Rising Powers and Conflict Management Project (2012-2016)

Economic and Social Research Council Project (ES/J013056/1)

Rising Powers and Conflict Management in Central Asia

In a changing world order, a better understanding of the different ways that states try to manage violent conflict is increasingly important. This ESRC-funded project examines the divergent responses of Russia, China and the West to outbreaks of armed violence in post-Soviet Central Asia as well as exploring the local politics of managing conflict.



Dr John Heathershaw, Principal Investigator, University of Exeter

Dr David Lewis, Co-Investigator, University of Exeter

Dr Nick Megoran, Co-Investigator, Newcastle University

Ivan Campbell, Bernardo Mariani and colleagues, Co-Investigator, Saferworld

A total of 13 researchers and research assistants have contributed to the project and are acknowledged in publications or included as co-authors where this is possible on safety grounds.  An international advisory board of seven persons includes persons from Central Asia Russia, China, the US and the UK.



13 March 2013, PROJECT LAUNCH, Exeter

10 September 2013, Opening Workshop and Chatham House seminar – Conflict Management in Central Asia

3-5 June 2015, Central Asia Book Workshop @ OSCE Academy, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

14 October 2015, China Workshop @ Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, China

23 October 2015, Joint Event at Chatham House with University of Cambridge –  Russia and China: entanglements and points of tension

18 May 2016, Russia Workshop @ Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

13-14 July, 2016 Final Workshop and Chatham House seminar – Dealing with Illiberalism: lessons from Central Asia?



By John Heathershaw:

with David Gulette, ‘The Affective Politics of Sovereignty: relfecting on the 2010 crisis in Kyrgyzstan’, Nationalities Papers, 43(1), 2015. 122-139

By David Lewis:

Understanding the Authoritarian State: Neopatrimonialism in Central Asia’, Brown Journal of World Affairs, vol. XIX, no. 1, 2012

Who’s Socialising Whom? Regional Organisations and Contested Norms in Central Asia, Europe – Asia Studies, vol. 64, no. 7, 2012, 1219-1237

Sovereignty after empire: The colonial roots of central Asian authoritarianism’, in Sovereignty after Empire, 2011, 178-195

Security Sector Reform in authoritarian regimes: The OSCE experience of police assistance programming in Central Asia’, Security and Human Rights, vol. 22, no. 2, 2011, 103-117

By Anna Matveeva:

with  Savin, I., Faizullaev, B. (2012) ‘Kyrgyzstan: Tragedy in the South,’ Ethnopolitics Papers, Exeter Centre for Ethnopolitical Studies/ Specialist Group Ethnopolitics of the UK Political Studies Association, no. 17, April 2011

Violence in Kyrgyzstan, vacuum in the region: the case for Russia-EU joint crisis management,’ (2011) London School of Economics, Civil Society & Human Security Research Unit Working Paper, December 2011.

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