Thumbnail image for A Shot Across the Bow: The Biggest Thing in Kazakh-Russian Relations in Years

A Shot Across the Bow: The Biggest Thing in Kazakh-Russian Relations in Years

The video from yesterday of Putin answering a question about Kazakh nationalism is a really big deal. I think this is the most important political development in Kazakh-Russian relations in the last five years. I’ve noted that the transcripts in Russian and the translations in English are missing not only a lot of subtleties, but [...]

Thumbnail image for Mes Aynak saga continues

Mes Aynak saga continues

The Mes Aynak mine in Afghanistan garnered much attention when surveyors discovered cultural artifacts at the site. Not only is the mine a 9,800-acre archeological wonderland, it is the home of 5.5 million metric tons of copper ore. China signed a $3 billion contract with the Afghan government to develop Mes Aynak, but the project [...]

Thumbnail image for Conceptualizing Chinese Continentalism

Conceptualizing Chinese Continentalism

People have used a variety of phrases to describe the emerging phenomenon of Chinese relations with Eurasia and the Middle East. The most prominent to emerge from China itself was Peking University professor Wang Jisi’s “March West” (xijin) strategy (pictured above). This vision was outlined in a widely read Global Times essay in October 2012, which highlighted the [...]

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 [...]

Read the full article →

Why Azerbaijani-Saudi Relations are Improving

by Suzanne Rothman

Since gaining its independence from the Soviet Union in 1990, Azerbaijan focused its foreign policy efforts on balancing relations between the major powers in the region and building strong ties to Europe. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia fine-tuned its foreign policy to bolster its long-standing alliance with the United States and to cement its influence in the [...]

Read the full article →

The Central Asia Digital Islam Project: How the Internet and Social Media are Reshaping the Islamic Marketplace in Central Asia

by Noah Tucker
Thumbnail image for The Central Asia Digital Islam Project: How the Internet and Social Media are Reshaping the Islamic Marketplace in Central Asia

The Internet and social media are slowly beginning to revolutionize the Islamic marketplace of ideas for Central Asians. Similar to processes identified by scholars like Peter Mandaville in other contexts, Central Asia’s access to digital Islam has been delayed by low Internet penetration, authoritarian controls on media and communication, and, in part, by Central Asia’s [...]

Read the full article →

Assessing Uzbekistan’s Terorrist Threat

by Noah Tucker
Thumbnail image for Assessing Uzbekistan’s Terorrist Threat

Last year I wrote a report for USAID’s Bureau for the Middle East that they recently released to the public. While the opinions here are my own and don’t speak for the USG, I am particularly grateful that released it because it is another in a growing body of assessments that clearly argues (I hope) [...]

Read the full article →

Are We Witnessing The Demise of Kazakhstan’s Multi-Vectored Foreign Policy?

by Reid Standish
Thumbnail image for Are We Witnessing The Demise of Kazakhstan’s Multi-Vectored Foreign Policy?

Despite the slow progression and many obstacles, it appears that the Eurasian Union (Eurasian Economic Union/ EEC) is on course to come into existence. But even with general agreement among the Customs Union’s big three (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan), there are some unresolved issues that could plague the union’s future and alter the region’s political [...]

Read the full article →

Tuva Looks To Mongolia for Investment in a Post-Crimea World

by Matthew Kupfer
Thumbnail image for Tuva Looks To Mongolia for Investment in a Post-Crimea World

There are few places as obscure as the Russian Federation’s Republic of Tuva. Nestled deep in south Siberia along the border with Mongolia, Tuva is the only region of Asian Russia where the indigenous titular nationality makes up the majority of the population. Isolated, impoverished, and underdeveloped, it is one of the least “Russian” places [...]

2 comments Read the full article →

Early Marriages Preferred and Prevail Among Uzbeks

by Gulnoza Saidazimova
Thumbnail image for Early Marriages Preferred and Prevail Among Uzbeks

She looks beautiful in her young bride’s outfit. When she speaks in her Samarkand dialect about the recent wedding, her brown-green eyes sparkle and smile widens. Nafisa is 18 and newly married. There is probably nothing unusual about an Uzbek girl marrying at that age, except Nafisa lives in New York and goes to high [...]

2 comments Read the full article →

Central Asia after the 2014 Drawdown

by Kailash Prasad

For Washington, hedging against Islamabad’s vagaries while moving materiel out of Afghanistan has meant greater dependence on the Central Asian Republics crucial to the Northern Distribution Network (NDN) – despite the steep 17,500 USD transit cost per container. The Kabul – Khyber – Karachi route in comparison costs 7,200 USD. Using the NDN however has proved costly [...]

Read the full article →

World Press Freedom Day and the Consequences of a “Not Free” Press Environment

by Eric Freedman
Thumbnail image for World Press Freedom Day and the Consequences of a “Not Free” Press Environment

May 3 was World Press Freedom Day, an event marked – but not celebrated – by release of Freedom House’s annual country-by-country assessment of the state of press rights across the globe. Clearly 2013 wasn’t a stellar year. As Karin Karlekar, the Freedom House project director, said in releasing the 2014 report, “We see declines [...]

Read the full article →

Boston area event: Please join API on April 5 for their second annual conference at Tufts University

by Noah Tucker
Thumbnail image for Boston area event: Please join API on April 5 for their second annual conference at Tufts University

Awareness Projects International’s Second Annual Conference will be held at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy on April 5, 2014. The conference will feature speakers and discussions on the dynamics of U.S. relations with Russia, as well as the former Soviet nations that make up Central Asia, in light of recently developed security and [...]

Read the full article →