Program on Central Asia

Scholar Entrepreneur Initiative

The Program on Central Asia promotes research and teaching at Harvard on the history and current affairs of five Central Asian countries—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

We support the study of the Central Asian region using tools and insights from various fields of social sciences and humanities. Our activities include research projects, seminar series, curriculum development and course offerings, creation of digital resources for the study of the region, facilitation of research by students and visiting scholars, and cultural events. 

While the program aims at generating and disseminating knowledge and resources on Central Asia spanning different periods of its history, our main focus is on the independence period and current developments. We approach Central Asia as a region that opened up as a result of the dissolution of the USSR. The states, economies, and people of Central Asia are now an integral part of the globalized world, and developments in the region cannot be properly understood without tracing and analyzing different forms of connectivity, influence, and interdependence.

Events and Publications Series

Related Insights

U.S. policy makers have traditionally treated Central Asia as peripheral to American policy priorities—and that stance is unlikely to change in the near future.

The mass monitoring of citizens is no longer just science fiction. It’s a reality in our own country today.

We used to like to say that Bishkek was not the end of the world—but you could see it from there.

Related Events

Past Event

This panel will discuss the current state of affairs and the prospect of a coordinated Nordic-Baltic policy with regard to the BRI.

Past Event

Experiencing a downturn in its relations with the West, Iran is actively “looking to the East” to pursue stronger political and economic cooperation with China.

Past Event

By recalculating monetary flows to and from Tajikistan, it is possible to re-evaluate the implications for the Soviet Union’s development practices in Central Asia.