Events

Events

  • 18
    Jan

    Public Lecture Rethinking the Interaction between Cryptocurrencies and Citizen Empowerment in Central Asia

    Cryptocurrencies have tremendous potential in Central Asian states, given the increasing access to internet services and personal smartphones, with an extensive use of digital payments and digitalisation in general. However, there are major regional differences between high-income and middle-income States, rural and urbanised areas, legislations, access to digital banking, and regulatory capacity of governments due to several parameters, leading to growing discrepancies undermining the adoption of such payment methods in the region. This presentation provides an accessible reflection on what the future of crypto-currencies (centralised and decentralised) in Central Asia could be, and argues that one of the priorities of democratic institutions in general should be to allow citizens to hold and use them.
  • 01
    Feb

    Public Lecture: EU and Central Asia Relations

    The European Union’s policies towards Central Asia involve different policy areas like development cooperation, energy, security, environmental issues, human rights and the rule of law, cultural exchange and many others. Although the EU strategy on Central Asia, adopted in June 2019, as well as several (enhanced) Partnership and Cooperation Agreements with individual Central Asian countries have identified common interests and overall goals, the day-to-day business of managing the relations between the European Union and Central Asia remains a polyphonic choir. This policy brief aims at a comprehensive description of the goals and instruments of the EU within this framework. It identifies key challenges in the relationship between the EU and the Central Asian states and - based on this - recommendations for policy-makers and other stakeholders related to European Central Asia policy will be presented.
  • 15
    Feb

    Public Lecture Understanding the International Order of the Post-Soviet Region

    The policy brief is dedicated to the theorization of current international relations in the post- Soviet area. The author comes to the conclusion that international order in the region can be characterized as a “Non-hegemonic cooperation” model, developed by the American political scientist Robert Keohane. The model refers to a system which does not need to be maintained by any hegemon. Instead of being controlled by only one actor, it is regulated by a framework of institutions and cooperation regimes. This model is the best characterization of the region, as currently there is no hegemon in the area able to control its international order. Instead of this, there are ve important regime-making actors in the region that create the rules of cooperation. The author concludes that the situation of the “Non- hegemonic cooperation” is convenient to all former Soviet states because it is in line with their foreign policy priorities, and further maintenance of this system is beneficial for all members.
  • 04
    Mar

    Public Lecture "China-Iran Strategic Cooperation: Context and Central Asian Vectors"

    In March, China and Iran signed a 25-year Strategic Cooperation Agreement in Tehran. The agreement reportedly provides for up to $400 billion of direct investment, reflecting earlier commitments made during Xi’s landmark visit in 2016. This year’s ceremony, attended by Foreign Minister Wang, coincided with the half centenary of the establishment of bilateral relations, and some commentators have hailed the agreement as marking a major strategic realignment. The reality is more complex, but the trajectory of Sino-Iranian relations is a pivotal one, particularly for Central Asia, the region separating two states that routinely eulogize each other in ‘civilizational’ terms. Tangible markers for a Sino-Iranian ‘axis’ in the region are noticeably absent however and the shared ‘New Silk Road’ vision has been stifled by sanctions, poor connectivity and regional wariness towards Tehran’s revolutionary agenda. This policy brief reviews the China-Iran strategic relationship and identifies four key vectors for its future development in the region.
  • 15
    Mar

    Public Lecture Central Asian Water Cooperation after COVID-19: Could the Pandemic Challenge the Achievements of the Recent ‘Water Thaw’?

    The lecture discusses the impact of COVID-19 on the recent positive turn in the dynamics of regional water cooperation (the so-called ‘water thaw’) in Central Asia, starting from the hypothesis that the pandemic influences the emerging cooperation of the ‘water thaw’ in a negative way. In order to explore this hypothesis, the analysis is divided into three parts. First, it examines the effects of the pandemic on the economic, social, and political variables influencing water-related issues. The analysis of these intervening variables shows how the adverse impact of the pandemic on different areas has the potential to influence regional water cooperation negatively. In the second part, the lecture focuses on recent events and developments related to regional cooperation. Regional cooperation makes another important intervening variable to test the connection between the impact of the pandemic and regional water cooperation because the likelihood of the development of water cooperation is higher when regional cooperation functions well in general. The third part examines the functioning of regional cooperation in two extremely sensitive cases of interstate water-related tensions during the pandemic, namely the Sardoba dam catastrophe in 2020 and the Kyrgyz-Tajik conflict in 2021.
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