Joint COMPASS Conferences

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GCRF COMPASS Signature Conference @UWED, 29 June 2020, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

The University of World Economy and Diplomacy will organise a one-day Signature Conference on 29th June 2020. The conference’s overarching theme will be “Uzbekistan’s development”. More information will be available soon. The event will take place in the margins of the annual CESS conference, which will be hosted by UWED from 25-28 June.

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GCRF COMPASS SIGNATURE CONFERENCE @ADA University, 11-12 June 2020, Baku, Azerbaijan

On 18th and 19th of June the COMPASS Signature Conference will take place at ADA University, Baku. The conference’s title is ‘Connecting the 3 Bs: Brussels, Baku, Beijing: The EU and China cooperation inititatives towards greater connectivity of Eurasia: the role of Azerbaijan’. The conference will bring together policy-makers, practitioners, business, and academics to discuss existing regional powers’ strategic priorities, instruments and practices in regional connectivity for mutual benefit. The conference programme will be made available shortly.

International Conference: Uzbekistan in the Context of Regional Security and Global Change, 7-8 November 2019, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

On 7-8 November 2019 a high-level Signature Conference “Uzbekistan in the context of Regional Security and Global Change” was organised by the University of World Economy and Diplomacy (UWED) under the aegis of the GCRF COMPASS project. The conference focused on the ongoing reforms in the country, Uzbekistan’s role in the region of wider Eurasia, as well as the relations with the European Union, Russia, US and China.

The conference was attended by the representatives from Uzbekistan’s government, government and the House of Lords of the United Kingdom, Head of the EU Delegation to Uzbekistan, as well as scholars from the COMPASS Consortium and leading researchers from the EU, UK, Russia, US, China and Afghanistan.

The conference was opened by Professor Abdujabar Abduvakhitov, Rector of UWED, and included welcome words from Deputy Minister Dilshod Akhmatov, Uzbek MFA; HE Tim Torlot, UK Ambassador; Professor Elena Korosteleva, COMPAS PI Kent and Dr Siddharth Saxena, COMPASS COI Cambridge. The first keynote speech was delivered Professor Roy Allison (University of Oxford) on the challenges and prospects for Central Asian regionalism, who discussed the three decades of regional integration efforts and analysed the renewed opportunities for cooperation in the region. The second keynote was delivered by Professor Andrew Kuchins (American University of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan, USA), who reviewed the US policy towards Uzbekistan and Central Asia and noted an important shift in cooperation as a result of new leadership both in Uzbekistan and US. The plenary session, moderated by Professor Elena Korosteleva featured the two keynote speakers, along with Lord Teverson (House of Lords and COMPASS AB member, UK), Sherzod Abdullaev (University of World Economy and Diplomacy, Uzbekistan) and Irina Zvyagelskaya (Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Federation). The key themes of the plenary included the need of enhanced cooperation for tackling the environmental crises and vulnerabilities created by the increasing connectivity, the need of strengthening regional identity, as well as the importance of overcoming knowledge gaps in Wider Eurasia.

Apart from the distinguished international scholars, the conference also featured a panel by junior scholars from the COMPASS Consortium including – Dr Irina Petrova (Kent); Nilufar Rakhmatullaeva (UWED); Matlyuba Salikova (TNU) and Temur Islamov (UWED).

Many thanks go to all local conference organisers, and all those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes. The proceedings of the conference will be published shortly on the GCRF COMPASS website.

Final programme

Conference website


International Conference: Cultural Diplomacy in Central Asia and Eurasia. 16 -17 September, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

On 16 and 17 September 2019 the Tajik National University (TNU) organised a conference themed ‘Tajikistan and Cultural Diplomacy in Central Asia’. During the two-day conference a wide range of speakers discussed current opportunities and challenges for Tajikistan in the areas of cultural diplomacy, regional security, and sustainable development. Many of the discussions were focused around the Tajik government’s National Development Strategy 2030, a key document highlighting the country’s priorities for the upcoming decade.

The conference attracted over 70 participants, including members from the COMPASS consortium; scholars from the TNU, as well as local universities and research institutes; and representatives of the UK government and the European Union. Additionally, around 30 TNU students attended the conference actively participating in Q&A both in English and Russian.

