In the spotlight
 

Assessing the Transition in Afghanistan

Afghan security forces cannot stabilize the country amid political meltdown. To get to zero U.S. troops on the ground without Afghanistan unraveling, a different political approach is needed.

Iran’s Unavoidable Influence Over Afghanistan’s Future

As the U.S. troop withdrawal approaches, Washington should consider how improving U.S.-Iranian relations can further its long-term goals in Afghanistan and the region.

China’s Unmatched Influence in Central Asia

Beijing is emerging as the big winner in Central Asia, displacing Washington and Moscow while ensuring that engagement with countries in the region takes place on its terms.

Central Asia Today: An Afterthought

Central Asia is in a period of transition. Many tenets of Soviet infrastructure and culture have expired and rather than renew these precedents, the countries are emphasizing individual development.

 
  • Op-Ed
    Desperate Salafi Attack in a Weak Libya
    Frederic Wehrey September 12, 2012 Financial Times

    The attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi is a tragic reminder of Libya’s worsening security and the challenges of governance that the country faces.

     
  • Op-Ed
    As Afghanistan Turns
    Sarah Chayes August 16, 2012 Los Angeles Times

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai's ousting of two top security officials may signal an increased tolerance for the Taliban and a closer alignment with Pakistan in the years to come.

     
  • Article
    Afghanistan’s Other Neighbor
    Sarah Chayes August 7, 2012

    Uzbek officials have deep and valuable insights into Afghanistan. Washington would do well to pay attention.

     
  • Article
    Central Asia's Migrant Headache
    June 21, 2012

    Remittances from Russia form a lifeline for Central Asian economies. But with Moscow tightening migration controls, dependence on money transfers risks exacerbating, rather than alleviating, economic and political instability at home.

     
  • Other Publications
    Challenges in Studying Collectivization and the Famine
    Martha Brill Olcott June 14, 2012 Remarks given at conference on “Famine in Kazakhstan Русский

    The study of the Soviet drive toward collectivization in Kazakhstan and the resulting famine comes with a particular set of challenges.

     
  • Article
    Kazakhstan’s Political (r)evolution
    Martha Brill Olcott January 27, 2012

    Recent violence in Zhanaozen in December has forced Kazakhstan's authorities to rethink political, economic, and social policies. Only time will tell if the changes will have their desired effect, but it is the country's population that will make the ultimate judgment.

     
  • Op-Ed
    Kazakhstan at 20
    Martha Brill Olcott December 20, 2011 Diplomatic Courier

    Twenty years after its independence from the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan has made a smooth transition to a middle income country and advanced a foreign policy that could make it a vital bridge between Europe and Asia.

     
  • Article
    Kazakhstan at 20
    Martha Brill Olcott December 12, 2011

    As Kazakhstan celebrates its twentieth anniversary of independence, the country faces a number of tough geopolitical, political, economic, and social challenges.

     
  • Op-Ed
    Kazakhstan's Soviet Legacy
    Martha Brill Olcott November 30, 2011 Center of Asia Русский

    Legacies of the Soviet era still pervade Kazakhstan, 20 years after independence, and leave most citizens unable to offer a detached judgment of what benefits Kazakhstan might have derived from seven decades of Soviet rule.

     
  • Article
    Semipalatinsk: From Nuclear Testing Site to Test Ban Treaty Support
    Togzhan Kassenova August 29, 2011

    On the twentieth anniversary of the closure of Kazakhstan's nuclear site Semipalatinsk, it is important to recognize the role the former weapons testing facility plays in strengthening the verification regime of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

     
  • Paper
    Waiting for the Taliban in Afghanistan
    Gilles Dorronsoro September 20, 2012 Infographic

    Without a clear plan for the 2014 withdrawal from Afghanistan, Washington may find the country worse off, in some respects, than it was in 2001.

     
  • Book
    In the Whirlwind of Jihad
    Martha Brill Olcott July 17, 2012 Washington

    In Uzbekistan, Central Asia’s most populous country, Islam has been an ever-present factor in the lives of its people and a contentious force for political officials trying to build a secular government.

