周磊:帶著少林功夫闖美國 – 姜源

他是少林寺第三十四代弟子,六歲便開始學習傳統拳及格斗技擊術,國際武術散手道聯盟黑帶四段,少林武術段位六段,國家級裁判,並在美國西雅圖創立少林功夫學院。雖然他有很多由功夫帶來的榮譽,然而他更強調習武的平靜感恩之心,並力圖把這份理念和中華傳統文化的精髓傳遞給每一個學生。他就是世界知名武術家周磊。

Read the full article here.

Central Asia’s Self-Defeating Anti-Terrorism Efforts – Toni Michel

Central Asia’s states are currently pursuing a “Securitization of Society” – viewing substantial junks of citizen activity outside direct state control exclusively through a security lens. What is needed, however, is a “Societization of Security” by coming to an understanding that inclusive political and economic systems are not only integral to a country’s wealth (as Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson have strikingly shown in their book “Why Nations Fail”) but crucial to its security as well.

Read the full article in Fergana News.

Зачем Казахстан обидел Белоруссию – Александр Воробьев

Предложение президента США Дональда Трампа о переносе переговоров по урегулированию конфликта на Донбассе из Минска вызвало неоднозначную реакцию и в России, и в Казахстане, и в Белоруссии, и на Украине. Лидер Казахстана Нурсултан Назарбаев в ходе переговоров с Трампом в Вашингтоне подхватил инициативу и заявил о готовности начать новый раунд консультаций в Астане.

Своим мнением о том, что может стоять за перепалкой столиц, с EADaily поделился научный сотрудник Центра изучения Центральной Азии, Кавказа и Поволжья института Востоковедения РАН Александр Воробьев.

Picture Credit: Rambler.ru

The Myth of Clans in Central Asian Politics – Toni Michel

Political Science is usually quite good at figuring out the main power players and relevant structures in the political systems of most countries. Those of us who are interested in Central Asia, however, will encounter an utterly incredible mess in the analysis of the political processes in the region. Mostly, the confusion centers around the term “clan” – a term that is so overused that it has been deprived of any clear meaning. This has led to a certain mystification of Central Asian politics around such poorly defined structures with little regard for the differences between clans, tribes and regional elites. So, this week, let us look at what clans really are, what their role is and if they are so special after all.

Read the full article in FerganaNews.

The State of Democracy in Kyrgyzstan – Toni Michel

With Kyrgyzstan having its own preconditions and peculiarities in its development, it is insufficient to look at the country’s autocratic neighbors for comparison when assessing Kyrgyz democracy. Focusing on this regional context will inevitably obscure a number of very important trends under Atambayev’s tenure as President that threaten Kyrgyzstan’s democratic progress: in fact, there is a distinct risk of democratic rollback in Kyrgyzstan.

Read the full article in Fergana-News.

Has the conflict between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan affected the strategic balance in Central Asia? – Alexander Vorobyov

Picture Credit: Informburo.kz

In early October when the Presidential race was in full swing in Kyrgyzstan, its outgoing President Almazbek Atambayev affronted Kazakstan’s Nursultan Nazarbaev, permanent leader of the country since independence. Atambayev, annoyed with the meeting of Nazarbayev with Kyrgyz Presidential candidate Omurbek Babanov in Astana, accused Kazakhstan of interfering in the Kyrgyz elections.

Continue reading “Has the conflict between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan affected the strategic balance in Central Asia? – Alexander Vorobyov”

Winds of Change in Berlin & the Normalisation of Politics in Germany – Toni Michel

Germany’s politics for well over a decade now have been defined by a single principle: “Rule-and-Ruin”. Rule, that is, for Angela Merkel – and ruin for any other political force that joined her in a coalition government since she took office in 2005.

Today, even as Mrs Merkel still seems to be fairly on track for her fourth term, there is real reason to think that this old bargain is not going to work any longer. In fact, the future will look fundamentally different.

Read the full piece in Vocal Europe.