IRLS664 Politics and Culture in Central Asia (3 semester hours)

The region of Central Asia—located between Russia, China, India, and Europe—has emerged from obscurity in recent decades to become a key front in the war against international terrorism and radical Islam. This course explores the political and cultural history of Central Asia, as well as religious and social issues that impact the region’s governmental structures, foreign relations, and security. Students will explore the impact of Russian conquest and Soviet domination of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, as well as the Soviet- Afghan War (1979-1989), before moving on to an analysis of contemporary issues in government and politics in the region. Emphasis will be on the rise of Islamism, great power politics, U.S. involvement in the region after 9/11, “managed democracy,” corruption and economic development, and petropolitics.