Kazakhstan

The Threat to Energy Infrastructure in the Central Eurasia from Terrorist Groups Affiliated to ISIL

In 2015, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) announced the establishment of its Khorasan Province, said to encompass “Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other nearby lands.” Soon after, ISIL proclaimed its Caucasus Province. However, the war in Syria and Iraq is going badly for ISIL. Losing ground in its heartland, ISIL fighters will have […]

SPECIAL REPORT, CENTRAL ASIAN SECURITY CHALLENGES: 2012 AND BEYOND

Afghanistan plays a pivotal role in Central Asia’s regional instability due to its weak central government, poor economy, and ethnically diverse population. Although Afghanistan contains important natural resources, the country still faces a number of problems, each of which has the potential to destroy the Afghan government after the pull-out of international military forces. Central […]

ПУСТЫЕ ДУШИ – ЗИЯНИЕ, КОТОРОЕ ДОЛЖНО БЫТЬ ЗАПОЛНЕНО

Современный джихадист часто живет на Западе, возможно вторым поколением эмигрантов или как обращенный, или в другой светской общине где-нибудь в постсоветской Средней Азии. Чаще всего он не знаком с арабским и не является мусульманином. Для него религия и идеология – скорее оправдание задним числом легитимности агрессивных действий и эффект джихадизма, а не его причина. Для […]

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Eurasian Geopolitics

First study to properly treat a key regional grouping in Asia. Explores both security and energy issues across the region. Considers geopolitical obstacles to the SCO’s long-term viability. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has developed into a key regional security group in Asia, its member states representing no less than “half of humanity”. Alarmists believe […]

Kazakhstan’s Energy Sector and the Political Legacy of Nursultan Nazarbayev

The two-decade-long reign of President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan has witnessed remarkable achievements. Where there at first was no real country, only a vast expanse inhabited by a majority of Slavic settlers, a minority of native Kazakhs (no more than 20% according to the 1959 census) and a large population of disparate nationalities exiled there […]

THE LEGACY OF NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV: WILL THE 2010 OSCE CHAIRMANSHIP MAKE KAZAKHSTANI PRESIDENT NAZARBAYEV GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS REFORMER OR DESPOT?

The twenty-year reign of President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan has seen his country develop through independence and transition into a haven of social and political stability. At the same time, Nazarbayev has presided over constitutional and political changes that have emasculated most of the political opposition and brought in restrictive media legislation. With Kazakhstan currently holding […]

THE WORLD OF CENTRAL ASIAN OIL AND GAS: POWER POLITICS, MARKET FORCES, AND STEALTH PIPELINES

1. Central Asia is beginning to see a genuine move away from barter deals towards commercial deals in accordance with market forces. 2. Contrary to much perceived wisdom, in Central Asia it is Gazprom, Russia’s natural gas export monopoly, that is leading the way in the movement towards market forces. 3. Central Asian natural gas […]

ISLAM AND MODERNITY IN CONTEMPORARY CENTRAL ASIA – RELIGIOUS FAITH VERSUS WAY OF LIFE: A STORY OF FOUR RADICAL DISRUPTIONS

What Makes Central Asian Islam Central Asian? In March 2005, an Afghan deputy minister of the interior (who out of mercy will remain unnamed) was touring Europe. At one stop, he suddenly found himself faced with a question that obviously took him by surprise. How long, an innocent but assuredly well-meaning European asked, had Afghanistan […]

ISLAMIC EXTREMISM AS A POLITICAL FORCE: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF CENTRAL ASIAN ISLAMIC EXTREMIST MOVEMENTS

Islam in Central Asia does not constitute a uniform religious, social, or political force. While all titular Central Asian ethnic groups, i.e., the nations that states were named after, eventually embraced Islam, the religion did not penetrate the traditional cultures and social systems of these groups to an equal extent. While the sedentary groups generally […]

ISLAMIC EXTREMISM AS A POLITICAL FORCE IN CENTRAL ASIA

Islam in Central Asia does not constitute a uniform religious, social, or political force. While all titular Central Asian ethnic groups, i.e., the nations that states were named after, eventually embraced Islam, the religion did not penetrate the traditional cultures and social systems of these groups to an equally encompassing extent. While sedentary groups generally […]

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