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How Rising Great Power Tensions Will Affect Central Asia

This piece is a collaboration between the Foreign Policy Research Institute and the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs. The…

Uzbekistan: Reforms Evade LGBTQ Community

On March 28, Miraziz Bazarov, a Tashkent-based blogger who had advocated for the decriminalization of homosexuality in Uzbekistan, was attacked…

Chinese Business in Central Asia: How Crony Capitalism is Eroding Justice

This piece is a collaboration between the Foreign Policy Research Institute and the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs. China’s…

Online Workshops on Research and Publishing Skills

The Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs and the Centre for Research & Graduate Education, Kazakh-German University, Almaty, are launching a new series of online workshops on research and publishing skills for early career researchers. Topics include research design, writing for a policy audience, writing peer-reviewed journal articles and research ethics. 

Embassies and Dignitaries Come Together for International Nowruz Event in Washington DC

On March 19, the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs and Meridian International Center, gathered with the embassies of Afghanistan,…

Indian Merchants and Peshawar’s Connections with Central Asia in the 18th and 19th Centuries

In recent years, the Pakistan-Afghanistan border has hardened following a decision to build a fence along the colonial-era Durand Line…

The War on the Uyghurs

Sean Roberts, The War on the Uyghurs, (Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 2020). Sean Roberts’ The War on the Uyghurs…

Emerging Forms of Pax Sinica in Tajikistan and Cambodia

This piece is a collaboration between the Foreign Policy Research Institute and the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs. In…

Announcing 501(c)(3) Status

The Oxus Society is delighted to announce that we have been designated as a nonprofit with tax-exempt status under Section…

Slow Anti-Americanism: Social Movements and Symbolic Politics in Central Asia

Edward Schatz, Slow Anti-Americanism: Social Movements and Symbolic Politics in Central Asia, (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2021). America’s…

The Emperor’s New Road

Jonathan Hillman, The Emperor’s New Road, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2020. The short story by Hans Christian Andersen…

The Promise of the Korea-Uzbekistan Free Trade Agreement

Last year, even in the midst of a global pandemic, Uzbekistan held several conferences and talks with Korea regarding a…

Uzbekistan’s Reform Drive Reaches the Banking Sector

Uzbekistan’s adoption of a new Banking System Reform Strategy in December 2020 signals a turning point for the country’s credit…

The Seljuks in Turkmenistan’s Historical Narrative

In Memory of H.T.T., Turkmen scholar and historian Turkmenistan will soon be celebrating its 30th anniversary as an independent nation.…

Understanding Disorder in Central Asia

The five countries in Central Asia — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan — all display varying degrees of authoritarian rule. Across the region, local economies are stymied by corruption, resulting in a dissatisfied and increasingly vocal populace (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 18 October 2019). In two of the republics, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, election-related demonstrations have altered the political landscape, but across the board, state directed-force and mob brutality are rife.

The Lonely Caravanserai at Tash Rabat

In a remote valley of Naryn province in eastern Kyrgyzstan, not far from the border with China, you can find the remains of a 15th century caravanserai called Tash Rabat.

China’s Muslims and Japan’s Empire

Kelly Hammond, China’s Muslims and Japan’s Empire: Centering Islam in World War II, Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina…

Revolution and Rising Discontent: An Update on the Central Asia Protest Tracker

Download PDF This report is based on the Central Asia Protest Tracker. Download our full dataset. By Natalie Simpson, Raushan…

Elections in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan: The Challenges of Retaining Power

This article is part of a collaboration between the Foreign Policy Research Institute and the Oxus Society for Central Asian…

Exiting from a Sparse Hegemony: Central Asia’s Place in a Transforming Liberal International Order

This piece is a collaboration between the Foreign Policy Research Institute and the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs. As…

Ten Years Gone: The Legacy of the  2010 Revolution and Ethnic Violence in Kyrgyzstan: A Roundtable

Download PDF Eugene Huskey, Emil Dzhuraev, Gulzat Botoeva, and Nick Megoran Edited by John Heathershaw and Edward Lemon Introduction John…

Ethnographies of Islam in China

Rachel Harris, Guangtian Ha, and Maria Jaschok (eds). Ethnographies of Islam in China. (Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press, 2020)…

“Kelinism” in Kyrgyzstan: Women’s Rights Versus Traditional Values

In traditional steppe society, nomadic Kyrgyz daughter-in-laws, known as “Kelins,” had to make a good impression on their new families…

Year in Review

Notwithstanding the challenges brought by the pandemic, the Oxus Society has had a fruitful first year. Thanks to the generous…

Paying Tribute to the “Last of the Great Masters of Central Asian Studies, “ Edward Allworth

Orhan Babakurban, a New York-based banker with roots in Central Asia, recently launched a tribute website to Edward Allworth (1920-2016),…

There Won’t be Political Reform in Uzbekistan. Here’s Why

On December 10, International Human Rights Day, a group of human rights defenders, activists, researchers, artists and filmmakers gathered in…

Introducing the Central Asia Migration Tracker

Download PDF By Sher Khashimov, Raushan Zhandayeva, Kymbat Nuranova and Zhibek Aisarina Central Asia’s population continues to grow rapidly, with…

The Second Tournament of Shadows and British Invasion Scares in Central Asia, 1919–1933

During the 19th century, Britain and Russia vied for influence in the territories between British India in the south and…

