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.
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 Turkmenistan
Summary Since gaining its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Turkmenistan has seen an increased presence of religion in everyday life. Islam has been a continuous cornerstone of Turkmen […]
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 […]
Russia and the CIS in 2019: Relying on the Chinese Way
ABSTRACT The paper examines the relationship between Russia and the other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, including how Moscow’s responses to changing geopolitical dynamics framed these relations in […]
A Steady Hand: The EU 2019 Strategy & Policy Toward Central Asia
Executive Summary The launch of a new EU Strategy for Central Asia in June 2019 marked a milestone in the gradual development of relations between the EU and the region. […]