The first day of the conference was concluded with a key note speech by EU Special Representative for Central Asia, His Excellency Ambassador Peter Burian; and a Q&A session with both Ambassador Burian and Ambassador Marilyn Josefson, Head of the EU Delegation in Dushanbe. A plenary session on the meaning of cultural diplomacy and its application in Tajikistan formed the final part of the conference. Being chaired by Professor Korosteleva, the panel included HM Ambassador Matthew Lawson (UK), Lord Sheikh (House of Lords), Prof Munira Shahidi (TNU), and Dr Siddharth Saxena (Cambridge). The speakers reflected on the importance of resilience-building, UK sustainable development strategy and the current challenges and opportunities faced by Tajikistan and the wider region.

The conference was organised by the TNU COMPASS team under the leadership of Professor Munira Shahidi, with the support of Professors Samiev and Salimov. Its implementation was further assisted by the charity organisation ‘Peshraft’ led by Matlyuba Salikhova, and COMPASS postdocs – Diana T. Kudaibergenova, Irina Petrova and Eske van Gils.

The conference will be followed by an international-level forum in September 2020 and a Training School for the Early Career Scholars.



2018-2019 Academic Year

COMPASS Joint Conferences during the 2018-2019 academic year

2018-2019 was a busy year for the COMPASS project, ending with the prestigious signature conference at the University of Kent at the beginning of July 2019. Whilst COMPASS provided direct financial support to the conferences below, COMPASS members attended a considerable number of international conferences as speakers and panel members including ESCAS 2019, Belarus in the Modern World, ISA 60th Annual Convention and others, short descriptions of which can be found on the 2018-2019 News page. 

GCRF COMPASS SIGNATURE CONFERENCE @Kent: Governance and Resilience in Wider Eurasia: are cooperative orders possible? 30 June -2 July 2019

Between 30 June and 2 July the Kent COMPASS team organised a stream at the GCRF Conference that was held for the second year in a row at the University of Kent. The stream was titled ‘Governance and Resilience in wider Eurasia: Are cooperative orders possible?’ and hosted 60 participants. In three panels and two plenary sessions international experts reflected on recent developments in wider Eurasia, from the angle of cooperation between the region and the EU, EEU and under the BRI initiative.

The conference opened with a welcome by Professor Elena Korosteleva, COMPASS PI, and Dr Adrian Pabst, Head of School of Politics and International Relations, followed by a Plenary session titled ‘Uncertainty and a changing order’, where speakers (t. Flockhart, A. Lukin, K. Brown) discussed their views on current affairs in light of changing power dynamics in global politics.

Two panel sessions reflected on the theme of ‘The EU and wider Eurasia: challenges and opportunities’. The first looked at relations between the European Union and different states in the Eurasian region, whilst the second addressed this topic from the angle of the Eurasian Economic Union. The third panel of the conference covered the thematic of challenges and opportunities from the perspective of the Belt and Road Initiative. 

The second Plenary took place on the final day of the conference and was titled ‘Are cooperative orders possible in the wider Eurasian region?’. Six speakers shared their views about the possibilities of cooperation, bringing together insights from academia and policy-making.

The conference provided a platform for ‘excellent discussions’ exploring the widening relationships between Europe and Central Asia and also offered plenty of networking opportunities. Speakers and conference observers have been invited to contribute to working proceedings, which will soon be made available on the project website and the Kent COMPASS team are exploring options for a Special Issue as an output of the event.

Final programme, Conference proceedings


Conference: Towards Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education: Opportunities for Action, ADA University, Baku, 19-20 June 2019

This year’s ADA Education Conference theme is pivoted around Sustainable Development Goal # 4, namely, ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. ADA University in partnership with the Ministry of Education of Azerbaijan and GCRF COMPASS project is delighted to invite researchers and policymakers in the field of education to submit their research papers to be presented at the ADA 4th International Education Conference.

