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Cambridge Central Asia Forum


COMPASS: Comprehensive Capacity-Building in the Eastern Neighbourhood and Central Asia: research integration, impact governance & sustainable communities (GCRF RCUK ES/PO10849/1), 2017-2021

COMPASS Objectives

The project explores a novel ‘adaptive governance/governmentality approach’ for developing sustainable UK/EU relations with its external environment. The project examines the core notions of resilience, peoplehood and cooperative orders, as part of the wider ‘good governance’ framework for a more sustainable and effective global governance.

This is a capacity-building project seeking to operate through the ‘hubs of excellence’ in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, along the following three dimensions:

  • WP1: Research integration to help identify specialist research niche for partner institutions; organise thematic workshops and conferences; produce agreed academic outputs; deliver PhD training schools and launch a series of pilot projects as part of the wider UK/EU research integration strategy
  • WP2: Higher-impact policy development to help identify training needs for continuing professional development in partner institutions, organise study trips to the UK and EU, deliver Executive Summer Schools, and establish regular top-level regional policy forums  - e.g. Caspian Energy forum in Azerbaijan; Minsk Peace Dialogue in Belarus; Eurasian Silk Road Diplomacy in Uzbekistan and Eurasian Identity & