The EU will need to increase its visibility in Central Asia if it wants to have influence in a region facing immense challenges from China and India, but also from Afghanistan and threats of terrorism.
Younger generations of Central Asian citizens are demanding more from their governments, but their leaders continue to cling to a rapidly eroding status quo.
Unlike in Russia and Kazakhstan, an effort in Kyrgyzstan to carefully orchestrate the transition of power backfired.
Kazakhstanis will vote for a new president on June 9. The election was supposed to be a smooth transition to a handpicked, pliant successor, not an open contest. But things are not going as originally planned.
There has been a global transformation of political and civic activism, with innovative new forms and often dramatic impact, even in the face of widespread efforts by governments to limit civic and political space.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev has resigned after nearly three decades. But the succession process appears to have just started, and it won’t be the last we will see of his influence.
While Russia remains Astana’s closest political ally, China is gradually becoming the main economic partner of Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan’s president has fired the government over what he called its failure to shore up crumbling living standards. Will it be enough to satisfy his citizens’ demands?
A tragic house fire that killed five sisters in Astana epitomizes many of Kazakhstan’s social problems, as well as the widening gap between the government and the governed.
Brighter prospects for Central Asian integration come amid political and economic liberalization in Uzbekistan, hardening authoritarianism elsewhere in the region, widespread economic distress, and China’s growing influence—the five major trends that marked Central Asia in 2018.