Crossroads Central Asia is a non-profit research institute based in Bishkek. It is established to promote better understanding of political, economic and security affairs of Central Asia and its wider Eurasian neighborhood. Crossroads also contributes to safe and democratic development of the region through partaking in informed, balanced and progressive decision-making by various stakeholders.
Crossroads works with the following foundational assumptions:
- Central Asia is a pivotal crossroads region, whose activities directly impact other contiguous and outlying regions, and conversely, outside happenings affect Central Asian region;
- In the early XXI century, Central Asia and its adjacent areas are in substantive crossroads, between security and lack thereof, between global multipolar cooperation and uncooperative polarization, democratization and backtracking therein;
- Prudent and progressive decision-making and development in the face of both regional and substantive crossroads situation requires realization of another crossroads: robust intellectual and informational linkages both within and across regions and issue areas.
Politics and security
The politics of Central Asia present a number of puzzles to the academic ad policy worlds alike. The states of the region have successfully grown into a depositary of materials for a growing sub-field of comparative authoritarianism. The daily politics between the states as well as the occasionally intriguing interactions of the region with regional and global powers provide vast, if potential, data for scholars of international relations, security and cooperation.
Crossroads will have politics and security as one of its thematic areas for research and analysis.
With 25 years of independence in the past, Central Asia still best represents the conserved, if modified, legacies of the empire that created the region as it is. Massive international attention has been given to help the region with development. Yet, real economic development remains confined to the chunks of small-scale business and state-controlled energy giants mostly.
Crossroads views development as inherently linked not only to the matters of governance, corruption, but also to development of people-driven small and medium level private business.
The real core of Central Asia’s future development shall lie with the education of today’s and tomorrow’s citizens. Free and responsible citizens are required for active civil society to matter, for accountable and competent government to emerge and for the region to attain dynamic and open stability.
Crossroads’ activities in this area will include, but not limited to, organization of well-designed workshops for professionals, design and delivery of civic educational materials for university and high school students, and sponsoring of special educational events that can fill gaps in the nurturing responsible and well-informed civic leaders and broader citizenry.