ICAR Hosts Seminar on Central Asia

Posted: March 8, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Christopher Anzalone

George Mason’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) hosted the first in a series of meetings of the Policy Seminars on Conflicts in Eurasia (PSCE) program on Feb. 17. The U.S. Department of State’s Program of Research and Training for Eastern Europe and the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union is currently funding PSCE under a $60,000 pilot grant, but ICAR has applied for a full grant that would provide about $600,000 more for the next academic year.

The first seminar, which was attended by guests from academia, think tanks, and the Department of State, included presentations by 10 PSCE Fellows, who each delivered talks on a variety of topics. The five general themes they addressed were trends in population—migration and gender issues; Islam and Soviet successor states; security and terrorism; succession dynamics and revolution in Central Asia; and education and conflict in Central Asia. The primary goal of this seminar was to set the groundwork for further policy discussions by enhancing the knowledge of Central Asia, a region that is increasing in importance because of its sizeable oil reserves and its relative proximity to the Middle East and South Asia, two current world hotspots.

The seminar, which was open to the public, was followed by a series of closed discussions, during which PSCE Fellows listened to lectures on the field of Central Asian studies and relevant theories of conflict analysis and resolution. Among the presenters were ICAR faculty members Christopher Mitchell, Drucie French Cumbie Professor of Conflict Resolution; Karyna Korostelina, research professor; and Dennis Sandole, professor of conflict resolution and public affairs.

The next seminar in the PSCE program, which will revolve around ways to develop the field of conflict resolution as it applies to Central Asia, will be held May 5-7. A major conference, where a series of papers will be presented, is slated for October.

For more information, see ICAR’s web site.

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