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The Central Asianist Podcast

Top experts and journalists from around the world discuss the politics, economy, and culture of Central Asia. Hosted by Nate Schenkkan.
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Now displaying: September, 2015
Sep 30, 2015

For this episode, I took a break from the news cycle to talk with Dennis Keen of the website Walking Almaty. Dennis has carved out a fascinating niche by paying attention to and taking pleasure in all sorts of small details that most of us walk right by in Almaty and around Kazakhstan. He has walked all over the city, to all sorts of places many of us never visit, and found hidden treasures everywhere.

We talked about urban design and architecture in Central Asia, the potential blossoming of new urbanism in Almaty, and whether Astana can be saved. This was a really enjoyable conversation and a fun change of pace from the usual doom and gloom of Central Asia.

Follow Walking Almaty on Twitter and Instagram @walkingalmaty.

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Sep 24, 2015

For this episode, I talked with Hélène Thibault, post-doctoral researcher at the Center for International Studies at the University of Montreal, about the crackdown on the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), which the government banned in late August. In my opinion, the ban on the IRPT marks the complete consolidation of a one-party state in Tajikistan.

Hélène gave a thorough background on the evolution of the IRPT as well as her firsthand knowledge of the party in its current state, and we talked a little about what this means for what comes next in Tajikistan.

Resources:

Hélène Thibault, The Islamic Renaissance Party's Downfall and Its Consequences for Tajikistan's Stability, Registan.net

--, "The Soviet Secularization Project in Central Asia: Accommodation and Institutional Legacies," Eurostudia, V.10, n1, 2015, p. 11-31

Sep 8, 2015

For this episode I spoke with Erica Marat about the parliamentary elections coming up October 4 in Kyrgyzstan. The elections are the first since 2010, and feature a bewildering jumble of familiar faces from Kyrgyzstan's poltiical scene. All the major players have formed (sometimes contradictory) new alliances in in their efforts to overcome the increasingly dominant Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK) that President Almazbek Atambaev no longer leads but still clearly favors. The SDPK, meanwhile, is seeking to strengthen its position in parliament, perhaps with the use of administrative resources and a controversial law on the use of biometric information to register voters. All this and more on the podcast. 

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