Minority Issues in Central Asia

Since its establishment in 1996 the European Centre for Minority Issues is very active in the post-Soviet space. After successful projects in such countries as Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine (some of those projects are still ongoing), in 2018 the ECMI’s team intends to additionally turn its attention towards Central Asian countries, that is Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Apart from strengthening our already existing in-house research and analytical capacities with regard to that region, in 2018 the ECMI plans to establish a global network of renowned experts in the field of Central Asian studies in order to simultaneously broaden and deepen our research and action possibilities in that region. It is important to add that a substantial part of that network will be constituted by local partners. In terms of research, the ECMI’s team is willing to focus primarily upon such topics of regional relevance as: (1) border regions, (2) national, ethnic and linguistic minorities, (3) nation building and identity formation, (5) language policies and language rights, (5) the patterns of political mobilization of ethnic communities. In spite of its manifold particularities, Central Asian countries share numerous common features (the most obvious ones are post-Soviet and post-colonial legacies). As a consequence, the ECMI’s methodological approach to the region will be a comparative one, aiming at identifying common threads as well as divergences.

In 2018, the research will commence with a comparison between the patters of the Russian and Soviet colonization policies and those employed by the Western states focusing on the respective impact on ethnic identity formation. The multi-layered comparative analysis will cover Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan and will address intertwined subjects as: (1) the dynamics of ethno-national identity formation in the region; (2) the patterns of political mobilization of ethnic communities in the region; (3) the access to natural resources and ethnic tensions in the region.

Contact: Dr. Sergiusz Bober and Aziz Berdiqulov

ECMI founders:

The German Federal GovernmentThe German
Federal Government
The Danish GovernmentThe Danish
The Federal State Schleswig-HolsteinThe Federal State