Tag Archives: central asia

What Celebrities and Dictators Have in Common

Last week Jennifer Lopez performed at a birthday party for Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the dictator of Turkmenistan. For Foreign Policy, I analyze the anxiety behind the outrage that ensued: Celebrities and dictators have a lot in common. They lead lavish lifestyles … Continue reading


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How the Uzbek Government Targets Exiles Abroad

I have a new article for Al Jazeera English about how the government of Uzbekistan punishes exiles abroad by persecuting their relatives at home. Two weeks ago, Hasan Choriyev, the father of Uzbek activist Bahodir Choriyev, was unlawfully detained: It … Continue reading

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How Academic Paywalls Kill Research Funding

Several months ago I predicted that the academic paywall system – which cuts off scholarly work from ordinary people unwilling to shell out hundreds of dollars for a few articles — would ultimately lead to a loss of funding down … Continue reading

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The Ethics of Military Aid to Uzbekistan

For Al Jazeera English, I take on the heated debate surrounding Western military aid to Uzbekistan: Analysts have long debated the ethical and strategic ramifications of providing Uzbekistan with military equipment – largely unidentified but allegedly non-lethal – in exchange for a transport route … Continue reading

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Central Asia’s slow internal rot

I have a new article up at Foreign Policy about Central Asia. I argue that the greatest threat to the region is not volatility, as is commonly assumed, but stagnation: The slow, tortuous decline of Central Asia is something we … Continue reading

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Speaking about Uzbekistan in Seattle

Next weekend I’ll be talking about Uzbekistan at a conference organized by Awareness Projects International, an organization committed to raising awareness of social and political issues among Uzbek youth. I’m excited to be speaking with a diverse group of panelists … Continue reading

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What’s wrong with civil society

For Foreign Policy, I write about a subject that has been bothering me for ages – the inappropriate and harmful use of the term “civil society” when discussing policy in authoritarian states. I spoke briefly about this at the Registan … Continue reading

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