Published in Forums & Events

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


"Central Asia-Caucasus Institute"

The American University of Afghanistan: The United States' Premier Legacy on Afghan Soil?

What will be the long-term legacy of America’s presence in Afghanistan? Among the most promising candidates is the American University of Afghanistan. Founded in 2006, it already draws students from every province in Afghanistan and is training students (30% of whom are women) for careers in business, government, and civic life. But it is still at the dawn of its life and many uncertainties concerning its future have yet to be resolved. This is a chance to learn about this bold initiative and the potential it holds.   

Published in Forums & Events

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

CACI Forum

"The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute"

The WTO and the Central Asian States

Long on the outer margins of Central Asians' policy interests, the World Trade Organization has recently become a lively topic there. Kyrgyzstan joined in December, 1998, while Tajikistan's membership will be finalized in just a few weeks, in early March. Meanwhile, Kazakhstan is deep into the accession process and both Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are in contact with WTO regarding their desire to move forward on the steps needed for joining. This Forum reviews the fate of WTO in Central Asia and considers the meaning of present trends for the region's future commercial activities and orientation.The Forum is preceded by a reception and refreshments at 5 p.m.  The program will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. and will conclude at 7:00 p.m.

Published in Forums & Events

Wednesday, December 12

SILK ROAD FORUM with Matthew Bryza

The EU's Southern Energy Corridor: Is It Happening?

Achieving the diversification of energy supply is a main goal of European energy policy. Work to bring greater amounts of oil, and particularly natural gas, from the Caspian region and the Middle East to Europe has been years in the making, with both accomplishments and disappointments. This year, the agreement on a Trans-Anatolian pipeline was a major step in bringing the vision of a Southern Corridor closer to reality. We need to ask however, what are the real prospects of bringing Caspian, and especially Turkmen gas to Europe? Is the necessary political leadership present to overcome the many challenges that remain?

Published in Forums & Events

Wednesday, December 11, 2012

CACI Forum

The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute

“Finish the Job: Jump-start Afghanistan’s Economy. A Handbook of Projects”

This Forum will present the conclusions of a team of Afghan and international experts on urgent, immediate steps to save Afghanistan's economy from the looming "post-NATO cliff" and to develop it thereafter in such a way as to foster security and political settlement. The findings are presented in a newly released Silk Road Paper by the two principal authors, S. Frederick Starr and Adib Farhadi. Entitled Finish the Job: Jump-start Afghanistan’s Economy. A Handbook of Projects, this paper differs from most recent studies in that it sidesteps the mass of competing projects that are underway and, instead, identifies those highest-priority initiatives that will lead most directly to actual change. It argues, further, that neither political peace nor internal security can be achieved without economic progress. Copies of the paper will be available at the event.





  • Read CACI Chairman S. Frederick Starr's recent interview on the resurgence of Imperial Russia with The American Purpose
    Tuesday, 23 May 2023 00:00

    Why Russians Support the War: Jeffrey Gedmin interviews S. Frederick Starr on the resurgence of Imperial Russia.

    The American Purpose, May 23, 2023

    Jeffrey Gedmin: Do we have a Putin problem or a Russia problem today?

    S. Frederick Starr: We have a Putin problem because we have a Russia problem. Bluntly, the mass of Russians are passive and easily manipulated—down to the moment they aren’t. Two decades ago they made a deal with Vladimir Putin, as they have done with many of his predecessors: You give us a basic income, prospects for a better future, and a country we can take pride in, and we will give you a free hand. This is the same formula for autocracy that prevailed in Soviet times, and, before that, under the czars. The difference is that this time Russia’s leader—Putin—and his entourage have adopted a bizarre and dangerous ideology, “Eurasianism,” that empowers them to expand Russian power at will over the entire former territory of the USSR and even beyond. It is a grand and awful vision that puffs up ruler and ruled alike.

    What do most Russians think of this deal? It leaves them bereft of the normal rights of citizenship but free from its day-to-day responsibilities. So instead of debating, voting, and demonstrating, Russians store up their frustrations and then release them in elemental, often destructive, and usually futile acts of rebellion. This “Russia problem” leaves the prospect of change in Russia today in the hands of alienated members of Putin’s immediate entourage, many of whom share his vision of Russia’s destiny and are anyway subject to Putin’s ample levers for control. Thus, our “Putin problem” arises from our “Russia problem.”

    Click to continue reading...

  • CACI director Svante Cornell's interviewed on the 'John Batchelor Show' podcast regarding Turkey's 2023 presidential election
    Friday, 19 May 2023 00:00

    Listen to CACI director Svante Cornell's recent interview on the 'John Batchelor Show' podcast regarding Turkey's 2023 presidential election. Click here!

  • New Article Series on Changing Geopolitics of Central Asia and the Caucasus
    Wednesday, 24 November 2021 11:53


  • CACI Initiative on Religion and the Secular State in Central Asia and the Caucasus
    Sunday, 24 January 2021 13:53

    In 2016, the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program launched an initiative on documenting the interrelationship of religion and the secular state in the region. This initiative departed from the fact that little systematic reserch had been undertaken on the subject thus far. While there was and remains much commentary and criticism of religious policy in the region, there was no comprehensive analysis available on the interrelationship of religion and the state in any regional state, let alone the region as a whole. The result of this initiative has been the publication of six Silk Road Papers studying the matter in regional states, with more to come. In addition, work is ongoing on a volume putting the regional situation in the context of the Muslim world as a whole.


    Case Studies

    Each study below can be freely downloaded in PDF format.


    Azerbaijan's Formula: Secular Governance and Civil Nationhood
    By Svante E. Cornell, Halil Karaveli, and Boris Ajeganov
    November 2016   

    2018-04-Kazakhstan-SecularismReligion and the Secular State in Kazakhstan
    By Svante E. Cornell, S. Frederick Starr and Julian Tucker
    April 2018




    1806-UZ-coverReligion and the Secular State in Uzbekistan
    Svante E. Cornell and Jacob Zenn
    June 2018




    2006-Engvall-coverReligion and the Secular State in Kyrgyzstan
    Johan Engvall
    June 2020

     Event video online


    2006-Clement-coverReligion and the Secular State in Turkmenistan
    Victoria Clement
    June 2020

    Event video online




    Articles and Analyses

    Svante E. Cornell, "Religion and the State in Central Asia," in Ilan Berman, ed., Wars of Ideas: Theology, Interpretation and Power in the Muslim World, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2021.

    Svante E. Cornell, "Central Asia: Where Did Islamic Radicalization Go?" in Religion, Conflict and Stability in the Former Soviet Union, eds. Katya Migacheva and Bryan Frederick, Arlington, VA: RAND Corporation, 2018.