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.

Our Projects

Related Insights

A mix of gifts and interpersonal elite ties marks China’s approach to Central Asia, contrasting starkly with a Western approach focused on political norms and principles, writes Nargis Kassenova.

In a new policy memo, Davis Center senior fellow Nargis Kassenova argues that Central Asia should follow the EU’s example in fostering regional cooperation and integration, particularly around the water-energy-climate change nexus.

At the Davis Center’s inaugural Graduate Student Conference on Central Asia, emerging scholars shared their research about the region’s history, culture, and socio-political transformations.

Related Events

Upcoming Event

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and U.S. ambassador to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan George Krol will discuss the development of relations between the United States and the Central Asian republics from the inception of diplomatic relations in 1992 to the present time.

Upcoming Event

Central Asia can become a major global supplier of selected critical materials for clean energy technologies. The seminar will discuss the economic and geopolitical aspects of this development.

Past Event

The panel will discuss the benefits and implications of China's growing clean engagement in Central Asia.