Current Associate Research Fellows

Dr. Paradorn Rangsimaporn

Research Topic: Exploring relations and cooperation between Central Asia and ASEAN

Dr. Paradorn Rangsimaporn is a Thai diplomat and independent researcher. He is currently Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission at the Royal Thai Embassy in Nur-Sultan, Republic of Kazakhstan, which also covers Thailand’s relations with the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Tajikistan. He was previously posted in Vienna, Austria, and was Head of Section for Russia, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand. He holds a BA (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, an MPhil in Russian and East European Studies and a DPhil in International Relations, all from the University of Oxford. 

His research interests are in Russian foreign policy, especially towards Asia, Russian-ASEAN relations, Kazakhstan’s foreign policy, and the international politics of Central Asia and the Caucasus. He has published articles in academic journals such as Asian Survey and Europe-Asia Studies as well as a book on Russian foreign policy towards East Asia. His current research at the OSCE Academy is on exploring Central Asia-ASEAN relations and cooperation by examining how Central Asian countries view ASEAN and its potential role as a counterweight to China, the key drivers in their relationship, including greater linkages through China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and the viability of ASEAN being one model for future Central Asian regionalism.

Ana-Maria Anghelescu

Research Topic: Exploring the Relation between European Union and Central Asia in the Context of Increased Regional Interdependencies

Ana-Maria Anghelescu holds a BA in International Relations and European Studies, a MA in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and is currently a PhD candidate in Political Science at the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration in Bucharest, Romania. Ana-Maria also works in the International Relations Department of the Ministry of National Education of Romania, while being a teaching assistant for international relations courses at her university.

Her thesis explores possible areas of cooperation between Romania and Central Asia, in the context of the European Union’s strategy for the region. During her stay at the OSCE Academy, Ana-Maria Anghelescu conducts research regarding the local perceptions of the European Union in general and Romania in particular, while better understanding the place of Central Asia in the regional security complex.


Yazid Suleimani                                    

Research Topic: Policy Framework for the Implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative in Central Asia

Yazid is an Associate Research Fellow at the OSCE Academy. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering with Honors and is currently a postgraduate student in Economics at Istanbul Commerce University. He is an avid researcher, teacher and business executive. His research interests include Policy, Macroeconomics, Monetary Economics, Banking, Finance and International Economics. His business interests include Private Equity and Investment Banking.

Yazid is working on ‘Policy Framework For The Implementation of The Belt and Road Initiative in Central Asia’ at the OSCE Academy. The research aims to study and delineate optimal policy framework for the successful implementation of the Belts and Roads Initiative across Central Asia. The in depth project will include studies into Entrepreneurship, Firm and Industrial Organization, Banking and Finance, and Macroeconomic aspects of the Belts and Roads  Initiative in order to produce an optimal policy framework that will ensure the initiative’s success in                                                Central Asia and  beyond.

Dr. Sebastian Mayer

Research Topic: Regime Complexity in Central Asian Security

Dr. Sebastian Mayer is currently DAAD Associate Professor of International Relations at the Kazakh-German University in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Associated Researcher, Institute for International and Intercultural Studies, University of Bremen, Germany. He serves as the Founding Director of the GKU’s Centre for Research & Graduate Education. Dr. Mayer obtained his PhD at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder, Germany. He has been working as Assistant Professor at the Free University of Berlin and the University of Bremen, including with the collaborative research centre “Transformations of the State”.

Dr. Mayer’s research activities include problems of collective action, IO policy cohesion and transatlantic relations in the security realm. He is particularly interested in institutional change in, and regime complexity among, international security organizations such as NATO, the EU’s CFSP and the OSCE. His regional expertise covers Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus.

Shairbek Juraev

Research Topic: Politics of Foreign Policy Change in Georgia and Kyrgyzstan

Shairbek Juraev is currently a PhD candidate in the School of International Relations at the University of St Andrews. He previously served as Deputy Director at OSCE Academy in Bishkek and as a Dean of Academic Development at American University of Central Asia. Shairbek taught courses in Central Asian politics, Foreign Policy Analysis and International Relations at various times at American University of Central Asia, OSCE Academy in Bishkek and European University at St Petersburg. His research interests include a wide range of political and policy issues in Central Asia, with particular focus on foreign policy, political institutions and regime dynamics in the region. Shairbek holds MSc in International Relations from London School of Economics (2005).