     
  • Policy Outlook
    Tajikistan: Civil War’s Long Echo

    Tajikistan is among the most problematic countries in Central Asia. The country faces a number of challenges, including an economic crisis, regionalism, domestic political confrontation, and radical Islam.

     
  • Paper
    Islam in Uzbekistan: Religious Education and State Ideology
    Martha Brill Olcott, Diora Ziyaeva September 10, 2008 Carnegie Endowment

    This paper provides a historical overview of religious education in Central Asia, and assesses the efforts of the Uzbek government to define the content of Islam that has been presented in public life since independence was obtained in 1991.

     
  • Paper
    Sufism in Central Asia: A Force for Moderation or a Cause of Politicization?
    Martha Brill Olcott June 6, 2007 Carnegie Endowment

    Sufism—a mystical form of Islam that has flourished in the Muslim world for centuries—has enjoyed a strong revival in Central Asia.  In this Carnegie Paper, Martha Brill Olcott explores Sufism’s potential to become a political movement in Central Asia by analyzing the movement’s history and current leaders in Central Asia, particularly Uzbekistan.

     
  • Paper
    A Face of Islam: Muhammad-Sodiq Muhammad-Yusuf
    Martha Brill Olcott April 6, 2007 Carnegie Endowment

    The role of Islam in the formally secular state of Uzbekistan remains a potentially volatile issue. It remains vitally important that both domestic and international actors understand the influence of Islam in Uzbekistan to understand the potential problems facing the nation and the Central Asian region more generally.

     
  • Paper
    Roots of Radical Islam in Central Asia
    Martha Brill Olcott January 17, 2007 Carnegie Endowment

    The question of the relationship between Islamic believers and the state is a critical one; depending on how it is resolved, it either encourages, permits, or discourages the use of violence in the name of Islam.

     
  • TV/Radio Broadcast
    The Role of China-Russia Relations in Global Governance
    Dmitri Trenin June 1, 2012 China Radio International's Teahouse

    China and Russia are often considered to be partners, but it would be a mistake to assume that there are no problems between the two countries.

     
  • TV/Radio Broadcast
    Kyrgyzstan: A Primer
    Martha Brill Olcott April 9, 2010 NPR

    Public hostility toward the Kyrgyz government escalated over the past weeks, leading to the recent street protests and demonstrations that seem to have topped the government of President Bakiyev.

     
  • TV/Radio Broadcast
    'The Stans' in Transition
    Nikolay Petrov December 17, 2009 Worldfocus Radio

    The five post-Soviet Central Asian republics—Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan—share common political, cultural, and historical roots, but they are far from homogeneous, and continuing domestic and regional tensions could lead to violent conflict.

     
  • TV/Radio Broadcast
    U.S. Examining Options to Central Asian Air Bases
    Martha Brill Olcott February 9, 2009 NPR's Morning Edition

    In the wake of Kyrgyzstan’s decision to close its American airbase the U.S. must find a Central Asian location for its logistical operations outside of Afghanistan to ensure they remain uninterrupted in case the war deteriorates further.

     
  • Paper
    Waiting for the Taliban in Afghanistan
    Gilles Dorronsoro September 20, 2012 Infographic

    Without a clear plan for the 2014 withdrawal from Afghanistan, Washington may find the country worse off, in some respects, than it was in 2001.

     
  • Op-Ed
    Desperate Salafi Attack in a Weak Libya
    Frederic Wehrey September 12, 2012 Financial Times

    The attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi is a tragic reminder of Libya’s worsening security and the challenges of governance that the country faces.

     
  • Op-Ed
    As Afghanistan Turns
    Sarah Chayes August 16, 2012 Los Angeles Times

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai's ousting of two top security officials may signal an increased tolerance for the Taliban and a closer alignment with Pakistan in the years to come.

     
  • Article
    Afghanistan’s Other Neighbor
    Sarah Chayes August 7, 2012

    Uzbek officials have deep and valuable insights into Afghanistan. Washington would do well to pay attention.

