Thursday, 05 December 2019 16:58

Is This Central Asia’s ASEAN Moment?

On November 29, Central Asia re-emerged as a world region. 

S. Frederick Starr
The Diplomat, December 5, 2019

Hats off to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan, First President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov of Turkmenistan, and President Sooronbay Jeenbekov of the Kyrgyz Republic. On November 29, 2019 these leaders jointly resolved to develop:

forms and mechanisms for the development of cooperation in the areas of trade, economy, investments, transport and transit, agriculture, industrial cooperation, protection of environment, energy, water resources, tourism, science and culture.

In short, they pledged to develop in Central Asia something akin to ASEAN, the Nordic Council, the Vishegrad Group, or Mercosur. After centuries of being played against one another, the Central Asian states have linked arms to advance their common welfare.

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Published in Staff Publications

Taking Stock Invitation: One Year After Uzbekistan Pledges Reforms

The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, alongside of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, and IREX are hosting a panel discussion to mark the first anniversary of the new era of cooperation between Washington and Tashkent. One year after Uzbek President Mirziyoyev’s historic May 2018 visit to the United States, a panel of experts will discuss what changes are underway in the strategic Central Asia nation. Topics of discussion include U.S.-Uzbek cooperation, new international activities, and reformation in the economic and media sectors of the country.

Featuring: 

His Excellency Javlon Vakhabov, Uzbek Ambassador to the United States

Lisa Curtis, Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Council Senior Director for South and Central Asia

Dr. Frederick Starr, Chairman, Central Asia -Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program

Navbahor Imamova, Journalist, VOA Uzbek Service

Moderator: Alicia Phillips Mandaville IREX Vice President for Global Programs

 

Where: IREX, Suite 600, 1275 K St. NW, Washington, DC

When: Thursday, May 30, 2019 from 2:00 - 3:30 pm, 

RSVP: Click HERE to register

  

Published in Forums & Events

 Reform in Uzbekistan: A Turning Point for Central Asia and Beyond

Scroll down for the video recording

Momentous changes have taken place in Uzbekistan, at the heart of Central Asia. Reforms launched by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev have not only transformed Uzbekistan, but opened the door to a new spirit of regionalism that has swept Central Asia. This Forum marked the launch of CACI's comprehensive new study of the reforms, Uzbekistan's New Face, and provided the opportunity to hear firsthand from leading implementers of reforms from Uzbekistan.

 

Speakers: 

S. Frederick Starr, Chairman, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute; co-editor, Uzbekistan’s New Face

H.E. Mr. Sherzod Shermatov, Minister of Public Education, Uzbekistan

Mr. Eldor Aripov, Director, Center for International Relations Studies, Tashkent

Moderator: Svante E. Cornell, Director, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute; co-editor, Uzbekistan’s New Face

 

Where: The National Press Club 529, 14th Street NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC 20045

When: Thursday, Octobeer 4, 2018 from 3:00 - 4:45 pm

Published in Forums & Events

 Toward "Enlightened Islam"? Religion and the Secular State in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan has remained staunchly secular and taken a firm stand against extremist movements since independence. In recent years, however, Uzbekistan’s policies have shifted from a defensive to a more proactive approach. The recent surge of reforms has affected the religious area as well. Uzbekistan has taken major steps toward the promotion of what President Shavkat Mirziyoyev terms “Enlightened Islam” at home and on the world stage.

This Forum was part of CACI’s ongoing research on the relationship between politics and religion in Central Asia and the Caucasus, and coincided with the release of the Silk Road Paper “Religion and the Secular State in Uzbekistan”, by Svante E. Cornell and Jacob Zenn.

Speakers: Svante E. Cornell, Director, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at the American Foreign Policy Council

Moderator: Frederick Starr, Chairman, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute

 

Where: Middle East Institute: 1319 18th Street NW, 20036

When: Thursday, June 7, 2018 from 4:00 - 5:30 pm

 

Full Recording of the Forum Below:

Published in Forums & Events

 Opening in Uzbekistan: A Preview of President Mirziyoyev's Visit

Please join the Atlantic Council and the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute of the American Foreign Policy Council for an event entitled Opening in Uzbekistan: A Preview of President Mirziyoyev's Visit on Monday, May 14, 2018 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Atlantic Council headquarters (1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, West Tower Elevators).

This May, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan will visit Washington, DC at the invitation of US President Donald J. Trump. The new government under President Mirziyoyev announced political and economic reforms to open Uzbekistan for international cooperation and foreign direct investments. The new regional policy of Tashkent in Central Asia has given dynamism and prospects to solve old issues like border demarcation, a fair share of water resources, extremism and terrorism, and peace building process in Afghanistan.   

