Following several hundred years of relative isolation, Central Asia has re-emerged as an important region on the international scene. Its importance derives from its strategic location astride the main economic and political centers of the Eurasian continent. While this location poses significant challenges to the landlocked states of the region, it also provides opportunities to them and to their neighbors – not least, the gradual re-emergence of land trade and transportation routes connecting Europe and Asia. ISDP uses a historical definition of Central Asia that goes beyond the five countries of Soviet Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) to include also Afghanistan and China’s Xinjiang-Uighur Autonomous Region.
ISDP’s activities on Central Asia, conducted within the framework of the Joint Center with the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute in Washington, D.C., focuses on research and analysis on the political development and regional security in the region, Central Asia’s relations with the EU and U.S., as well as the re-emergence of continental trade and transport. The Joint Center publishes the biweekly Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, a leading sources of analysis on regional developments.
A Brief History of International Influence in Afghanistan
Introduction Many observers and commentators were caught by surprise by the speed with which the Afghan national government was replaced by the Taliban, officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. To […]
Tokyo and Taliban 2.0: Gauging Japan’s Political Stake in Kabul
Tokyo’s perspective on the Taliban is a critical chapter in Japan’s evolving approach to upholding ‘peace’ and ‘security’ in its post-war foreign policy thinking. Despite not being an immediate or […]
Human Rights Reform in Kazakhstan
Introduction Kazakhstan’s leaders have long expressed ambitious goals for the country’s development, and worked to make the country a force in international affairs. To a considerable degree they have succeeded. Kazakhstan has played an important […]
Kazakhstan’s Role in International Mediation under First President Nursultan Nazarbayev
Executive Summary In the past decade, Kazakhstan has emerged as an important player in the world of mediation of international disputes. Its role in convening the Astana talks on Syria […]
Discovering Opportunities in the Pandemic? Four Economic Response Scenarios for Central Asia
Executive Summary The COVID-19 crisis represents not only an unprecedented economic disruption but also an opportunity for Central Asia. A specific economic policy response may trigger either game-changing reforms that […]
Religion and the Secular State in Kyrgyzstan
Summary Since independence, religion has become ever more important as an identity marker in Kyrgyzstan, with increased practical relevance in the everyday lives of many citizens. This religious revival poses […]