Dr. Ana B. Perianes

Research Topic: Women, Peace and Security in Western and Central Asia: Overview of the current situation and implications for women and societies

Dr. Ana B. Perianes Bermúdez from Spain received her PhD in Peace and International Security at the General Gutiérrez Mellado University Institute on Peace, Security and Defence. She also holds a University Specialized Degree in Mediterranean, Near and Middle Eastern Security from the same University.

Dr. Perianes has an extensive experience in Women, Peace and Security and Sustainable Development Goals affairs. She currently coordinates Women in International Security-Spain and she has an extensive list of publications in specialized reviews.
Her main current research interests are in the area of Women, Peace and Security; The Sustainable Development Goals; Human Security; Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Security; Sahel; EU Affairs; European Security and Defence and US Foreign Affairs.

Karoliina Rajala

Research Topic: The Russian military-industrial complex and military cooperation in Central Asia

Karoliina Rajala is an Associate Research Fellow at the OSCE Academy and an independent researcher. She also works as a freelance journalist, writing primarily on the EU, Russia and Central Asia, and heads the webzine of JEF-Finland. Karoliina has obtained a BSc degree in Economics and Business Administration from the Turku School of Economics where she is currently enrolled in a MSc program in the same subject area. As a part of her degree, she is completing specialization studies at the Master’s School in Russian and Eastern European Studies at the Aleksanteri Institute. Previously Karoliina has worked as a research assistant at the Ministry of Defence of Finland and accumulated experience from the European External Action Service, two missions of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland as well as Carnegie Europe. Karoliina’s research interests focus primarily on the Russian military industry as well as environmental cooperation in Russia.


Dr. Chiara Pierobon

Research Topic: EU Prevention of Violent Extremism and Radicalisation in Central Asia: A Case Study on Civil Society Engagement in Kyrgyzstan

Dr. Chiara Pierobon completed a PhD in Sociology at Bielefeld University (Germany) and Trento University (Italy). In the past five years, she worked as post-doctoral researcher at Bielefeld University and project manager at the St. Petersburg / Bielefeld Center for German and European Studies (CGES/ZDES). Between 2013 and 2016, Dr. Pierobon was manager of the collaborative research project "Exploring Patterns of Regional and Interregional Cooperation: Central Asia, its Neighboring Countries and Europe" funded by Volkswagen Foundation. Since 2017, Dr. Pierobon has been senior manager of the research professionalization project “Between Stability and Transformation: Regional and Transnational Cooperation in Central Asia and between Central Asia and Europe?” funded by Volkswagen Foundation. Dr. Pierobon is former Visiting Professor for Macrosociology and European Societies at the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg (Germany) and former Visiting Scholar at University of California/Berkeley (USA), St. Petersburg State University (Russia), German Kazakh-University (Kazakhstan), and American University of Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan). In addition, in the past years, she was inter alia research intern at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) in Nuremberg (Germany) and at the Delegation of the European Union in Astana (Kazakhstan).

Dr. Rigina Syssoyeva

Research Topic: Eurasian Integration: Achievements and Obstacles toward a Regional Security Community

Dr. Rigina Syssoyeva, from Astana (Kazakhstan), received her PhD degree in “International Studies” at the University of the Basque Country (Spain) in 2015, after obtaining her BA and MA degrees in “International Relations” at the L. N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University (Kazakhstan) and studying as an exchange student at the University of Lapland (Finland) and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (South Korea). She currently works at the international department of the National Space Centre in Astana. Her research interests include theories of regional integration, development of the Eurasian Economic Union, international cooperation in the post-Soviet area, internal politics of members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, cooperation in the Arctic region and conflict in Afghanistan. Rigina speaks Russian, English and Spanish languages.

Lidia Chikalova

Research Topic: Information Warfare between the USA and Russia on the Syrian Conflict

Lidiya is a media curator and researcher, holds two MA degrees in Politics and Security from the OSCE Academy in Bishkek and a degree in International Journalism from St. Petersburg State University in Russia. She has previously lived and worked in Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. Lidiya  continues to work as a researcher and a journalist covering political situations in conflict-prone zones. Lidiya has an extensive experience in building PR campaigns, fundraising, and project management for business associations, art institutions, and education centres like Cambridge English Assessment. She is now collaborating with UNESCO on enhancing digital pedagogy and development of digital textbooks in the Central Asian region.



