Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




New Generations in Central Asia: Opportunities and Challenges of Transformation

Please join us for the 2nd Annual Edward A. Allworth Memorial Lecture, given by Marlene Laruelle (George Washington University).

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Who are Central Asian youth? What do they think? What do they hope for? Western scholarship tends to focus on the “stagnant” features of the region—political elites, the difficulty of reform, the Soviet legacy—or evokes younger cohorts only through the prism of the risk of radicalization. But Millennials and Gen Z are much more than a bridge from the old Soviets to the prospect of Islamism. They have specific habits and behaviors, cultural heroes, and new professions that are reshaping the societal landscape—and potentially the political one. Combining sociological surveys, focus groups, and content analysis, this presentation draws the portraits of those who will be the next Central Asia.

Marlene Laruelle, Ph.D., is an Associate Director and Research Professor at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES), Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University.  Dr. Laruelle is also Director of GW’s Central Asia Program and Co-Director of PONARS (Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia).  Dr. Laruelle received her Ph.D. in history at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Cultures (INALCO) and her post-doctoral degree in political science at Sciences-Po, both in Paris. She works on identity, nationalism, and ideologies in Russia and Central Asia and is currently preparing a monograph on Kazakhstan’s nationhood.

Annual Edward A. Allworth Memorial Lecture

The annual Edward A. Allworth Memorial Lectures were 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.