Leadership Winter Training School, 11 February 2020, Cambridge

Professor Korosteleva and Dr Irina Petrova were invited to speak at the ‘Leadership Programme on Solving Global Challenges’, a GCRF COMPASS Winter Training School, organised by the Cambridge COMPASS team. Co-jointly with Dr Kudaibergenova, they discussed the challenges of defining Eurasia as a construct, and the Eurasian Economic Union as practical example of regional integration and its challenges.

Thereafter the Winter School members also participated in a roundtable discussion of the Future of European Defence Policy involving Ambassadors of Greece, Austria and Croatia, and D. Patrikarakos, the author of War in 140 Characters, chaired by the Master of St Edmund’s College, Catherine Arnold OBE, Cambridge University.


Guest Lecture by Ignacio Garcia Bercero, 30 January 2020, University of Kent

The COMPASS team at Kent and postgraduate students of the EU in the Global World, welcomed Mr Ignacio Garcia Bercero, Director General, DG Trade of the European Commission as their guest speaker. Mr Bercero, who is currently a fellow-in-residence at Oxford University, has shared his experience of negotiations with partners in the eastern Neighbourhood and Central Asia, and more recently – with the Eurasian Economic Union. The issues of geopolitics, and strategic priorities of the new Commission, especially towards the Central Eurasian region, were also discussed.

Pre-Launch UKRI/GCRF Conflict Intersections Funding Call Event, 28-29 January 2020, Bishkek

The COMPASS team represented by scholars from Kent, Cambridge, and regional partner-institutions – ADA University, BSU, TNU, UWED and ERI from Kazakhstan – were invited by the GCRF challenge leader, Dr Neeelam Rainer, and her team, to participate in the pre-launch of the new GCRF Global Partnership Call, to develop new proposals on conflict intersections for Central Asia and wider Eurasian region. The workshop involved about 40 regional scholars, DFID, FCO and GCRF representatives, brainstorming on research issues relevant for the region and developing them into concrete proposals as part of the GCRF UKRI capacity-building initiative.

GROW Conference, 21 January 2020, University of Kent

On 21 January, Prof. Korosteleva presented the COMPASS project findings to the GROW conference at Kent University. The conference hosted current grant holders and future applicants, as well as funders’ representatives to discuss opportunities for further growth.




COMPASS Workpackage Meeting, 18 – 19 January 2020, Almaty, Kazakhstan

On 18-19 January, the GCRF COMPASS team gathered at the Eurasian Research Institute in Almaty to discuss findings of the focus groups and plan ahead with nation-wide surveys. The teams also discussed plans for the dissemination of results at international conferences and through joint publications, as well as in the form of policy recommendations to reveal emergent patterns of resilience, identity and self-governance.  Special thanks go to Dr Diana Kudaibergenova for leading WP4, and to the local supporters – Dr Albina Muratbekova (ERI) and Dr Chokan Laumulin (CCAF Cambridge).

Roundtable on Parliamentary Discussion, 5 December 2019, Jesus College Cambridge

GCRF COMPASS Cambridge in collaboration with Centre of Development Studies and Cambridge Central Asia Forum hosted Senator Safoev and HE Rustamov, Republic of Uzbekistan for a Roundtable on Parliamentary Discussion in Jesus College, University of Cambridge. Prof Parker (Head of Cavendish Labs), Prof Nolan, Dr Lane, Dr Chang (Director, Centre of Dev Studies) and Prof Korosteleva (PI, Uni of Kent) attended the event. Dr Saxena Chaired the Roundtable.


Keynote Lecture ‘Resilience: another buzzword or an opportunity for more adaptable (EU) governance?’ 3 December 2019, European Studies Centre, St. Antony’s College Oxford

Professor Korosteleva gave a keynote lecture titled ‘Resilience: another buzzword or an opportunity for more adaptable (EU) governance?’, at the European Studies Centre, St Antony’s College, Oxford University. Her keynote was chaired by Professor Kalypso Nicolaidis, with Dr Heidi Maurer as discussant – to both of whom Elena records her enormous gratitude.  Her talk attracted over 40 students, scholars and practitioners, including from the IMF, EU trade and humanitarian policies divisions. Elena focused on unpacking the term ‘resilience’ to give it a more unifying meaning as ‘self-governance’, and its application by the EU. The talk was premised on her contribution to the Special Issue: Korosteleva, E. and Flockhart, T. (eds) ‘The EU and Resilience: redefining the role of “the local” and “the person” in a new global governance agenda’, Contemporary Security Policy (in press), 28 February 2020. More information here.

