Unlike in Russia and Kazakhstan, an effort in Kyrgyzstan to carefully orchestrate the transition of power backfired.
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.
The five states of Central Asia — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan — mark 27 years of independence in 2018.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has become the organizing foreign policy concept of the Xi Jinping era.
Kyrgyzstan could yet evolve into an island of pluralism with stable institutions, but global and domestic trends may be pointing it in a different direction.
A prerequisite to building an effective anticorruption approach is an intimate—and unflinching—examination of the specifics of corrupt operations in the individual country of interest and its physical and electronic neighborhoods.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization will likely become less functional and coherent as the group gets bigger. Form will start to drive function, and the group will begin to search for a purpose.
Major geopolitical shifts and internal dynamics are setting the stage for possible increased great-power competition in Central Asia between Russia and China at a time when the region is becoming less hospitable to the projection of U.S. power and to the promotion of democracy.
Twenty-five years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, all of the countries of Eurasia remain in the midst of difficult transitions and face unpredictable futures.
Syrian jihad will not be replicated by Central Asian combatants returning home, but fundamentalist ideals are long-established in this region and will not go away.