Mason Hosts Scholars from Former Soviet States

Posted: August 7, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Fran Rensbarger

This month the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) hosts two research scholars from Middle Europe who are studying issues related to the conflicts resulting from the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Professor Dennis Sandole of ICAR will be mentoring both scholars. The researchers are funded by four-month grants from the U.S. Department of State designed to aid in the transition of the new independent states to democracy and a market economy.

Ali Askerov teaches international relations, political history, and English at the Qafqaz University in Baku, Azerbaijan. “After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, 15 new states with five armed conflicts emerged,” he says. “I would like to examine the origins of conflicts and ways of resolving them.” His research will focus particularly on Nagorny Karabakh.

Abdusamadov A. Abdusabur, of Dushanbe, Tajikistan, teaches the history and culture of Central Asia and is a junior research associate. He also works as a coordinator for conflict resolution at the nongovernmental organization Center for Social Technologies. As a country representative for Cornell Caspian Consulting, he is creating guidelines to develop conflict research in Tajikistan. Abdusabur recently received a diploma from the peace and conflict research department at the Uppsala University in Sweden. His research topic while at George Mason is “Social Conflicts in Transitional Societies.”

While both scholars are funded by the State Department, they are coming to George Mason under two different programs administered by different organizations. Askerov’s research is funded under the Regional Scholar Exchange Program, which is administered by the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS. Abdusabur is studying under the Contemporary Issues Fellowship Program administered by the International Research and Exchanges Board. Each organization independently requested that ICAR host the visiting scholars. Hosting involves providing a research mentor, desk space, a computer with Internet access, and normal research facilities such as library access. Both researchers may be asked to give lectures or participate in other ways at George Mason.

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