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Central Asia and South Caucasus Affairs: 2006
Central Asia and South Caucasus Affairs: 2006
 
Regional Security Issues: 2006
Regional Security Issues: 2006
 
Between the Black and Caspian Seas: New Challenges and Opportunities for the South Caucasus
Between the Black and Caspian Seas: New Challenges and Opportunities for the South Caucasus
 
 
Regional Security Issues
Regional Security Issues
 
The South Caucasus as a Part of the Wider Europe
The South Caucasus as a Part of the Wider Europe
 
The SPF Central Asia-South Caucasus Project   Last Updated ( Thursday, 21 September 2006 )

Lau Sim Yee In April 1994, he Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) initiated a multi-disciplinary project devoted to the study of the social, economic, and political development of the countries of Central Asia and the South Caucasus. The target countries of this project are five Central Asian states (viz., Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) and three countries from Southern Caucasus (viz., Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia).

From the outset, this project has multi-purposes. First, with particular reference to the development experiences of East Asian Countries, this project was intended to strengthen the analysis, policy making and administrative capacities through research and training activities for the effective implementation of a market-based economic system. Second, this project aimed to emphasize on exchange of ideas and intellectual debates among scholars, researchers and policy makers from Central Asia and South Caucasus region and also between their counterparts from East Asian countries, Russia, European countries and the U.S. through seminars, workshop and conferences. Third, this project meant to disseminate research findings by publishing books in English, Russian and Japanese languages either in-house or through commercial publishers. Over time, the core focus of the project shifted from addressing policies and strategies of transitional economy to a much wider spectrum covering development economics, international flow of trade and investment, strategies under globalization trend, social changes, domestic policies, security and geo-strategic issues, etc.

The project embraces the post-Soviet period. In other words, the focus is essentially on the last decade of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. In the course of this stormy period, both the domestic and foreign situation in these countries have undergone profound change. If in the first half of the 1990s the most important questions dealt with the formation of new statehood and problems associated with the transition to a market economy, in the second half the top-priority questions concerned stability and the threat posed by the claims of Islamic radicalism to power.

 In these contexts, this project intends to undertake two broad approaches in the next five years. Firstly, to provide a platform for promoting policy studies, scholarly debates and exchange of ideas and experiences on issues related to social, economic, political and security spheres of the states in Central Asia and South Caucasus. Secondly, this project aims to maintain and to widen the intellectual network of scholars, researchers, policy makers, practitioners from the countries in Central Asia and South Caucasus on the one hand, and to link them with their peers from Russia, China, the U.S., EU, East and South Asia on the other hand. The ultimate goal of this project is to facilitate the target groups in re-thinking a practical alternative––which is commensurate to the initial conditions and the observed reality in Central Asian and South Caucasus vis-à-vis external powers––that could bring about peace and stability, better economic restructuring in enhancing growth in a sustained basis in the post-transition era.

 Since 1994, at various stages, the research activities have generated animated, productive discussions by scholars from Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, Georgia, Great Britain, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Singapore, United States, Uzbekistan and others. Our research findings were published by M. E. Sharpe in the past years. This project will continue to share its research findings with the public domain through this website and through its annual publication known as The Central Asia and South Caucasus Affairs, and through publisher such as M. E. Sharpe.

 In addition, we encourage productive debates and intellectual networking of our project participants through one research workshop every summer, and an annual international conference in October/November known as the SPF Issyk-Kul Forum (SPF-IKF) Series. The annual SPF-IKF was incepted at Lake Issyk-Kul (Kyrgyzstan) in October 1995, and hence, since then that name was adopted to signify our commitment to create an independent forum for encouraging exchange of ideas/experience, debates on issues pertain to the social, economic and political development of the countries of Central Asia and South Caucasus, in domestic, intra-regional, and international dimensions. To date, these workshops and the SPF-IKF were organized in various places such as Issyk-Kul (Kyrgyzstan), Tashkent, Washington D.C., Moscow, Beijing, Almaty, Kuala Lumpur, Baku, Goa (India), Oxford (jointly with Saint Anthony College), Ashgabat, Tbilisi, Yerevan.

Lau Sim Yee is the Program Advisor (SPF) and acting director of the Sasakawa Pan Asia Fund