The Atlantic Council and the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute of the American Foreign Policy Council are convening a panel to discuss and evaluate President Mirziyoyev’s visit to the White House, along with implications for US-Uzbekistan relations, broader international and regional issues, and overall stability in the region.

We hope you can join us for this timely discussion.

Speakers:

Senator Sodiq Safoev
First Deputy Chairman
Senate of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Dr. Akmal Saidov
Director; Chairman
National Human Rights Centre of the Republic of Uzbekistan; Committee on Democratic Institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations and Citizens' Self-Governing Bodies Committee of the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis 

Ambassador Ismatulla Irgashev
Special Representative of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Afghanistan
Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Mr. Eldor Aripov
Director, Information and Analytical Center for International Relations
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan 

Ms. Lisa Curtis
Deputy Assistant to the President 
and Senior Director for South and Central Asia

National Security Council

Dr. Frederick Starr
Founder and Chairman 
The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and the Silk Road Studies Program

Moderator:  Ambassador John Herbst
Director, Eurasia Center
Atlantic Council

 

Where: The Atlantic Council, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevators), 1030 15th Street, NW

When: Monday, May 14, 2018 from 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

RSVP: Send to Atlantic Council

Published in Forums & Events
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News

  • New Article Series on Changing Geopolitics of Central Asia and the Caucasus
    Wednesday, 24 November 2021 11:53

    Eurasia

  • CACI Initiative on Religion and the Secular State in Central Asia and the Caucasus
    Sunday, 24 January 2021 13:53

    In 2016, the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program launched an initiative on documenting the interrelationship of religion and the secular state in the region. This initiative departed from the fact that little systematic reserch had been undertaken on the subject thus far. While there was and remains much commentary and criticism of religious policy in the region, there was no comprehensive analysis available on the interrelationship of religion and the state in any regional state, let alone the region as a whole. The result of this initiative has been the publication of six Silk Road Papers studying the matter in regional states, with more to come. In addition, work is ongoing on a volume putting the regional situation in the context of the Muslim world as a whole.

     

    Case Studies

    Each study below can be freely downloaded in PDF format.

    az-formula-SRSP

    Azerbaijan's Formula: Secular Governance and Civil Nationhood
    By Svante E. Cornell, Halil Karaveli, and Boris Ajeganov
    November 2016   




    2018-04-Kazakhstan-SecularismReligion and the Secular State in Kazakhstan
    By Svante E. Cornell, S. Frederick Starr and Julian Tucker
    April 2018

     

     

     

    1806-UZ-coverReligion and the Secular State in Uzbekistan
    Svante E. Cornell and Jacob Zenn
    June 2018

     

     

     

    2006-Engvall-coverReligion and the Secular State in Kyrgyzstan
    Johan Engvall
    June 2020

     Event video online

     

    2006-Clement-coverReligion and the Secular State in Turkmenistan
    Victoria Clement
    June 2020

    Event video online

     

     

     

    Articles and Analyses

    Svante E. Cornell, "Religion and the State in Central Asia," in Ilan Berman, ed., Wars of Ideas: Theology, Interpretation and Power in the Muslim World, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2021.

    Svante E. Cornell, "Central Asia: Where Did Islamic Radicalization Go?" in Religion, Conflict and Stability in the Former Soviet Union, eds. Katya Migacheva and Bryan Frederick, Arlington, VA: RAND Corporation, 2018.

  • Basic Principles for the Rehabilitation of Azerbaijan's Post-Conflict Territories
    Wednesday, 07 October 2020 09:01

    Rehab-coverIn 2010, the CACI-SRSP Joint Center cooperated with Eldar Ismailov and Nazim Muzaffarli of the Institute for Strategic Studies of the Caucasus to produce a study of the methodology and process for the rehabilitation of the occupied territories in Azerbaijan. The study was written in the hope that it would prove useful in the aftermath of a negotiated solution to the conflict.

    Such a resolution nevertheless did not materialize. At present, however, it appears that some of these territories are returning to Azerbaijani control as a result of the military conflict that began in late September, 2020. While it is regrettable that this did not come to pass as a result of negotiations, it is clear that the challenge of rehabilitating territories is as pressing today as it would be in the event of a peaceful resolution - if not more, given the likelihood that such a solution would have included a time-table and provided the Government of Azerbaijan and international institutions time for planning.

    It is clear that the study is a product of a different time, as much has changed since 2010. We fully expcect many updates and revisions to be needed should the recommendations in this study be implemented today. That said, we believe the methodoloy of the study and its conclusions remain relevant and would therefore like to call attention to this important study, published in English, Russian and Azerbaijani versions.

