Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




China’s Military and Security Diplomacy in Central Asia

Please join us for the 4th Annual Edward A. Allworth Memorial Lecture given by Erica Marat (National Defense University).

China has emerged as a global provider of public goods in large part thanks to its Belt & Road Initiative. What’s less noticed is China’s expanding military and security diplomacy that includes supply of smart surveillance technologies, military assistance, and exchanges in professional military education. Focusing on the Central Asian countries, this presentation explores domestic receptivity to Chinese knowledge-based services and regional implications of China’s involvement in domains historically occupied by Russia. Intangible goods that require minimal upfront investment can be more easily replicated than public goods, potentially outliving the impact created by one-time infrastructural investments.


Dr. Erica Marat is an Associate Professor at the College of International Security Affairs of the National Defense University. Marat’s research focuses on violence, mobilization and security institutions in Eurasia, India, and Mexico. She is also engaged in a research project on China’s and Russia’s provision of public services for illiberal governances in fifteen countries across five continents. The projects are funded by the Minerva DECUR grant.



Edward A. Allworth Memorial Lecture

Edward Allworth headshotThe annual Edward A. Allworth Memorial Lecture was established to honor the memory of Professor Allworth (1920-2016), distinguished pioneer in the field of Central Asian Studies. Allworth, an alumnus of the Russian Institute and longtime faculty member at Columbia University, was founding director of both the Program on Soviet Nationality Problems (1970) and the Center for Central Asian Studies (1984). His many publications include eight books, among them his seminal Central Asia: A Century of Russian Rule (1967; third edition published as Central Asia: 130 Years of Russian Rule, 1994), and The Tatars of Crimea: Return to the Homeland (2d ed. 1989). He mentored dozens of accomplished scholars from around the world and introduced the rich culture and history of the region to countless more. The Central Eurasian Studies Society honored Allworth posthumously with its 2016 Lifetime Service to the Field Award.


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