International symposium ‘ Turning ‘brain drain’ into ‘brain circulation’ 25 – 27 November 2019, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Tajik National University is hosting an international symposium ’Turning “brain drain” into ‘brain circulation” in Central Asia’. The symposium is jointly organised by the Faculty of International Relations TNU and Dialogue of Civilisations (DOC) Research Institute, a COMPASS partner, with the support of VW Foundation. Main speakers included DOC senior researchers, regional scholars and Dr Jan-Peter Olters, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan. The conference attracted a large number of speakers, and will be followed by published proceedings.

First EBRD Eastern Partnership Investment Summit, 22 November 2019, London

Professor Korosteleva was invited to attend the first EBRD Eastern Partnership Investment Summit organised in London to mark the 10-year anniversary of the Eastern Partnership Initiative in the neighbourhood, and discuss further cooperation and investment in the region. The participants were welcomed by Sir Suma Chakrabarti, EBRD President, and EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn, followed by a plenary panel of Heads of State and Prime Ministers from the region presenting their visions for future development. Notably, the panel included the President of Armenia HE Armen Sarkissian; Prime Minister of Azerbaijan HE Ali Asadov; Prime Minister of Belarus HE Sergei Roumas; Prime Minister of Moldova HE Ion Chicu; Prime Minister of Ukraine HE Oleksiy Honcharuk, and Deputy Prime Minister of Georgia HE Maya Tskitishvili, and was moderated by the EBRD chief economist – Beata Javorcik. The focus was on continuing reforms against corruption to ensure political and economic stability, and citizens’ greater involvement in the governance of the region.

Meeting with AIG Senior Partners, 18 November 2019, London

Following the AIG/Chatham House event in October in Vienna where Professor Korosteleva presented the COMPASS project and its research, she was subsequently invited by the AIG senior partners to a meeting in London to discuss prospects for developing synergies between the AIG and the COMPASS project over the Central Eurasian region. The region is generating a lot of attention owing to its unique position and under-studied potential, as well as the EU and China’s interest and ongoing investment in the region.

SEnECA Final Conference ‘What Future for EU-Central Asia Relations?’, 14 – 15 November 2019, Brussels, Belgium

On 14-15 November 2019, Irina Petrova (Kent) represented the GCRF COMPASS team at the final conference of the H2020 Consortium ‘Strengthening and Energizing EU Central Asia Relations’ (SEnECA). Beside SEnECA members and external researchers, the conference featured H. E. Peter Burian, EU Special Representative for Central Asia, EEAS; H. E. Romana Vlahutin, Ambassador at large for connectivity, EEAS; Angela Atzori, International Aid &Cooperation Officer–Cultural Sector, DG DEVCO, as well as H.E. Dr Erkinkhon Rahmatullozoda, Ambassador of Tajikistan to the Kingdom of Belgium and H. E. Aigul Kuspan, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Belgium. SEnECA policy recommendations for strengthening the EU-Central Asia relations were discussed over two days with a particular focus on connectivity, culture and communication. The programme of the conference can be found here.

Institutional Change and Social Practice. Research on Political Systems, Economy and Society in Central Asia and the Caucasus, 12 – 14 November, Frankfurt, Germany

Professor Korosteleva was invited to participate at the conference titled ‘Institutional Change and Social Practice. Research on Political Systems, Economy and Society in Central Asia and the Caucasus’, and be part of the evaluation panel organised by the Volkswagen Foundation, in Frankfurt. The conference attracted scholars from the Bielefeld, TU Dortmund, Giessen and Halle-Wittenberg Universities in Germany, PRIO in Norway, Vienna, Ghent and Cambridge Universities, and involved early career researchers from the region, presenting their post-doctoral projects for the VW fellowships. Professor Korosteleva discussed opportunities for developing cooperation under the GCRF project with the VW staff.

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

Under the aegis of the GCRF COMPASS project, UWED organised its first international signature conference titled ‘Uzbekistan in the context of Regional Security and Global Change’. The conference gathered over 40 international and regional participants, including scholars from the UK (Kent, Cambridge, St Andrews, Oxford, and Newcastle Universities), COMPASS partner-institutions (ADA University, BSU, TNU and UWED), EU, US, China, Afghanistan, and Russia. It also attracted interest from the Uzbek government, UK and EU Embassies, the House of Lords (UK) and many local independent researchers and think-tanks. The conference focused on the ongoing reforms in the country, Uzbekistan’s role in the region, as well as its relations with the UK, European Union, Russia, US and China. Final programme. Conference website.

