Recent Crackdown and Mass Protests do not Spell Political Reform in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is a land of extraordinary riches. So vast are its oil reserves that natural fires burst from ground, leading ancients to believe the land was sacred. In modern times, the Azerbaijani government uses this natural wealth as a source of revenue. Today, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and other pipelines transport Azerbaijan’s oil to importers around the [...]

It’s a Sea! 18 years after, the Caspian finally gets a legal status

Copyright RIA Novosti Against all odds, the 4th Caspian Summit that took place in Astrakhan on 29 September between the “Caspian Five” – the five littoral states of Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan – ended with rather positive advances and, for once, unexpected breakthroughs. As President Putin declared after the Summit, “we agreed on [...]

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Islamic Banking Reaches the Post-Soviet Space

I recently wrote a brief for Global Risk Insights on how Islamic Banking is rapidly spreading across Central Asia and the Caucasus: The interest in Russia for the regulation of Islamic Banking reflects an even greater interest in the sector across the post-Soviet space. The Post-Soviet states of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan [...]

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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Russia’s Crimean redevelopment quagmire

by Mathieu BOULEGUE

  While international attention is focused on eastern Ukraine, Crimea remains both a gaping wound for many Ukrainian citizens and a political nightmare for the Kyiv administration. Four months after Crimea and the city of Sevastopol were incorporated into the Russian Federation as individual subjects, the economic situation is starting to decay and Moscow’s response [...]

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Facebook Jihad: The IMU’s Digital Communication Strategy for the Karachi Airport Attack

by Noah Tucker
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We’re happy to announce that the Central Asia Digital Islam Project has released our first short policy paper with the The Central Eurasia – Religion in International Affairs (CERIA) program at George Washington University. Facebook Jihad: The IMU’s Digital Communication Strategy for the Karachi Airport Attack identifies the IMU’s social media tactics and strategies seen [...]

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French Scholars Demand Fair Treatment for Alexander Sodiqov

by Noah Tucker
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This morning we received a request from a group of leading French Central Asia scholars to help publicize their message to the government of Tajikistan in support of imprisoned researcher Alexander Sodiqov. Alexander is a gifted scholar and has long been admired by everyone at Registan.net. We join thousands of other scholars and researchers to [...]

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Gender Equality in Azerbaijan: Interview with an Activist

by Suzanne Rothman

  Before departing from Baku, I met with Sabina, a Project Management Assistant at the Women’s Association for Rational Development (WARD) to talk about women’s issues and the feminist activism in Azerbaijan. Working at an organization dealing with women’s issues, Sabina offered not only an insider’s perspective but also an analytical understanding of what is [...]

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New Interview on IMU Operations in Pakistan

by Noah Tucker
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I’ve had every intention of writing an IMU article this week after they claimed the Karachi airport attack and articles began to pop up questioning what this means for Central Asia. I still haven’t managed to write it, but was grateful to Kathy Gilsinan at World Politics Review for giving me a chance to talk [...]

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Uzbekistan signed a new document to end child labor: Time for real change?

by Dillorom Abdulloeva

Uzbekistan and the International Labor Organization (ILO) signed a program on technical cooperation for upcoming three years on April 25, 2014. Priorities of the program among others include the promotion of international labor standards and fundamental principles and rights at work, the promotion of occupational safety and health and the enhancement of social protection for [...]

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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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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 [...]

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

by Noah Tucker
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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 [...]

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