Archive of Casey Michel

Casey Michel is a graduate student at Columbia University's Harriman Institute, focusing on Eurasian political and social development, and he has worked with both International Crisis Group (Bishkek) and as a Peace Corps Kazakhstan volunteer. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, RFE/RL, Al Jazeera, The Moscow Times, The Diplomat, and Slate. You can follow him on Twitter at @cjcmichel.

Casey has written 29 articles at Registan.


Ignorance, Incompetence, and the Islamic State on the Steppe

by Casey_Michel

There’s a peculiar belief currently coursing intellectual circles in Moscow. Combining the bubbling traits of nativism and Islamophobia, and playing squarely into the hands of those seeking to amp the region’s security structures, certain circles have begun pumping up the terror and tenor of the threat posed by the Islamic State. To be sure, these [...]

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Putin’s Words and Kazakh History

by Casey_Michel

Another summer passes, and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev grows that much closer to moving into his post-presidential period. Unfortunately, this summer moved us no closer toward identifying a successor to the 74-year-old Nazarbayev. We have candidates, from Timur Kulibayev to Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev to Dariga Nazarbayeva, but no figure has yet jumped to the fore. With [...]

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Marching Westward

by Casey_Michel

We always knew 2014 was going to be a year of Eurasian shift. The American withdrawal from Afghanistan, pegged to 2014, coincided with Washington’s pivot to East Asia – as well as the Americans’ unceremonious eviction from the Manas Transit Center, their most noteworthy placeholder in Central Asia. And as soon as Viktor Yanukovych made [...]

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A New Eurasian Epoch, But No One Really Noticed

by Casey_Michel

Unless you’ve been watching the post-Soviet space with a keen eye, you likely missed the world’s-biggest-round-table signing last week. The meeting, held in Astana, heralded what Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed as a new “epoch” – the official founding of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), set to come into force on Jan. 1, 2015. But [...]

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One of Ours

by Casey_Michel

I barely knew Alex Petersen. I didn’t know him nearly as well as his colleagues, or his coworkers, or those fortunate enough to witness him at work, parsing the traits and trends and tinted world of Eurasia. I knew him far less than, I imagine, the predominance of Registan’s writer- and readership. His name, however, [...]

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Checking in on Eurasian Union Struggles

by Casey_Michel

In late October, while meeting with other heads involved in the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Minsk, Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev turned to the topic of the forthcoming Eurasian Union. There had been hints and drops of Kazakhstani discontent with the EAU’s formulation – talk of business concerns, rumblings of ethno-based discontent. Nazarbayev decided to focus [...]

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New Report Slams Kazakhstan’s Autocratic Slide, But Does Anyone Still Care?

by Casey_Michel

c While many around Central Asia this week were downing toasts to China’s recent economic injections, the International Crisis Group released a report that, for those watching the region, is something of a long-time coming. The document describes the marked political backslide surrounding Astana following the country’s 2010 OSCE chairmanship. Since convincing – since blinkering [...]

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With Two Kazakhs Arrested After Boston, Eyes Now Turn, Unfortunately, to Kazakhstan

by Casey_Michel

On Tuesday morning, just before Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov were set to learn the charges they would face stemming from their actions surrounding the Boston bombings, The Economist published a pair of graphs summarizing the Pew Research Center’s survey on the overlap of religion and law within Muslim-majority nations. The entire survey, of course, [...]

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About the Central Asian Link to those Boston Bombers

by Casey_Michel

  This might be a bit redundant, seeing as the readership at Registan – unlike, say, those who work in front of the camera at CNN – are among those able to differentiate between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, but I thought it might be worth a quick run-down of how a substantial Chechen population came to [...]

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Nuclear Retention and Moral High Ground

by Casey_Michel
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Retention and Moral High Ground

While the rest of the United Nations was debating Palestinian statehood late last week, one high-ranking UN official dropped a piece of nuclear intrigue that went relatively unnoticed. According to RIA Novosti, Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, former Kazakhstani foreign minister and current director-general of the UN office in Geneva, called attention to an as-yet unknown piece of [...]

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