All the countries of the region – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – face significant political, economic and developmental challenges, further complicated by personalized regimes with fragile institutions, a weak rule of law and undeveloped civil societies. Balancing internal and external interests and pressures presents elites with increasing problems in governing their citizens.

The programme's research in this region focuses on:

  • The politics of decision-making – what, and who drives policy?
  • The politics of energy.
  • External influences: Russia, China, the US and the EU.