A virtual event hosted by the Central Asia Program at George Washington University on Novmber 19, 2021.
As Shavkat Mirziyoev starts his second term as the President of Uzbekistan, all eyes are on what comes next and what his second term may mean for the country. He was declared winner in a vote that featured no genuine opposition and that Western observers called “not truly competitive.” Similarly, election eve was marred by registration denials for genuine opposition candidates and the harassment and intimidation of activists and independent journalists. Meanwhile, his first term in office has been marked with ups and downs, clear progress in some areas, but continuity in other sectors. What does his first term tell us about what may be in store for Uzbekistan under his second term in office? What are some signposts to keep our eyes on to determine where he might take the country?
Alisher Siddique is the Director of RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service. Under his leadership, the service has become a pioneer in using the latest digital platforms to break the information blockade in one of the world’s most closed societies. Sidikov reported on the Andijon massacre in Uzbekistan in 2005, and earlier worked for the BBC’s Uzbek service in Tashkent and London. He was named “Journalist of the Year” by Reporters Without Borders-Stockholm in 2005. He holds an M.A. and B.A. in Middle East Politics and Arabic Studies from the University of Oriental Studies in Tashkent.
Dilfuza Kurolova is a Human Rights Lawyer from Uzbekistan and professional mediator on family and labour issues. She is a legal and social development consultant at different organizations, such as the World Bank, the ADB, PeaceNexus Foundation and the International Commission of Jurists, and was an adjunct professor at Webster University in Tashkent. Dilfuza provides free legal consultations to people since 2019, is a founder of the Global Shapers Tashkent Hub (2020), the youth initiative of the World Economic Forum, and was admitted as top-10 women in Uzbekistan changing the country in 2021. She holds LLB and LLM degrees from Tashkent state university of law (criminal law, international public law) and MA degree from the OSCE Academy (politics and security in Central Asia).
Sebastien Peyrouse, Ph.D., is a Research Professor at the Central Asia Program in the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (George Washington University) and a Senior Fellow with the George H. W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China relations. His main areas of expertise are political systems in Central Asia, economic and social issues, Islam and religious minorities, and Central Asia’s geopolitical positioning toward China, India and South Asia.
Moderator, Marlene Laruelle, Ph.D., is Director, Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies; Director, Central Asia Program; Co-Director, PONARS-Eurasia; and Research Professor of International Affairs at George Washington University. She works on political, social and cultural changes in the post-Soviet space. Marlene’s research explores the transformations of nationalist and conservative ideologies in Russia, nationhood construction in Central Asia, as well as the development of Russia’s Arctic regions. She has been the Principal Investigator of several grants on Russian nationalism, on Russia’s strategies in the Arctic, and on Central Asia’s domestic and foreign policies from the US State Department, the Defense Department, the National Science Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Henry Luce Foundation, etc.