The Kazakh Famine and its legacies: a conversation with leading Historians

The University of Exeter Central Asian Network (EXCAS) and the Oxford Society for the Caspian and Central Asia (TOSCCA) are pleased to be organising a webinar and discussion forum on the 1930-32 Kazakh Famine, in which the following participants will be discussing their research and publications: Prof. Zhulduzbek Abylkhozhin, Kazakh-British Technical University and Institute of […]

China’s Overseas Investments and the Coronavirus Crisis: Towards Benevolence or Profit?

This post originally appeared at The last week of March was a big day for economic news. While the IMF declared that the world economy was in a COVID-19 induced recession and Fitch credit rating agency downgraded the UK’s credit rating from AA to AA-, observers noted signs that the Chinese economy was beginning […]

Russian organised crime and money laundering – tackling ‘Vory’ and Moneyland

PROJECT LAUNCH With Oliver Bullough and Mark Galeotti 5.30-7.00pm, Wednesday 27 February, 2019 Location: Amory 128 Russian and Eurasian organised crime has a rich history entwined with business and the state.  However, in the last 20 years the ‘vory’ appear to have gone global in their links to the country’s transnational business networks.  The links […]

The China – US Trade War and the Future of the Liberal Economic Order

The topic on every internationally minded Chinese person’s lips when in conversation with a Westerner appears to be the US-China trade war. The following text summarises my informal discussions over lunch and during walks, with friends and colleagues in Shanghai, on the reasons behind, and potential consequences of, growing economic tensions between the world’s two […]

Uzbekistan Makes Up With Tajikistan Over Electricity

By Paolo Sorbello

For over two decades, the Uzbek-Tajik relationship has been marred by tension, but a recent bilateral visit may mark a true thaw. (Photo © The Diplomat) Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev visited Tajikistan on March 9-10 for the first time in his inaugural term in office. During the visit, he opened up the possibility of dropping […]

Has Uzbekistan’s repressive government helped radicalise its emigrants and exiles?

  The Halloween terrorist attack in New York by Sayfullo Saipov has ignited a debate in social media between scholars of Central Asia on why there are an apparently increasing number of such attacks by Uzbeks. The New York atrocity follows similar events in Istanbul, St Petersburg and Stockholm. Four very prominent attacks within ten months give an impression and suggests a […]

Debating Turkmenistan’s ‘Economic Crisis’

A Response to Ronald Watson

A Response to Ronald Watson At the end of 2016, we published a series of three articles on Turkmenistan’s economic crisis published by an analyst writing under the pseudonym Ronald Watson. Here, Isaac Scarborough, a PhD candidate in the Department of International History at the LSE, responds by arguing that the crisis may be less […]

Dictators Without Borders – A new book by Alexander Cooley & John Heathershaw

Dictators Without Borders: Power and Money in Central Asia (Yale University Press, 2017) A new book by Alexander Cooley & John Heathershaw “A lucid, iconoclastic primer on the region that demolishes the artificial distinction between domestic and international politics in Central Asia once and for all.”—Publishers Weekly Following independence from the Soviet Union, Central Asia’s […]

Kemel Toktomushev, Kyrgyzstan: Regime Security and Foreign Policy (Routledge, 2017)

Congratulations to Kemel Toktomushev on his recently published book, Kyrgyzstan: Regime Security and Foreign Policy (Routledge, 2017), based on his PhD dissertation completed at the University of Exeter in 2014. Kemel’s book presents a comprehensive study of Kyrgyz foreign policy from the early 1990s to 2011. It addresses the question of how and to what […]

Inside Turkmenistan’s Economic Crisis – Part 3

Part 3: Berdymukhammedov on the brink Turkmenistan’s economic crisis is a product of a personalised and authoritarian regime.  To return from the brink the government must do what it has never done before and begin to permit dissent. Turkmenistan’s dependence on energy exports means that economic recovery must rely on the leadership’s steps towards mending […]

Inside Turkmenistan’s Economic Crisis – Part 2

Part 2: Gas, dependency, and debt Turkmenistan’s shift from Russia to China as its leading customer has not reduced dependency and has increased its debt. Apart from finding new markets for its resources, Turkmenistan’s energy sector is hampered by bad supplier relations with its existing partners. Without new markets and with its debt to China, […]

Inside Turkmenistan’s Economic Crisis – Part 1

Part 1: Running Out of Cash Let us start with the vital element in the economy — the currency. According to the unofficial reports from the capital, the black market USD/Manat rate skyrocketed to over seven in October and up to eight in November, while the official quote is under 3.50 at the state foreign […]