Central Asian Affairs is a peer-reviewed quarterly journal. It aims to feature innovative research on contemporary developments in the wider Central Asian region. Its coverage includes Central Asia, Afghanistan, the Caucasus, Xinjiang, Kashmir, neighboring powers (China, Iran, Pakistan, India, Russia, Turkey), and the role of leading international powers and donors in this region. Central Asian Affairs informs scholarly discourse and policy discussions on the region by engaging experts from across the policy and academic arenas, drawing on a diverse array of disciplines including political science, sociology, anthropology, economics, development studies, and security studies.
Latest Available Issue: Volume 7 | Issue 1 | 2020
The Bureaucratization of Islam in Azerbaijan: State as the Principal Regulator and Interpreter of Religion
Middle East Studies Department, University of Michigan
This article examines the politics of bureaucratization of Islam that the Azerbaijani government initially implemented in the mid-2000s and which has intensified after 2011. First, the state superimposed its bureaucratic categories on the Muslim communities of the country. Then, it proceeded to transform local religious figures into state employees. Yet, at the same time, the government insists that it does not interfere into theological issues and that all of its bureaucratic initiatives are aimed at ensuring freedom of belief and protecting the public order. However, with time, the process of bureaucratization has shifted from regulation to a direct administrative and ideological intervention into the religious space aimed at creating a state-imagined “orthodoxy” designated as traditional Islam. This article draws on previously untapped primary sources to discuss the different ideological and political aspects of this bureaucratically initiated tradition and its pervasive and transformative influence on the local religious landscape.
Understanding Factors behind Regional Inequality in Education in Kazakhstan
King’s College, London
There are significant regional disparities in students’ outcomes in Kazakhstan. Whilst there has been progress in the overall quality of secondary education, large-scale assessments demonstrate a gap in knowledge of several years between certain Southern and Western regions when compared to the top-performing city of Almaty.
The author analyzed country data from TIMSS 2015 using the Learning-adjusted years of schooling (LAYS) measure developed by the World Bank along with an expert survey to understand the factors behind this disparity across the country. The author’s analysis suggests that this situation can be caused by the lack of specific regional education development policies, the language of instruction in school, and the poor socioeconomic development of the region in the first place. There are also indications that students in the disadvantaged regions might be less motivated, which can affect their academic achievement. The author proposes a two-stage policy intervention to improve the chances for good childhood education across regions.
Secondary Schools and Inequality: Navigating the Fragmented Landscape of Educational Choices in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
OSCE Academy, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
This research aims to describe how parents navigate secondary education choices in Bishkek in the context of diverse school choice options. The paper uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, which include interviews and a complementary survey with parents. The paper provides an overview of the state of school options in Bishkek, explores parental motivations in choosing schools, and engages in a wider debate about educational inequality. By examining parental school choices and motivations, the research reveals that inequality in secondary education in Bishkek is multilayered and depends on how families can utilize their resources: parents with larger resources in the form of financial, social, and cultural capital are most advantaged, while the majority of under-resourced families are left with little choice and schools of poor quality. This state of affairs has strong implications for the growing socio-economic inequality and creates additional cleavages between social groups.
Volume 7 (2020)
Volume 6 (2019)
Volume 5 (2018)
Volume 4 (2017)
Volume 3 (2016)
Volume 2 (2015)
Volume 1 (2014)
Morgan Y. Liu, Under Solomon’s Throne: Uzbek Visions of Re-newal in Osh
Editorial Committee at GW
Editor-in-Chief: Marlene Laruelle
Managing Editor: Sebastien Peyrouse
Associate Editors: Henry Hale, Sean Roberts, Peter Rollberg
Alexander Cooley, Tow Professor, Barnard College, Columbia University, USA
Andrei Kazantsev, Director of the Analytical Center, MGIMO, Moscow, Russia
Antonio Giustozzi, London School of Economics, United Kingdom
Diana Kudaiderbegova, Cambridge University, UK
Emil Nasritdinov, American University in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan
Eric McGlinchey, Associate Professor, George Mason University, USA
Gardner Bovingdon, Assistant Professor, Indiana University Bloomington, USA
Nargis Kassenova, Senior Fellow at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies of Harvard University
Nazif Shahrani, Professor, Indiana University Bloomington, USA
Pauline Jones Luong, Professor, Michigan University, USA
Sally Cummings, Professor, Saint Andrew University, United Kingdom
Sergey Abashin, European University of St Petersburg, Russia
Tomohiko Uyama, Director, Slavic Research Center, Sapporo University, Japan