    Click to download:

    BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR THE REHABILITATION OF AZERBAIJAN’S POST-CONFLICT TERRITORIES

     

  • Resources on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict
    Monday, 05 October 2020 08:19

    Resources on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict

     

    The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program have a long track record of covering the Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict. This page presents the key resources and most recent analysis. 

    In 2017, Palgrave published the first book-length study of the International Politics of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict, edited by Svante Cornell. The book concluded by arguing that if international efforts to resolve the conflict are not stepped up, “the ‘four-day’ war of April 2016 will appear a minor skirmish compared to what is sure to follow”.

    In 2015, CACI & SRSP released the Silk Road Paper  “A Western Strategy for the South Caucasus”, which included a full page of recommendations for the U.S. and EU on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. These are reproduced below:

    ------------------

    Develop a substantial and prolonged Western initiative on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.

    o This initiative must be led by the United States, in close consultation with its European partners – primarily the EU Commission and External Action Service, and France. Barring some process to reinvigorate the Minsk Process – a doubtful proposition given Western-Russian relations in the foreseeable future – Western leaders must be prepared to bypass that process, utilizing it where appropriate but focusing their initiative on developing direct negotiations between the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders.

    o The U.S. and its European partners must abandon the practice of relying solely on the Minsk Group co-chairs to resolve the Karabakh conflict. These diplomats have contributed greatly to formulating a workable framework agreement. However, strong and sustained U.S. Government leadership from the top level is needed to complement or, failing that, to replace the Minsk Process. In practice, this means the expressed support of the President, involvement of the White House, and leadership manifested in the appointment of a distinguished citizen as Special Envoy for the resolution of the conflict.

    o The EU must take a more clearly defined and substantial role in the process, by integrating to the highest degree possible the French co-chairmanship of the Minsk Group with EU institutions. While Washington will need to take the lead on the political side, it would be natural for the EU to take the lead in organizing an international development program for the currently occupied Azerbaijani provinces and Karabakh itself. That effort, too, would need to be led by a senior EU figure.

    --------------------------------------------

    In 2011, CACI & SRSP helped launch an extensive study of the steps needed for the post-conflict rehabilitation of Azerbaijan's occupied territories, in cooperation with Eldar Ismailov and Nazim Muzaffarli of the Institute for Strategic Studies of the Caucasus. The monograph "Basic Principles for the Rehabilitation of Azerbaijan's Post-Conflict Territories" can be accessed here

     

    More background resources:

    Svante E. Cornell, "Can America Stop a Wider War Between Armenia and Azerbaijan?", The National Interest, October 2020

    Brenda Shaffer and Svante E. Cornell, Occupied Elsewhere: Selective Policies on Occupation, Foundation For Defense of Democracies, January 2020. 

    Brenda Shaffer and Svante E. Cornell, "The U.S. Needs to Declare War on Proxies", Foreign Policy, January 27, 2020

    Svante E. Cornell, “The Raucous Caucasus”, American Interest, May 2017

    Svante E. Cornell, Small Nations and Great Powers: A Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict in the Caucasus, RoutledgeCurzon, 2001.

    Svante E. Cornell, The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, Uppsala University, 1999

    More recent analysis:

    Turkey Seeks to Counter Russia in the Black Sea-Caucasus Region,” Turkey Analyst, 10/5/20, Emil Avdaliani

    Turkey’s Commitment to Azerbaijan’s Defense Shows the Limits of Ankara’s Tilt to Moscow,” Turkey Analyst, 9/25/20, Turan Suleymanov & Bahruz Babayev

     “Cross-Border Escalation between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, 9/25/20, Natalia Konarzewska

    Russia and Turkey: Behind the Armenia-Azerbaijan Clashes?”, Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, 8/31/20, Avinoam Idan

    Armenia and the U.S.: Time for New Thinking?”, Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, 10/2/19, Eduard Abrahamyan.

    Why Washington Must Re-Engage the CaucasusCentral Asia-Caucasus Analyst, 7/8/19, Stephen Blank

    Azerbaijan’s Defense Industry Reform”, Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, 5/7/19, Tamerlan Vahabov.

    Military Procurements on Armenia's and Azerbaijan's Defense Agendas”, Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, 3/27/19, Ilgar Gurbanov

    Armenia's New Government Struggles with Domestic and External Opposition,” Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, 3/20/19, Armen Grigorian.

    Bolton's Caucasian Tour and Russia's Reaction”, Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, 12/17/18, Eduard Abrahamyan.