Open Lectures at UWED, 5 November 2019, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Senior Members of the COMPASS Consortium gave open lectures to the UWED students: Professor Victor Shadurski, Dean of the Faculty of International Relations, Belarusian State University, spoke about the success and challenges for the Eurasian Economic Union, and Professor Elena Korosteleva, Principal Investigator of the GCRF COMPASS project and Director of the Global Europe Centre, discussed the challenges of the EU Global Security Strategy and the shift to resilience-thinking [please see here].

Eastern Partnership (EaP) Reflection Forum, 21 – 23 October 2019, Chisinau,Moldova

GCRF COMPASS Postdoctoral Associate Irina Petrova attended the EaP Reflection Forum ‘The Eastern Partnership in the next ten years – What Strategy for the European Union’s Eastern neighbourhood?’. Organised by the Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE) in cooperation with a number of European think tanks, the Forum aimed to facilitate the dialogue among policy-making, expert and academic communities of the EU and EaP states. The Forum reflected on the progress of the Eastern Partnership policy and outlined policy recommendations for the EU and Moldova. Further information about the event is available here.

Roundtable on OSCE & Europe’s Strategy in Central Asia and the Caucasus, 18 October 2019, University of Cambridge

GCRF COMPASS Cambridge at Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge and Cambridge Central Asia Forum, Jesus College have organised a policy oriented roundtable discussion on OSCE and Europe’s strategy of engagement with Central Asia, Afghanistan, the Caucasus and Eurasia to mark Slovakia’s Chairmanship of the OSCE this year. This event is organised in partnership with H.E. Mr. Ľubomír Rehák, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Republic. Mr Marek Varga, Head of Politico–Military Dimension and Conflicts Unit, Department of Political and Security Affairs, Directorate General for the Slovak OSCE Chairmanship. Ambassadors of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and other Central Asian countries, along with First Consul of Embassy of Azerbaijan and Armenia in the UK will attend the event. This roundtable event will be held at Jesus College, University of Cambridge on the 18th of October, 2019. The draft programme is available here.

Professor Korosteleva was invited to speak at the ‘Belt & Road 2.0’ AIG multinational conference 2019 in Vienna on 10 October 2019. The conference was organised in partnership with Chatham Hous, having attracted 120 attendees including speakers from AIG, Baker McKenzie, Asian Development Bank, Deutsche Bank, ICBC Standard Bank China, Roland Berger, UK Investment Office UBS Wealth Managements and more. The focus was on relaunch BRI 2.0 and its challenges, including ‘people-to-people’ dimension, on which Professor Korosteleva offered her insights, from the COMPASS project.

20th Annual Conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society, 10 – 13 October 2019, Washington D.C.

Dr Ulugbek Khasanov and Dr Akram Umarov (both UWED) and Dr Nargis Nurulla-Khodzaeva (TNU) represented the GCRF COMPASS project at the 20th annual CESS conference organised by the Central Asia Program of the George Washington University’s Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies. The event brought together leading scholars and researchers from different disciplines united by their interest in Central Asia’s past, present and future.

Through panel discussions, roundtable talks, debates, and academic presentations, the participants explored pressing topics of Central Asia in anthropology, cultural studies, art history, fine art, economics, education, energy and environment, gender studies, history, language and linguistics, law, literature, media, migration, political science and international relations, regional studies, religion and sociology. Dr Khasanov presented his paper coauthored with Dr Mason Jacobs from Michigan State University on “Fergana “riots” (1989)” within the special panel devoted to the book in progress on the topic of “Collapse and re-birth: a living archive on the end of the USSR and afterward”. Dr Umarov chaired the panel on “Regional cooperation: local framework and broader context” with papers of researchers from Land Berlin (Germany), Seoul National University (Republic of Korea), Princeton University (the USA) and Nankai University (China).

Dr Khasanov chaired the panel “Challenges and opportunities of finding regionalism in Eurasia”. This panel discussed papers by Dr Nurulla-Khodzaeva, Dr Umarov  and Dr Ruben Elamiryan (Russian-Armenian University). Dr Umarov presented his paper on the impact of Donald Trump’s policy on the process of the BRI’s implementation in Central Asia. He argued that the new character of the American foreign policy under the leadership of Donald Trump has also had an impact on Central Asia. Even though the US president practically did not mention the region in his election campaign, his recent decisions might have had a direct impact on the development of events in Central Asia. The resulting “vacuum of influence” in the APR might lead to an even greater presence of China in the region and a decrease in attention to the development of the BRI project, in which Central Asia could play one of the definitive roles.

