Central Asia

Research encompasses work on Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Areas of interest include the countries’ relationships with Russia and China, as well as domestic political issues.

Kazakhstan is at a turning point in its history as Central Asia’s wealthiest state embarks on a bold experiment following the March 2019 decision by Nursultan Nazarbayev to resign from the presidency and initiate a managed political succession. 

Uzbekistan has undertaken wide-ranging reforms including currency liberalization, eliminating forced labour and abolishing exit visas, all of which has encouraged foreign investors and the population, but protests have been growing over natural gas and electricity shortages.

Meanwhile, attempts by Western countries to promote democracy or reach out to civil society in Turkmenistan have largely failed so far, with the country’s regime causing concern internationally about its record human rights and religious freedom.