Tamás Kozma

Research Topic: Turkmen Natural Gas in the European Energy Security Discourse: Perceptions, Outlooks, Realities Download Abstract

Tamás Kozma heads the Asian and African Relations Office of the Antall József Knowledge Centre, in Budapest, Hungary. Also he is a doctoral candidate in Geopolitics at the University of Pécs. Obtained his BA and MA degrees in International Relations at the Corvinus University of Budapest. His primary research interest is energy geopolitics in Turkey, South Caucasus, Central Asia, and in the broader Middle East. His doctoral dissertation is focusing on Turkey’s energy policy aspirations, its participation in international energy projects, and its energy-based cooperation with different countries. Tamás Kozma’s articles are published by the Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, by Turkish Policy Quarterly, and also by a number of Hungarian journals and textbooks.

Dr. Asel Doolotkeldieva

Research Topic: Islamic education in Central Asia

Dr. Asel Doolotkeldieva is an Assistant Professor at the American University in Central Asia. She obtained her PhD at the University of Exeter (UK). Her doctoral research was focused on the study of political change from below: protest politics in Kyrgyzstan. Asel holds her Master's degree from Sciences Po Paris (France). Her Master thesis was focused on the study of labor migration of Central Asians in Russia.
Asel has published on the topics of social mobilizations, religiosity and gender, democratization and institution-building, authoritarianism and rent-seeking of natural resources, and migration. Her current interest is focused on Islamic institutionalized and private education in Kyrgyzstan.

 Dr. Aijan Sharshenova

   Research Topic: Arab Aid in Central Asia: A Study of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Development Assistance in Kyrgyzstan Download Abstract

Dr. Aijan Sharshenova is an independent researcher based in Manama, Bahrain. Dr. Sharshenova obtained her PhD in Politics at the University of Leeds, UK. Her doctoral research focused on EU democracy promotion in Central Asia and will soon be published as book. 
Dr. Sharshenova holds Master’s degrees from the University of Leeds (2009), and the Institut für Europäische Politik and the Centre international de Formation européenne (2012). Previously, she has worked at the International Peace Institute, Middle East and North Africa, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain, in democracy and development assistance projects in Kyrgyzstan, and provided research and communications consultancy internationally.
Dr. Sharshenova’s current research interests are in the area of South-South development cooperation. Her research interests also include democracy promotion, autocracy promotion, and development aid. Dr. Sharshenova’s regional expertise covers Central Asia, the European Union and, most recently, the Middle East and North Africa. Recently, Dr. Sharshenova published her book "The European Union’s Democracy Promotion in Central Asia: A Study of Political Interests, Influence, and Development in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in (So

viet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society)" availalbe on Amazon.

Miguel Iglesias Lopez


Research Topic: Geographies of European Security Cooperation in Central Asia Download Abstract

Miguel Iglesias Lopez is an Associate Research Fellow at the OSCE Academy and a PhD student in International Relations and Political Science from the Graduate Institute in Geneva (IHEID), where he obtained an MA in International Relations and Political Science. He has a BA in Political Science from the University of Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium. His doctoral research is centred on European security cooperation on the borders of Central Asia.  



Niva Yau Tsz Yan

Research Topic: The Belt and Road Initiative in Central Asia and South East Asia Download Abstract

Niva Yau Tsz Yan is an Associate Research Fellow at the OSCE Academy and a research Intern at the Belt and Road Strategic Research Centre (BRSRC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She has a BSocSc in Politics (International Politics, Political Theory and Ethics) from the University of Hong Kong. Her current research project compares the Central Asian and South East Asian experience of the Belt and Road Initiative.



Olivier Korthals Altes

Research Topic: The policy-practice gap of European assistance of Security Sector Reform to Central Asia Download Abstract

Olivier Korthals Altes is an Associate Research Fellow at the OSCE Academy, and an Erasmus Mundus exchange student to Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty. He’s enrolled in the MSc program Conflicts, Territories and Identities at his home institution Radboud University Nijmegen, and has a BA degree in History at the University Utrecht. At the OSCE Academy, Olivier conducts research for his master thesis on the policy-practice gap of European assistance of Security Sector Reform to Central Asia.


Research topic: Understanding Normative Implications of Development as Perceived and Experienced by  People in Post- Soviet Kyrgyzstan  Download Abstract

Aykokul is an Associate Research Fellow at the OSCE Academy and a PhD student in Anthropology and Sociology of Development at Geneva Graduate Institute. She has MA in Sociology and Social Anthropology with Specialization in Urban and Global Studies from the The Central European University and BA in Sociology from the American University of Central  Asia and Bard College. Aykokul also has a Pre-Degree Certificate in Tourism Guidance, Diploma of Higher Honor from the Vocational School of Tourism and Hotel Management, Kyrgyzstan-Turkey ''Manas'' University.




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