Archive of Christopher Schwartz

Christopher Schwartz is a graduate student at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. He has two MA's in Islamic history and philosophy and is currently in a pre-doctoral program focusing on liberal and democratic theory with a focus on the post-Soviet sphere. He is also the editor-in-chief of, Central Asia's first and largest citizen-journalism network, and editor of the book CyberChaikhana: Digital Conversations from Central Asia, a crowdsourced contemporary history of the region.

Christopher has written 5 articles at Registan.

Why Central Asia matters in the post-post-9/11 world

by Christopher Schwartz

The Registan’s new managing editor, Noah Tucker, has asked for contributions on why Central Asia should still matter to Western policy-makers and funders, especially American ones, after the occupation in Afghanistan ends and the post-9/11 era officially ends. I think it would be best if Central Asians wrote for themselves,* but I’ll take the opportunity […]

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Fear and Loathing in Dushanbe?

by Christopher Schwartz

While preparing for our latest cycle of training workshops in Central Asia this year, my team at NewEurasia and I have made an unhappy discovery about Wikipedia: its English-laguage resources on journalism are organizationally scatter-brained, are dishevelled content-wise, and worst of all, hardly exist in any of the languages of Central Asia (and frequently, most […]

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Abai — Strauss on the steppe

by Christopher Schwartz
Thumbnail image for Abai — Strauss on the steppe

Registan Bloggers Michael Hancock-Parmer and Christopher Schwartz have teamed up to write about Abai Kunanbaiev (or, if you prefer, Abay Kunanbayev). A force of nature in the Republic of Kazakhstan, he was similarly popular in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. Born Ibrahim, he took Abai (“careful”) as his takhallus (تخلص), or pen-name. He is most […]

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Kazakhstan as a model for nuclear-free Islam?

by Christopher Schwartz

As matters between Israel and Iran continue to irradiate, I just want to throw this out there to see what readers think: if much of Iran’s drive to go nuclear is motivated by a desire to serve as a model of Islamic leadership, could Kazakhstan be utilized by diplomats and theorists as an alternative?

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Facing up to illiberal democracy

Kazakhstani ballot box (Wikipedia). by Christopher Schwartz

In the last two months, we’ve born witness to more incidents of illiberal democracy or democracy’s “doubles” here in Central Asia/Eurasia, from Kazakhstan’s parliamentary elections which many say was an experiment in pseudo-pluralism; to Turkmenistan’s surreal presidential election that has left those of us on the outside (and, indeed, many of those on the inside) […]

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