The Uzbek Diaspora and the Immigrant Experience: Radicalization, Transnational Networks, and Media Portrayals

Thursday, December 14, 2017
404 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St, Ground Floor)

Please join the Harriman Institute and for a panel discussion about radicalization and the Uzbek diaspora, featuring speakers Navbahor Imamova (Voice of America), Edward Lemon (Harriman Institute), Peter Leonard (EurasiaNet), and Erica Marat (National Defense University). Moderated by Alexander Cooley (Harriman Institute).

The Halloween terror attack in New York, in which an Uzbek national legally residing in the United States stands accused of killing eight people, is spotlighting the issues of Islamic radicalism in Central Asia and the immigrant experience in America. Media coverage of these issues in the aftermath of the incident was fleeting. A deeper understanding of current trends in Uzbekistan and within its transnational communities is needed to craft effective policy responses that reduce the chances of a similar tragedy happening again in the United States. The Harriman Institute, along with EurasiaNet, will lead a panel discussion among leading experts on Central Asian diaspora politics that puts the Halloween attack into proper context and provides insight into the forces at work that prompted the accused Halloween attacker, Sayfullo Saipov, to embrace terrorism.


Navbahor Imamova is a prominent Uzbek journalist at the Voice of America and a leading Washington-based authority on geopolitics and national development in Central Asia. As anchor, reporter, multimedia editor and producer, she has covered Central Asia and the U.S. for over 15 years on TV, radio and online. Her latest VOA article about the Uzbek community can be accessed by clicking here.

Edward Lemon is a postdoctoral research scholar at the Harriman Institute. His research examines migration, authoritarianism and extremism in Central Asia. Click here for links to several of his media appearances discussing misconceptions about Central Asia in the media.

Peter Leonard has served as EurasiaNet's editor for Central Asia since mid-2015, based in Bishkek. He has over a decade of reporting experience in Eurasia, having previously worked as a correspondent in Central Asia for The Associated Press from 2007-13. He also served as the AP's bureau chief in Kyiv, Ukraine from 2013-15. 

Erica Marat is an Associate Professor and Director of Homeland Defense Fellowship Program at the College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University. Her book on police in ex-Soviet states will be published by Oxford University Press in Spring 2018. Some of her media appearances relevant to this panel's topic can be found at EurasiaNet, WNYC's The Takeaway, and the Wall Street Journal.

Moderator: Alexander Cooley, Director, Harriman Institute

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