This trip would be impossible without support of the GCRF COMPASS project.

Belt & Road 2.0 AIG Multinational Conference 2019, 10 October 2019, Vienna, Austria

Professor Korosteleva was invited to speak at the ‘Belt & Road 2.0’ AIG multinational conference 2019 in Vienna on 10 October 2019. The conference was organised in partnership with Chatham House and Roland Berger, having attracted over 100 attendees and speakers from the AIG, Baker McKenzie, Asian Development Bank, Deutsche Bank, ICBC Standard Bank China, UK Investment Office UBS Wealth Managements and more. The focus was on the relaunch of the BRI 2.0 and its challenges, including the ‘people-to-people’ dimension, discussed at the final panel of the conference. Professor Korosteleva offered her insights on this important topic, with reference to the COMPASS project’s findings and conceptual thinking about ‘resilience’ and local ownership. The panel speakers also included Chinara Esengul, Head of Central Asia Programme, Peace Nexus Foundation, and Bernardo Mariani, Head of China Programme, Saferworld, moderated by Dr Champa Patel, Head of Asia-Pacific Programme, Chatham House, London.

Minsk Dialogue Policy Forum: European Security: Stepping back from the Brink, 7 – 9 October 2019, Minsk, Belarus

7 – 8 October 2019 saw the 2nd year of the Minsk Dialogue Policy Forum, which was organised in partnership with the COMPASS project. It attracted over 700 academics, policy-makers and practitioners from 61 countries. This year it focused on “European Security: Stepping back from the Brink”, covering relations with major powers, the role of international organisations, regional conflicts development across Central Eurasia, and relations between competing initiatives from the EU, EAEU and BRI. COMPASS hosted two plenaries, including with Lord Teverson’s participation, one special panel on Central Asia, and concluding reception on Day 2 of the forum. Day 2 of the forum included a presidential plenary, with President Lukashenko, Baroness Ashton, and Mr Vershbov among others. The new feature of the forum was the Future Leaders Session, which brought together 16 young participants from the COMPASS consortium (Kent, Cambridge, BSU, ADA University, TNU and UWED) and European Leadership Network. They presented a joint Declaration at the opening of the Forum, describing major challenges for the regional security and their possible solutions. The session received feedback from the UK, EU and Russian Ambassadors – Their Excellences Jaqueline Perkins, Dirk Schuebel, and Dmitry Mezentsev – and Valery Varanetsky, MP Belarus. The Declaration will be included in the MD forum policy paper, to be disseminated to all major UK, EU and national stakeholders of the forum. A more detailed account can be found here and on these websites:

Minsk Dialogue Forum 2019 Day 1

Minsk Dialogue Forum 2019 Day 2

International Conference: Cultural Diplomacy in Central Asia and Eurasia. 16 – 17 September 2019, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

On 16-17 September 2019 the Tajik National University (TNU) held its first landmark event as part of the COMPASS project – a two-day international conference with a focus on Tajikistan and the role of cultural diplomacy in the regional revival. With reference to the Tajik National Development Strategy 2030, discussion addressed the issues of local vulnerabilities, including environment and trade/economic concerns, resilience-building and the role of cultural heritage for sustainable development. Apart from the TNU staff, NGO and government representatives, participants also included international scholars from the Universities of Kent, Cambridge and Oxford (UK); ADA University (Azerbaijan), BSU (Belarus), and UWED (Uzbekistan). The conference also hosted a keynote speech on the EU New Strategy to Central Asia from the EU Special Envoy, Ambassador Burian, and HE Marilyn Josefson, Head of EU Delegation to Tajikistan; intervention by Peter Fernandes Cardy, Head of regional DFID, and a plenary session with HM Ambassador Matthew Lawson and Lord Sheikh (UK), which attracted over 70-wide audience, half of which were students from local universities. We record special thanks to the local organisers of the conference – TNU national lead Professor Munira Shahidi, and her team, including the volunteers from the charity organisation ‘Peshraft’ led by Matlyuba Salikhova, as well as COMPASS postdoc assistants – Diana T. Kudaibergenova, Irina Petrova and Eske van Gils. Final programme