European Handbook of Central Asian Studies: History, Politics and Societies

(Forthcoming February 2021)


Bruno De Cordier

Adrien Fauve

Jeroen Van den Bosch

The handbook consists of five parts, which categorize the various chapter topics logically and consistently. The introduction contains three chapters: The first containing a solid reflection on the state of the discipline and how Europe has and will educate previous and future generations of Central Asian experts, and how such knowledges fares on the contemporary labor market.

The second chapter delves deeper into the most-asked question of the field: “What is Central Asia?” and hopes to bundle insights from various legacies of scholarship around the world to present not one, but several valid interpretations of where Central Asia starts and where it ends, with some recommendations for readers on what criteria they might want to use to formulate their own interpretation of this intangible research object.

The third introductory chapter presents a range of study and teaching techniques to all potential readers: students, their teachers, scholars, non-academic experts and a wider interested audience. This chapter will show how the various integrated elements of the handbook were designed to strengthen deep and strategic learning, either for self-study or for a classroom setting.



1. Why study Central Asia? – Adrien Fauve (Paris-Sud)

2. Defining and delineating Central Asia – Bruno De Cordier (UGent) and Jeroen Van den Bosch (AMU)

3. How to use this handbook: study guide and didactic techniques – Justyna Hadaś (AMU)


4. The Islamization of Central Asia in the medieval period – Bruno de Cordier (UGent)

5. Early modern interactions between pastoral nomadic and sedentary societies in the Central Asian culture complex – Vincent Fourniau (EHESS-Centre d’études turques, ottomanes, balkaniques et centrasiatiques, i.c.w. IFÉAC)

6. Are the colonial and postcolonial paradigms applicable to the Central Asian region? – Svetlana Gorshenina (Collège de France, i.c.w. Ghent University)

7. Religions in Central Asia – Sebastien Peyrouse (George Washington University)

8. (Linguistic) culture, collective memory and remembrance culture in Central Asia – Abel Polese (Dublin City University)


9. Ethnicity, class and clan politics – Jeremy Smith (University of Eastern Finland)

10. Political parties and elections in Central Asia – Adrien Fauve (Paris-Sud)

11. Political Regimes of and in Central Asia – Jeroen Van den Bosch (AMU Poznan)

12. Civil society in Central Asia – Baktybek Kainazarov (National Academy of Sciences of Kyrgyzstan)

13. Law and/in Central Asia: Discourse and Praxis across the Soviet collapse – Scott Newton (SOAS)


14. History and evolution of geopolitics toward Central Asia – Slavomir Horak (Charles University in Prague)

15. Regional and intercontinental exchange spaces – Sebastien Peyrouse (George Washington University)

16. Foreign policy of Central Asian states – Catherine Poujol (IFÉAC)

17. Security and terrorism in Central Asia – Maria Raquel Freire and Bernardo Teles Fazendeiro (University of Coimbra)


18. Political economy and development of and in Central Asia – Luca Ancenschi (Glasgow University)

19. Environment in Central Asia – Xenia Prilutskaya (Universität Tübingen, i.c.w. Ghent University)

20. Migration in and from the Central Asian region – Bhavna Davé (SOAS)

21. Urbanization and rural-urban dynamics in Central Asia – Abel Polese (Dublin City University)

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Dear Central Asian Expert.

EISCAS is an international education project that aims to improve the quality of teaching Central Asian Studies (CAS) by making new didactic materials and formulating recommendations for teachers, students and institutions.

Below you will find a survey especially designed for experts in this field.

The aim of the survey is to map professional trajectories of CAS experts/scholars/teachers in Europe and beyond in order to create curriculum design recommendations.

All project results will be freely available by the end of the project on our website (

Link to the survey

We greatly appreciate your feedback and support.

We did our best to keep the survey short, and we thank you in advance for your time in providing detailed answers.

PLEASE SHARE this survey with other specialists of Central Asia Studies you are in contact with.

The EISCAS project stands for: EURASIAN INSIGHTS: Strengthening Central Asian Studies in Europe.

Project number:2018-1-PL01-KA203-050674

Project duration: 1 September 2018 until 30 June 2021 (34 months).

The project is co-funded by the Erasmus plus program of the European Union.

Our website:

For more info about our project
For more info about our partners

Thank you in advance for your feedback and sharing,

The EISCAS team