The Conference aims at bringing together scholars, policymakers, independent researchers, educational practitioners, students and other stakeholders interested in national and international education development to present research analyzing educational strategies around the world and in Azerbaijan to reflect on best practices, discuss future steps and suggest policy recommendations for inclusive and equitable quality education system.

COMPASS Student Convention, BSU, Minsk, 25 – 27 April 2019

The first GCRF COMPASS Student Convention titled “Integration of integrations: status quo, challenges and perspectives” was held in Minsk as part of the 76th BSU Annual Students Scientific Conference. The forum gathered over 20 participants (students and junior researchers) from all COMPASS partner universities – Kent, Cambridge, UWED, TNU, BSU but also from University of Giessen (Germany).

At the opening session on April 25th, participants were welcomed by HE British Ambassador to Belarus Ms Fionna Gibb, GRCF COMPASS Principal Investigator Professor Elena Korosteleva, Dean of the BSU Faculty of International Relations Professor Victor Shadurski and Belarus COMPASS NTL Artsiom Nazaranka. The plenary session included reports by UWED students S. Yodgorov and O.Akromov on Uzbekistan`s New Foreign & Regional Policy.

Young researchers presented and discussed their research findings in three panels – Integration initiatives in wider Eurasia, European Integration Project, Conceptualizing “Integration of Integrations”.

Further capacity-development was supported with training ‘Network-building for Success’ delivered by Giles Polglase, Faculty Director of Operations at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Special emphasis during the convention was to allow participants time for informal discussion of their research interests and component Cultural and Historical Backgrounds of Understanding Belarus including visiting National Library of Belarus, Great Patriotic War Museum, National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre and UNESCO World Heritage Sights – Niesvizh Palace and Mir Castle.

A collection of all reports will be published in the Fall 2019.


Conference: The role of university education and science in modern society: on the occasion of 100th anniversary of the Belarusian State University, Minsk, 26-27 February 2019

The conference was timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Soviet Belarus Government Decree of February 25, 1919 to open a University in Minsk. An international forum started the anniversary program of celebrating the 100th anniversary of the BSU in 2021. The opening speech was delivered by BSU Rector  Professor Andrei Karol. Plenary sessions included reports made by leading BSU academics (professors O.Yanovski, G. Vasilevich, V. Shadurski) and Professor Igor Marzalyuk, Chair of the Standing Commission on Education, Culture and Science of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus.

The event attracted over 170 researchers from Belarus, Russia, Poland, Germany, Slovakia and Turkey. During breakout sessions participants discussed the university’s achievements in research, educational and cultural fields, addressed issues of role and place of the university in the global academic community, as well as development strategies.

Today the BSU consists of 27 faculties and educational institutions, 6 research institutes and centers, 5 innovative enterprises, 2 joint innovation centers, and 42 research laboratories. For almost a century, BSU has trained more than 160,000 graduates, of which over 10,000 are foreign nationals.

The conference was supported by GCRF COMPASS project and Council of Europe Information Point in Minsk.

Conference Programme

International Academic Conference ‘Belarus in Modern World’ 26 October 2018, Minsk

GCRF COMPASS supported the XVII International Scientific Conference “Belarus in Modern World” under the general topic “EEU-EU: opportunities of cooperation” (incl. XII International Scientific Conference “Intercultural Communication and Professionally-Oriented Teaching of Foreign Languages”) which took place on the 26th of  October 2018.

The conference examined the current problems of international relations, foreign policy and diplomacy of the Republic of Belarus and current trends in the development of the international legal personality of the Republic of Belarus, as well as the priorities and prospects of international economic cooperation of the country were investigated. Conference participants included academics from BSU and national policy-makers as well as a number of foreign delegates (including from Russia and Germany and others).

Proceedings are published and available online in the BSU e-library (ISBN 978-985-566-681-4 and ISBN 978-985-566-680-7)

2017 – 2018 Academic Year

Annual Tartu Conference 10 – 12 June 2018

The COMPASS team organised two panels at the Annual Tartu Conference in June 2018, titled ‘Challenges for the regional security and capacity-building in the Eastern Region and Central Asia: domestic perspective (1) and international (2) perspectives. Conference proceedings are available here.