Democracy and Nationalism in Central Asia Conference

Jan. 30, 2018 news

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The Regional Center for Central Asia of Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem)

Department of International and Comparative Politics

American University of Central Asia


Democracy and Nationalism in Central Asia (Call for Papers)

June 4-5, 2018

Among the recent widespread developments in world political affairs, two important inter-related issues have been the possible decline of democracy and rise of nationalist politics. Whether there is any causal relationship between them – and which way the arrow points – is a question to be discussed in every particular case with careful empirical research, of course, but that they have always stood in a complicated and contradictory relationship in modern times is an obvious point.

The vibrant pace of politics in, and among, the Central Asian states in the recent period presents a convenient setting to discuss both the predicaments of democracy and nationalism, each in its own way, and any relationship between them where relevant. From the constitutional amendment spree in four of the five countries in 2016 and 2017, to the emergence of the new president of Uzbekistan, to presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan with all the pomp and circumstance thereof (including the Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan quarrel), and the increased frequency of odd publicity stunts from Ashkhabad – these are just a few of the events in the region that lend basis for a discussion of politics in the region as it pertains to questions of democracy and nationalism.

The Regional Center for Central Asia of Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem), based at the International and Comparative Politics Department of the American University of Central Asia (Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic), is organizing a conference on ‘Democracy and Nationalism in Central Asia’. Interested scholars are invited to submit proposals for individual papers as well as pre-arranged panels for an academic conference on Democracy and Nationalism in Central Asia, to be held on June 4-5, 2018. Presentations of completed or in-progress original research works in all the relevant disciplinary fields and methodological approaches are welcome from within and outside the region.

The following are some broad themes to consider in proposing papers and panels, but are not exhaustive – all about Central Asia as a whole or individual countries:

  • Meanings and uses of elections and referenda
  • Citizenship, civil society and participatory politics
  • Forms, modes, and applications of nationalist politics
  • “Democracy and nationalism” or “democracy versus nationalism” in Central Asia?
  • Processes of regional integration
  • Democracy, nationalism, and the major powers in Central Asia.


Abstracts will be accepted via email by Dr. Emil Dzhuraev at and Dr. Farhad Kerimov at until April 2, 2018. Please send abstracts to both emails. Questions can be addressed to

Limited number of travel grants are available. Please indicate your interest in funding in your email with the abstract.  

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