Registan’s Kazakhstan News & Analysis Archive

Kazakhstan is the most vibrant economy of Central Asia and increasingly important in international politics. It is perhaps because of Kazakhstan’s success in transitioning toward becoming a country with a vibrant economy and generally responsive — though not democratic — government that it has received comparatively less attention at Registan. However, as public expectations begin to outpace the capability of the government to keep society satisfied and violent extremist groups being to operate in the country, Kazakhstan demands attention to determine whether or not its path continues to diverge from the rest of Central Asia or begins finally to converge.

Registan’s analysts have lived, worked, and studied in Kazakhstan and have between them decades of experience in academia, government, and private industry dealing with topics related to Kazakhstan. We use that experience and expertise to report on, contextualize, and analyze current events in Kazakhstan. Registan puts that experience to work to offer research, analysis, and training services tailored to your individual needs. For more information on how we can help you and your organization better understand Kazakhstan and Central Asia, visit our services page.

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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Influence: The Bogeyman of Simplified Strategic Understanding

by Nathan Barrick

Many times I have been asked to assess whether one nation or another is “increasing influence,” usually to categorize as “good” or “bad” developing events for someone with little time or understanding of the situation. Frequently, the right answer – “It depends…” – has to be discarded due to an enforced sense of urgency that [...]

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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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Touring Central Asia with Xi Jinping

by Kendrick Kuo
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A new episode of the China Pivots West podcast features Alexander Cooley, Professor of Political Science at Barnard College. Cooley is a well-known Central Asia and Russia expert whose most recent book, Great Games, Local Rules, quickly became a must read for Central Asia watcher. He came on to the show to briefly discuss the [...]

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Uzbek Extremism in Context, Part 1: The Uzbek Jihad and the Problem of Religious Freedom

by Noah Tucker
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The IMU and IJU make a great deal of information about themselves easily available to the public. As organizations, they don’t hide their beliefs, their willingness to use violence to advance religio-political goals (or in some cases their clear preference for violence because they believe this will result in martyrdom) and their support for al [...]

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Central Asia and the Syria Crisis: Assessing the Value of Strategic Partnership with the U.S

by Nathan Barrick

With world attention justifiably focused on the potential for U.S.-led punitive strikes against Syria for President Asad’s alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians, it is worth a momentary glance to survey Central Asia’s equities in the issue.  For many world governments, including in Central Asia, the issue is less about Syrian civilians dying by [...]

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Who wants to come to Kyrgyzstan? Prospects for the tourism industry

by Guest
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With the main beaches and resort areas of the Soviet Union thousand of kilometers away on the shores of the Baltic and the Black Sea, Soviet authorities after the Second World War were looking for a suitable spot to relax workers living in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan’s Issyk-Kul lake, blessed with glorious mountain views, sandy beaches [...]

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Citius, Altius, Fortius: Kazakhstan’s Winter Olympics Bid

by Nathan Barrick

Does Kazakhstan stand a chance of winning its bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games?  President Nazarbayev recently approved the Kazakhstan National Olympic Committee’s proposal to launch a bid for hosting the Winter Olympic Games in 2022 and the city of Almaty formally filed its application on 16 August, according to Chairman of the [...]

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Why Central Asia Matters

by Nathan Barrick

The “Great Game” is the term commonly used to describe the competition by the great 19th Century Empires for influence and control of Central Asia, especially Afghanistan.  There are many observers who would prefer to leave the “Great Game” in the annals of 19th Century history and interpret current events in Central Asia and Afghanistan [...]

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The Three Evils of Narco-Policy in Central Asia

by Reid Standish
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On July 3, the head of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service (RSKN), Viktor Ivanov announced plans to create an anti-drug operations center through the auspices of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The proposed plan to fight drug trafficking in Afghanistan and Central Asia called for the establishment of national headquarters in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan [...]

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