Central Asia Program

The Central Asia Program (CAP) is a non-partisan initiative funded by the Elliott School’s Project Initiation Fund. It is hosted by the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES), a leading institution for post-Communist studies that is already host to the Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia (PONARS Eurasia) and the GW Cold War Group.

Our research activities focus on four main axes: security, development, state-building, and regional environment.

The aim of the Central Asia Program is to promote high-quality academic research on contemporary Central Asia, and to become an interface between academia and the policy community by providing a space for discussion that brings the policy, academic, diplomatic, and business communities together.

By Central Asia, the CAP understands the five post-Soviet Central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan), Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Xinjiang, Mongolia, as well as, in accordance with this broad interpretation, the Volga-Ural region, Kashmir, and Balochistan.

The CAP calls for a multidisciplinary approach combining political science, sociology, anthropology, economics, history, globalization studies, and security studies. It provides a platform for different, and even contradictory, points of view on contemporary Central Asia.

Research on Central Asia tends all too often to be carried out by geographically compartmentalized groups. The CAP aims to get counterparts from the US, Europe, Russia, Asia, and Central Asia all working together, by promoting various forms of interaction and joint projects.

The CAP “Knowledge Hub Project” offers a virtual library that collects reports, articles, and research and policy papers related to Central Asia and available online. The CAP also contributes to mapping the worldwide academic and policy institutions working on Central Asia.

The CAP organizes monthly seminars, half-day forums, a yearly workshop, and international conferences. It publishes The Central Asia Policy Brief, The Central Asia Policy Forum, The Central Asia Research Papers, The Central Asia Economy Papers, Voices from Central Asia, The Afghanistan Regional Forum, and The Iran Regional Forum.