half, incomes have increased fivefold; and educationand health have improved. Eurasia’s economies have also become more integrated with the globaleconomy and more productive at home. And the region has also become better at efficientlyconverting natural wealth into productive capital: since the mid-2000s it has built more in assets thanthe mineral wealth it has used up.  But most countries in Eurasia have yet to learn the main lessonfrom the experience of resource rich countries in other parts of the world. In brief, what distinguishessuccess from failure are the institutions used to manage economic volatility, ensure high qualityeducation, and provide a competition regime that levels the playing field for enterprise. Developmentsuccess in resource-rich economies comes from more diversified asset portfolios–a better balancebetween natural resources, built capital, and economic institutions. “DiversifiedDevelopment” elaborates on these lessons and provides practical recommendations for twelve countries in the former Soviet Union.
Jan
17
Sat
2015
Eurasia’s Future and the role of the United States @ Lindner Commons
Jan 17 @ 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Eurasia's Future and the role of the United States @ Lindner Commons
Join us to honor the memory of author and scholar Alexandros Petersen (1984-2014), killed in Kabul on January 17.

With

Margarita Assenova (Jamestown Foundation),
Stephen J.Blank (American Foreign Policy Council),
Samuel Charap (International Institute for Strategic Studies),
Ariel Cohen (Heritage Foundation), and
Matthew Rojansky (Kennan Institute)
On January 17, 2014, an attack on a restaurant was launched in Kabul, murdering 21 people.Among them was Dr. Alexandros Petersen, a specialist on the Caucasus and Central Asia.Dr. Petersen held a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and authored The WorldIsland: Eurasian Geopolitics and the Fate of the West (Praeger: 2011).