Italy and Central Asia: A Relationship on the Rise

On December 11, Italy and Uzbekistan held a virtual Business Forum attended by Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di…

Join us for Central Asia Trivia Night – Dec. 27 or Dec. 29

NOTE: We have postponed our December 27 trivia night until early in 2021. If you purchased a ticket on Eventbrite,…

Introducing the Scholars of Central Asia Book Database 

The Scholars of Central Asia Book Database is intended to showcase the research of scholars from each of the Central…

Mubinjon Tadzhiev – Central Asia’s “Fastest” Man Offers a Glimpse into Bukhara’s History

“10.4 seconds on 100 meters and ‘Finish’! You can’t imagine how exceptional it was back then. A sprinter from Uzbekistan!…

China’s Non-Intervention in Afghanistan

As the current stage of conflict in Afghanistan works its way towards a conclusion, China needs to decide its role…

The Fight for the Right to Speak Kyrgyz in Kyrgyzstan’s Capital

On October 22, Kyrgyzstani businessperson and political activist Umay Arykova published a video filmed by a young Kyrgyz man at…

Safer and Fairer: The Value of Cooperative Approaches to Fieldwork

A longer version was originally published on The CESS Blog.  Recent commentaries on reflexivity and the role of emotions in…

Central Asia in Russia’s Afghan Strategy

Moscow’s main goal is to prevent the reemergence of a strong U.S. influence in the region.

The Growing Influence of the United Arab Emirates in a Complex Central Asian Region

With vast energy sources and favorable geography, Central Asia has been subject to intense rivalries between Russia, China, Iran, Turkey,…

The Avengers vs the Orcs: Social Media Nuances in Kyrgyzstan’s (Almost) Third Revolution

On 5 October protests against the parliamentary election results in Kyrgyzstan erupted and on the night of the 6th led…

Four Poems From “A New Diwan (H/T Alisher Navoiy)”

My collection A New Diwan (h/t Alisher Navoiy) is a sequence of 84 short poems inspired by Uzbekistan, its literature…

India and Central Asia: the Strategic Dimension

Phunchok Stobdan, India and Central Asia: the Strategic Dimension, (New Dehli: KW Publishers, 2020). In 2017 Mehbooba Mufti, Chief Minister…

Dushanbe’s Potemkin Hotel: Nepotism and Public Integrity in Tajikistan

For over a decade, the empty shell of a multistory hotel has sat vacant on Rudaki Avenue, the central thoroughfare…

A Troubling Taboo: The Absence of Sex Education in Kazakhstan

Assel was 13 years old when her teacher attempted to educate her about sex. Visibly nervous, the teacher showed the…

Waiting for the Sea: An Interview with Director George Itzhak

Waiting for the Sea from George Itzhak on Vimeo. The film centers on a techno music festival in Moʻynoq, in…

After a Flawed Election: What Next for Tajikistan?

On October 11, a masked Emomali Rahmon cast his ballot in the sixth presidential election in the country’s 29-year history.…

Indian Shikarpuri Trader Communities in Central Asia

Shikarpur is a town in Sindh in modern-day Pakistan sitting at the mouth of the Bolan Pass, which was once…

The Growth, Adaptation and Limitations of Chinese Private Security Companies in Central Asia

In this paper, we explore the third strategy in China’s toolkit by examining the activities of Chinese PSCs in Central Asia, a region of vital importance to the success of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Polymaths of Islam: Power and Networks of Knowledge in Central Asia

James Pickett, Polymaths of Islam : Power and Networks of Knowledge in Central Asia, (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2020).…

Toxic Masculinity and Uzbekistan’s Domestic Violence Crisis

On September 3 Akida Mokhirova , blogger and founder of the charitable organization “Pokiza Insonlar” (“Noble People” in Uzbek), posted…

The Migration – Extremism Fallacy

Even if all 5,000 of the Central Asian fighters in Syria had been migrants in Russia at a particular moment in time, this would mean a migrant in Russia has a 0.05-0.1% chance of radicalizing, based on recent estimates of that community’s size. In other words, there is at least a 99.9% chance of not radicalizing. 

As Sino-India Relations Enter Free-fall, New Delhi Finds Itself at the Margins of the SCO

High in the mountains of Ladakh, Asia’s economic giants India and China came to blows in June in their disputed…

London’s Anti-Kleptocracy Setback: A New Way Forward?

Earlier this year, overshadowed by both the pandemic and the ongoing global recession, the United Kingdom took one of its most substantial steps toward rooting out dirty post-Soviet money from British markets.

Avoiding Dependence? Central Asian Security in a Multipolar World

The U.S. is largely exiting the region as a security partner, while Moscow continues to retain a strategic edge over Beijing. But the gap is closing, and, if the trends continue, Moscow may find its influence further undermined in the coming decade.

Mapping Patterns of Dissent in Eurasia: Introducing the Central Asia Protest Tracker

The Central Asia Protest Tracker (CAPT) dataset produced by a team at the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs mapped out a total of 981 incidents in the five Central Asian republics.

Rock in Uzbekistan: A Voice of Diversity

It’s a Saturday night in the center of Tashkent. An unmarked door with a $1 entry fee leads you upstairs…

The Bukharan Crisis: A Connected History of 18th Century Central Asia

Producing a work like Scott Levi’s The Bukharan Crisis ought to be a mandatory service for every senior historian upon…