Central Asia | Wilson Center

Central Asia

Independence, Transition of Power, and Political Parties in Uzbekistan

Since the 2018 presidential elections in the Republic of Uzbekistan, the country has introduced extensive civic, economic, and governmental reforms. In the weeks before the December 22 parliamentary elections, the issue of expanding these reforms to parliament is drawing increased attention. In this talk, Dr. Zeev Levin will discuss the future of the division of power and relations between the government and political parties in Uzbekistan.

Domestic and International Impacts of Kleptocracy


In kleptocracies, corrupt politicians use their leverage to receive financial benefits or special favors. These states also create their own legal mechanisms to target political enemies and challenge the international legal infrastructure. Daniel Morgan Graduate School-Kennan Institute Fellow Edward Lemon, joined by Casey Michel and Jodi Vittori, examined kleptocracy in Central Asia, how it influences a state’s legal and financial mechanisms, and its impact on U.S. national security.

Kennan Cable No. 38: Talking Up Terrorism in Central Asia

On July 29th, 2018 two American, one Dutch, and one Swiss cyclist were killed in southern Tajikistan. Two days later Amaq, the Islamic State’s media outlet, published a video of the attackers pledging allegiance to the group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and stating their aim to "establish the Almighty's rule on this land."[i] This was the first attack on Western tourists in the region in almost 20 years and the first attack within the region to be convincingly linked to ISIS.

Kennan Institute Central Asian Cinema Series

The Kennan Institute is proud to partner with George Washington University's Central Asia Program in hosting our Central Asian Cinema Series. Each film in this series in this series considers the role of history and memory in creating a multifaceted image of the region in the global arena.

Join us this fall for our first two events, featuring films from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. 

Is Russia Becoming Central Asia's Near Abroad?: Distinguished Speaker Lecture with S. Frederick Starr

Russia's relationship to Central Asia has always been distinctive and ambiguous, in contrast to its attitude toward both Ukraine and the Caucasus. Only in the twentieth century did it develop a deep sense of mission there, and then only at the hands of a small number of ideologues.  

Fifth Al-Moumin Award Presented to Geoffrey Dabelko and Ken Conca

The Fifth Al-Moumin Award on Environmental Peacebuilding, presented by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and the United Nations Environment Programme, was recently awarded to Geoffrey Dabelko and Ken Conca for their contributions to the field of environmental peacebuilding, with special recognition of their book, Environmental Peacemaking.

The 1957-58 Xinjiang Committee Plenum and the Attack on “Local Nationalism”

Soviet archives reveal a turning point in the Chinese Communist Party’s relationship with Uyghur and Kazakh elites in Xinjiang

Beginning in early 1957, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) embarked on a campaign to “rectify its style of work” (zhengdun zuofeng 整顿作风, or simply zhengfeng 整风), reviving methods of self-criticism and purge that had been pioneered in Yan’an in the 1940s.