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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: March, 2017
Mar 23, 2017

In this episode, I spoke with Dr. John Heathershaw, Associate Professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Exeter about his new book with Alexander A. Cooley, Dictators without Borders: Power and Money in Central Asia, published this month by Yale University Press.

The book challenges the typical situating of post-Communist Central Asia as an isolated hinterland by illustrating the ways in which Central Asian authoritarian regimes use their “connectivity” with global financial and law enforcement mechanisms to stash national assets offshore and punish their opponents abroad. It builds its sophisticated critique of conventional wisdom on detailed and up to date case studies from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan, drawing on the research compiled in the Central Asia Political Exiles database compiled by Exeter Central Asian Studies Network.

Key references:

J.C. Sharman, The Despot’s Guide to Wealth Management: On the International Campaign against Grand Corruption

Stephen Kotkin, Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment

Margaret E. Keck and Kathryn Sikkink, Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics

Special thanks to Eurasianet for its support that has made bringing back the podcast possible.

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Mar 2, 2017

In this episode, I spoke with independent journalists Franco Galdini and Zukhra Iakupbaeva about “The Strange Case of Jaysh al-Mahdi and Mr. ISIS: How Kyrgyzstan’s Elites Manipulate the Threat of Terrorism for Their Own Benefit.” In this paper published by the Central Asia Program at George Washington University, Galdini and Iakupbaeva dissect in great detail a series of unusual alleged terrorist attacks in Kyrgyzstan from 2010 to 2016 that were blamed on the Islamic State and a supposed terrorist group called the Jaysh al-Mahdi.

Their paper situates these supposed terrorist attacks within a larger framework of the history of the management of Islam in Central Asia, state and elite insecurity in Kyrgyzstan, and American and Russian discourses about the war on terror.

Franco Galdini & Zukhra Iakupbaeva, The Strange Case of Jaysh al-Mahdi and Mr. ISIS: How Kyrgyzstan's Elites Manipulate the Threat of Terrorism, CAP Papers 179, October 2016

Sarah Kendzior, Inventing Akromiya: The Role of Uzbek Propagandists in the Andijon Massacre, Demokratizatsiya, September 2006

 

Special thanks to Eurasianet for its support that has made bringing back the podcast possible.

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