Why Central Asia Is Worth Considering
The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University convened practitioners and experts representing the Central Asian region during two separate meetings on December 15 and 20, 2010 at the Capital Club in Berlin, Germany and at Caf. Landtmann in Vienna, Austria.
The objective of these meetings was to connect with those who have expertise and influence in Central Asia in order to assess the critical issues and challenges that demand LISD’s further examination and analysis. Discussions emphasized the rich economic opportunities in the region; the role of China as both a chief investor and also a worrisome aggressor; the multicultural, multiethnic heritage bestowed upon the region in the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse; and real concerns about the future of Afghanistan and the United States’ presence in the region. In terms of the regional dynamics, the former Soviet republics in Central Asia are in the process of forming their national identities in convergence with each other, while positioning themselves as influential political players.