The V-Dem Regional Center for Central Asia was founded in October 2016 at the American University of Central Asia to study dynamics of regime change and post-soviet transformation in Central Asia and other parts of the post-soviet space. Its activities are aimed to support and advance scholarship in this area through research projects.
The center is focused on the study of political regime dynamics and political transformation of the region through research, conducting academic conferences, workshops, roundtables and summer schools as well as through public events.
Medet Tiulegenov is Head of the Center. Medet Tiulegenov is an Assistant Professor and the head of International and Comparative Politics Department at AUCA. His research and teaching interests include civil society in transition countries, political institutions and politics of identity, public policy and governance in the developing world. Medet worked extensively in the non-profit sector and has degrees in history (Kyrgyz State University 1993), of Master of Public Administration (Bowling Green State University, USA 1996) and currently is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at Central European University (Hungary).
Emil Dzhuraev is an Associate Professor in International and Comparative Politics program at AUCA. He completed a PhD at the University of Maryland (USA) in political science, with a dissertation on constitutional theory and politics. His academic interests encompass state-building, democratization, constitutional studies, and regional politics of Central Asia. He has been involved in V-Dem project as a country expert since 2012.
Bermet A. Tursunkulova is an Associate Professor holding PhD in Political Science from the Kyrgyz-Slavonic Russian University and MA degree in International Relations and European studies from the Central European University. Apart from her academic career, she has an extensive project coordination and management experience in international educational programs. She is a former Vice President for Academic Affairs of AUCA and ex-deputy minister of education and science of the Kyrgyz Republic.
Ajar Chekirova is a Senior Lecturer at the American University of Central Asia and a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at University of Illinois in Chicago. Ajar's research interests include comparative politics and urban politics with a focus on migration, citizenship, displacement and urban development. Other fields of expertise include American Politics (specifically voting behavior and public opinion), as well as research methodology. Ajar holds a LL.B Bachelor of Laws from Peking University (2009), an M.A. in International Studies from Ohio University and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois in Chicago. Previously Ajar has been awarded Fulbright fellowship (2010-2012), Ragsdale fellowship (UIC, 2015-2016), and Dean's fellowship (UIC, 2016-2017).