     
  • Book
    In the Whirlwind of Jihad
    Martha Brill Olcott July 17, 2012 Washington

    In Uzbekistan, Central Asia’s most populous country, Islam has been an ever-present factor in the lives of its people and a contentious force for political officials trying to build a secular government.

     
  • Article
    Central Asia's Migrant Headache
    June 21, 2012

    Remittances from Russia form a lifeline for Central Asian economies. But with Moscow tightening migration controls, dependence on money transfers risks exacerbating, rather than alleviating, economic and political instability at home.

     
  • Other Publications
    Challenges in Studying Collectivization and the Famine
    Martha Brill Olcott June 14, 2012 Remarks given at conference on “Famine in Kazakhstan Русский

    The study of the Soviet drive toward collectivization in Kazakhstan and the resulting famine comes with a particular set of challenges.

     
  • TV/Radio Broadcast
    The Role of China-Russia Relations in Global Governance
    Dmitri Trenin June 1, 2012 China Radio International's Teahouse

    China and Russia are often considered to be partners, but it would be a mistake to assume that there are no problems between the two countries.

     
  • Policy Outlook
    Tajikistan: Civil War’s Long Echo

    Tajikistan is among the most problematic countries in Central Asia. The country faces a number of challenges, including an economic crisis, regionalism, domestic political confrontation, and radical Islam.

     
  • Article
    Kazakhstan’s Political (r)evolution
    Martha Brill Olcott January 27, 2012

    Recent violence in Zhanaozen in December has forced Kazakhstan's authorities to rethink political, economic, and social policies. Only time will tell if the changes will have their desired effect, but it is the country's population that will make the ultimate judgment.

     

Carnegie Experts on Al-Farabi

  • Kuralai Baizakova
    Associate
    al-Farabi Carnegie Program on Central Asia

    Kuralai Baizakova is an associate in the al-Farabi Carnegie Program on Central Asia, and a professor of international relations and the head of the European and NATO Resource Centers at al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty.

  •  
  • Fatima Kukeyeva
    Co-director
    al-Farabi Carnegie Program on Central Asia

    Kukeyeva is co-director of the al-Farabi Carnegie Program on Central Asia.

  •  
  • Alyssa Meyer
    Project Coordinator (Almaty)
    al-Farabi Carnegie Program on Central Asia
  •  
  • Martha Brill Olcott
    Senior Associate
    Russia and Eurasia Program and
    Co-director
    al-Farabi Carnegie Program on Central Asia

    Olcott is professor emerita at Colgate University, having taught political science there from 1974 to 2002. Prior to her work at the endowment, Olcott served as a special consultant to former secretary of state Lawrence Eagleburger.

  •  
  • Muzaffar Olimov
    Associate
    al-Farabi Carnegie Program on Central Asia

    Muzaffar Olimov is an associate in the al-Farabi Carnegie Program on Central Asia, the director of the SHARQ (ORIENS) Research Center, and a senior scientist at the Tajik Academy of Sciences Institute of Language, Literature, and Oriental Studies.

  •  
  • Saodat Olimova
    Associate
    al-Farabi Carnegie Program on Central Asia

    Saodat Olimova is an associate in the al-Farabi Carnegie Program on Central Asia and head of the public opinion department at the SHARQ (ORIENS) Research Center in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

  •  
  • Courtney Ranson
    Consultant
    al-Farabi Carnegie Program on Central Asia

    Courtney Ranson is a Consultant working for the al-Farabi Carnegie Program on Central Asia. Her research for the program focuses on issues related to climate change, environmental management, political developments, as well as media behavior and use in the region.

  •  
  • Zamira Sydykova
    Associate
    al-Farabi Carnegie Program on Central Asia
  •  

About the Program

Established by al-Farabi Kazakh National University and the Carnegie Endowment in 2011, the Al-Farabi Carnegie Program on Central Asia aims to generate a deeper dialogue between policy institutes, business leaders, and governments in Kazakhstan and the Central Asian region and to engage international audiences on a wide range of issues.

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