Published in Forums & Events

Kyrgyzstan - Plenty of Symptoms, but What's the Disease and How to Cure it?  

A joint event of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, the CAMCA Network and Rumsfeld Foundation

Moderator :

- S. Frederick Starr, Chairman, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute


- Azim Azimov, Founder and CEO of Media Kitchen; Political Commentator; CAMCA Network Member

- Dr. Almazbek BeishenalievMinister of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic; Director of the Regional Institute of Central Asia in Bishkek; CAMCA Network Member

Zarina Chekirbaeva, Candidate for the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic from “Bir Bol” political party; Former Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Kyrgyzstan; CAMCA Network Member

- Dr. Johan Engvall, Researcher, Swedish Defense Research Agency;Senior Research Fellow, the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program

- Talant Sultanov, Founder and the Chair of the Kyrgyz Chapter of the Internet Society; Expert at the Center for Strategic Initiatives in Bishkek; CAMCA Network Member

When: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 10am EDT

The event was live-streamed on the CACI Facebook page and is now available on Youtube

Published in Forums & Events

America's New Strategy for Central Asia: Is it Happening?

In February 2020, the U.S. released a new Strategy for Central Asia, subtitled “Advancing Sovereignty and Economic Prosperity.” Since then, the world has changed. How is this Strategy being implemented? This Central Asia-Caucasus Institute Forum discussion will focus on the concrete steps to implement America’s Strategy towards Central Asia.

Our guest speaker Lisa Curtis, Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for South and Central Asia at the National Security Council, The White House, discussed initiatives undertaken as part of the new strategy.  

This discussion was Moderated by: S. Frederick Starr, Chairman, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute.

When: Friday, October 16, 2020 at 10am EDT

The event was live-streamed on the CACI Facebook page and is now availabile on Youtube

Published in Forums & Events

Developing Capital Market and Regional Funding Institutions in CAMCA: Important Tool for Post Covid-19 Recovery

A joint event of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, the CAMCA Network and Rumsfeld Foundation

The post Covid-19 economic recovery should be driven by private sector development, and the process will require significant funding sources from different private sources. What are the regional potential sources of funding? What government policies could facilitate enhancement of these funding institutions? What are the opportunities for the foreign private funding institutions to join forces with the regional Players?


Dr. Mamuka Tsereteli, Senior Fellow, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute


Baurzhan Bektemirov, Chief Economist, Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) and Member of the Management Board of AIFC Authority        

Atabek Nazirov, Chairman, Capital Market Development Agency of Uzbekistan      

Nika Kurdiani, Deputy CEO, TBC Bank, Georgia 

Abdullo Kurbanov, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Alif Capital, Tajikistan, CAMCA Network Member

Ahmad Yama Bassam, Co-founder of Arden and Bassam Partners LLC and the World Bank International Resident Banking Advisor to Bank-E-Millie Afghan, Afghanistan

Irmuun Demberel, Vice President of the Mongolian Economic Cooperation Confederation, CAMCA Network Member

When: Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 10am EDT

The event was livestreamed on the CAMCA Regional Forum Facebook Page and is also available down below 

Published in Forums & Events

Status Update on Uzbek Reforms

After four years of transition of power in Uzbekistan, the country emerged as one of the most reform-oriented countries in the world. Among its priorities are reform in governance, the economy, and regional collaboration. Expectations are high both in Uzbekistan, and among international donor institutions and investors, that Uzbekistan will transform itself and its economy in a reasonable timeframe. Is Uzbekistan on the right track on reforms in governance? Is the pace of transition from a strictly controlled economy with very complicated and unfriendly business environment into more efficient economic system fast enough? How has Covid-19 affected the reform process? 
Our Forum discusses these and some other important questions.


Ron van Rooden, Chief of Mission for Uzbekistan, IMF

Aziza Umarova, CEO, SmartGov Consulting

Alexander Gordin, Managing Director, Broad Street Capital Group


Mamuka Tsereteli, Senior Fellow, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute

When: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 10am EDT

The event was live-streamed on our Facebook page and is now available on Youtube






  • Read CACI Chairman S. Frederick Starr's recent interview on the resurgence of Imperial Russia with The American Purpose
    Tuesday, 23 May 2023 00:00

    Why Russians Support the War: Jeffrey Gedmin interviews S. Frederick Starr on the resurgence of Imperial Russia.

    The American Purpose, May 23, 2023

    Jeffrey Gedmin: Do we have a Putin problem or a Russia problem today?

    S. Frederick Starr: We have a Putin problem because we have a Russia problem. Bluntly, the mass of Russians are passive and easily manipulated—down to the moment they aren’t. Two decades ago they made a deal with Vladimir Putin, as they have done with many of his predecessors: You give us a basic income, prospects for a better future, and a country we can take pride in, and we will give you a free hand. This is the same formula for autocracy that prevailed in Soviet times, and, before that, under the czars. The difference is that this time Russia’s leader—Putin—and his entourage have adopted a bizarre and dangerous ideology, “Eurasianism,” that empowers them to expand Russian power at will over the entire former territory of the USSR and even beyond. It is a grand and awful vision that puffs up ruler and ruled alike.

    What do most Russians think of this deal? It leaves them bereft of the normal rights of citizenship but free from its day-to-day responsibilities. So instead of debating, voting, and demonstrating, Russians store up their frustrations and then release them in elemental, often destructive, and usually futile acts of rebellion. This “Russia problem” leaves the prospect of change in Russia today in the hands of alienated members of Putin’s immediate entourage, many of whom share his vision of Russia’s destiny and are anyway subject to Putin’s ample levers for control. Thus, our “Putin problem” arises from our “Russia problem.”

    Click to continue reading...

  • CACI director Svante Cornell's interviewed on the 'John Batchelor Show' podcast regarding Turkey's 2023 presidential election
    Friday, 19 May 2023 00:00

    Listen to CACI director Svante Cornell's recent interview on the 'John Batchelor Show' podcast regarding Turkey's 2023 presidential election. Click here!

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


  • 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.


    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.