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  • Author: Alexey Malashenko, Aziz Niyazi
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Emomali Rahmon's reelection as president of Tajikistan in 2013 testifies to his regime's stability and its capacity for self-preservation. He now faces a number of complex tasks, which include undertaking economic reforms, counteracting religious smism, and resolving conflicts with neighboring countries. It is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain a high degree of stability under these conditions.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Religion, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Tajikistan
  • Author: Marc Pierini
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has witnessed economic success and launched major reforms, in particular writing a new constitution, negotiating with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, passing four judicial reform packages, and installing an ombudsman. In sharp contrast, the AKP's exclusive reliance on its election victories for legitimacy and increasingly authoritarian practices in the fields of freedom of cultural expression and coexistence of different lifestyles are at odds with its stated objective of establishing an advanced democracy. Popular discontent with these practices and unending restrictions on media freedom resulted in major protests in May and June 2013.
  • Topic: Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Islam, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Turkey, Kurdistan
  • Author: Olga Shumylo-Tapiola
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The customs union formed by Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan in 2010— the largest in the world by territory—is becoming very real. Though hurdles remain, member states are eliminating non-tariff barriers to trade within the union, moving toward a common external tariff, and fine-tuning a joint customs code. As the customs union's influence on the world stage and in Europe's neighborhood is likely to increase, the European Union (EU) should attempt to understand the project and find ways to protect its own interests.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Central Asia, Eurasia, Kazakhstan, Belarus
  • Author: Alexandros Petersen, Katinka Barysch
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Energy has come to symbolise the geopolitics of the 21st century, reflecting countries' diminishing reliance on military and political power. Today, energy is an instrument of geopolitical competition, like nuclear weapons or large armies were during the Cold War. The means of international influence have become more diverse and sophisticated, but the goals remain much the same: national security, power projection, and control over resources and territory.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Central Asia
  • Author: Sinan Ülgen
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Turkey's vote against additional UN Security Council sanctions on Iran this year was viewed by many observers as a sign that Turkey is drifting away from the West. In reality, Ankara's relationship with the United States and the EU is much more complicated. Turkey's ambitious foreign policy and growing influence present the West with an opportunity to demand that Turkey play a more constructive role in the international community.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Central Asia, Turkey
  • Author: Gilles Dorronsoro
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: After seven years of war, the international community has failed to create the conditions for a sustainable Afghan state. The reality is that the international coalition now has limited resources and a narrow political time frame to create lasting Afghan institutions. Yet building such institutions is our only realistic exit strategy. The debate in Washington and European capitals has recently centered on how many more troops will be sent to Afghanistan in 2009 as part of a military surge. Such a tactical adjustment is unlikely to make much of a difference in a country where the basic population-to-troops ratio is estimated at approximately 430 people per foreign soldier.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Central Asia
  • Author: Martha Brill Olcott
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: With Washington's influence on the Caspian region at its lowest ebb in many years, the Obama administration could reverse this trend with a new approach that accepts Russia's presence and China's interest as historical and geographical givens and emphasizes short- and medium-term problem solving in multilateral and bilateral settings instead of long-term political and economic transformations. The United States can accomplish more in the Caspian region by focusing on military reform and building security capacity than on forming military alliances. The United States should switch from a multiple pipeline strategy to a policy that advances competition by promoting market pricing for energy producers, consumers, and transit states. The United States could facilitate the introduction of renewable sources of energy as a stimulus to economic recovery and a source of enhanced social security. The United States should develop a nuanced strategy that encourages political development through social and educational programs and local capacity building. The Obama administration should name a high-level official as a presidential envoy to this region.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Washington, Central Asia
  • Author: Martha Brill Olcott, Diora Ziyaeva
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Islam in Uzbekistan: Religious Education and State Ideology is the fourth paper of the ongoing series on Islam in Central Asia. It provides a historical overview of religious education in Central Asia, focusing on the hujra system and its founders, and assesses the efforts of the Uzbek government to define the content of Islam that has been presented in public life since independence was obtained in 1991. It examines the presentation of Islam in the schools—especially in Tashkent Islamic University, seen as the premier training institution for secular teachers of Islam—and the presentation of Islam in the mass media.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Education
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Asia, Uzbekistan
  • Author: William Maley
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Afghanistan cannot be stabilized by quick fixes. The United States, NATO, and their allies need to make a sustained commitment for the long term. Instead of a simple “surge,” there needs to be a much clearer focus on bringing security to Afghans' daily lives. Only once this is achieved will Afghanistan's government have real reservoirs of legitimacy. Afghanistan has not been served well by its 2004 Constitution, which created a dysfunctional system of government that relies too much on the president alone. The United States should support systemic reforms, first through the development of an effective executive office to support the Afghan president. Counternarcotics policies in Afghanistan must take account of domestic socioeconomic complexities, and be based on long-term development projects that increase the returns from cultivating different crops. Serious thought needs to be given to encouraging more Muslim states to contribute personnel to support the promotion of human security and development in Afghanistan. Pakistan needs to be pressured discreetly but very strongly to arrest the Afghan Taliban leadership in Pakistan.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Central Asia
  • Author: Martha Brill Olcott
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Sufism is a mystical form of Islam that has flourished in the Muslim world for centuries. Sufism has placed a distinctive stamp on the way the religion has been practiced in many Arab countries, in parts of Africa, in Turkey, and especially in Central Asia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Africa, Central Asia, Turkey, Kuwait, Arabia
  • Author: Martha Brill Olcott
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Muhammad-Sodiq Muhammad-Yusuf (also known as Mamamsodiq Mamayusupov), the former mufti of the Muslim Spiritual Administration of Central Asia, Uzbekistan's first mufti after independence, and the most prominent theologian in the country, is a figure worthy of attention by anyone interested in the political role that Islam might play in Uzbekistan.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Religion
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Middle East, Uzbekistan
  • Author: Martha Brill Olcott
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The history of the development of Islamic radicalism in Uzbekistan, and in Central Asia more generally, is a potentially contentious one. There is very little agreement either within the policy community in the United States or in Central Asia itself as to what Islamic radicalism is and who among devout Muslims should be considered as posing a threat to the secular regimes.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Central Asia, Uzbekistan
  • Author: Martha Brill Olcott
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: NEARLY TEN YEARS HAVE PASSED since the countries of Central Asia received their independence. This impending anniversary is a good opportunity to look at how these states are managing the state-building process, and in particular what symbolic or ideological defenses they are offering for their actions. States need little protection from their successes but are always seeking ways to explain away their various failures. This paper looks at the “myths” that the leaders of the five Central Asian states are using to explain away the very disappointing results in both economic and especially political reforms and shows how U.S. policy makers have bought into some of these myths as well.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Central Asia, Asia