Events Calendar

MOSCOW – Third International Conference on Uyghur Studies: History, Culture, Society
Oct 23 – Oct 26 all-day
What Changes in a Post-Karimov Uzbekistan? @ Room 505
Oct 27 @ 2:15 PM – 5:30 PM

Session 1. Changes in the Uzbek domestic landscape
Chair: Marlene Laruelle (GWU)
Bruce Pannier (RFE/RL)
Softer on the Outside but Still Hard at the Core
Dillorom Abdulloeva (Tashabbus)
What Changes are Needed and Expected in the Field of Human Rights and the Legal Sphere?
Roger Kangas (NESA Center, NDU)
Uzbek Foreign Policy After Karimov: Change or Continuity?

C0ffee break

Session 2. An evolving economic policy?
Chair: David Abramson (US Department of State)
Lawrence Markowitz (Rowan University)
Structural Impediments to Economic Reform in Post-Karimov Uzbekistan
Aziz Khasanov (Eurasia Analytics)
The Uzbek Succession: Is Economic Transformation Possible?
Murad Akhmedoff (Independent Scholar)
Uzbekistan’s Long-Awaited Economic Liberalization

Please RSVP.

Richard Weitz – Enhancing the Georgia-US Security Partnership @ Lindner Family Commons, 6th Floor
Oct 31 @ 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
For several decades, Georgia has been one of the most important economic and security partners of the United States. The US is the largest bilateral aid donor to Georgia, having provided several billion dollars since 1991. This support has always enjoyed bipartisan backing.  Since 2009, Georgia and the United States have had a Strategic Partnership through which both parties pledge to further Georgia’s democratization, economic development, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. Georgia is the highest per capita contributor to the U.S.-led military coalition in Afghanistan. Despite Washington’s efforts, however, Georgia has not yet received membership in NATO and finds itself in a challenging neighborhood. The next U.S. presidential administration will need to move decisively to strengthen this critical partnership.


Richard Weitz is Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at Hudson Institute. His current research includes regional security developments relating to  Europe,  Eurasia, and East Asia as well as U.S. foreign and defense policies. Dr. Weitz is also an Expert at Wikistrat and a non-resident Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS).


Light lunch to be served. 


In partnership with


Michael Clarke – Beijing’s “March West”: One Belt, One Road and China’s Quest for Great Power Status @ Voesar Conference Room
Nov 3 @ 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Michael Clarke - Beijing’s “March West”: One Belt, One Road and China’s Quest for Great Power Status @ Voesar Conference Room

With Michael Clarke, National Security College, Australian National University

Much ink has been spilt over the past two decades debating the impact of the ‘rise’ of China on the international relations and strategic environment of Asia. Geographically, the dominant focus within these debates has been on the Asia-Pacific geopolitical space. China’s increasing material power, and consequently its growing strategic and economic footprint, has however also been felt along its extensive Eurasian continental frontier. In fact China’s Eurasian frontiers have emerged as a major factor in Beijing’s foreign policy through President Xi Jinping’sOne Belt, One Road (OBOR) strategy.
This paper argues that the OBOR is ultimately based on two core factors. First, the OBOR can in part be seen as China’s response to the “pivot” or “rebalance” to Asia under U.S. President Barack Obama and to Russia’s relative decline in Central Asia. Second, the OBOR is as much about Beijing’s domestic concerns as it is about its grand strategy priorities. Of major concern here is China’s hold on its major and often restive Eurasian frontier regions, such as Xinjiang. While the relative decline of U.S. and Russian influence in Central Asia has provided Beijing with strategic opportunities to expand its reach, the intensification of Uyghur opposition to ongoing Chinese rule since 2008 has underlined for Beijing the need to accelerate the economic development/modernization of these regions as the primary means of achieving their integration into the modern Chinese state. Geopolitics and domestic state-building imperatives are thus interwoven in Beijing’s Eurasian pivot.
Dr. Michael Clarke is Associate Professor and Graduate Convenor at the National Security College, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU. He has written extensively on the history and politics of Xinjiang, Uyghur separatism and terrorism, and Chinese foreign policy in Central Asia in a variety of academic publications, while his journalistic writing on these topics has been published by the Wall Street Journal, CNN, The National Interest and The Diplomat. He is also the author of Xinjiang and China’s Rise in Central Asia – A History (Routledge 2011), co-editor (with Anna Hayes) of Inside Xinjiang: Space, Place and Power in China’s Muslim Far North-West (Routledge 2016), and co-editor (with Douglas Smith) of China’s Frontier Regions: Ethnicity, Economic Integration and Foreign Relations (I. B. Tauris 2016). 
Alexander Wolters – Islamic Finance in Central Asia: From ‘Great Potentials’ to Lasting Stagnation @ Voesar Conference Room, Suite 412
Nov 9 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Alexander Wolters - Islamic Finance in Central Asia: From 'Great Potentials' to Lasting Stagnation @ Voesar Conference Room, Suite 412
The rise of Islamic Banking in Central Asia has been predicted and expected by both experts and state and economic stakeholders. The financial crisis in 2008 had triggered first initiatives to launch sharia’h conforming financial businesses in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, yet most enterprises never managed to survive this early stage of development. The presentation discusses the circumstances of the evolution of start-ups of Islamic finance in the region as well as presents arguments to account for the following stagnation.


Dr. Alexander Wolters is DAAD Visiting Professor at the OSCE Academy and the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek. He has worked in Kyrgyzstan and the wider region of Central Asia for more than 10 years and completed his PhD in political sociology at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, in 2012. In his work he focuses on the evolution of the political system in Kyrgyzstan following the turbulent times in the republic after 2005. He has further conducted research on social mobilization in Central Asia, Islam and Islamic movements, as well as educational policies and the role of public opinion.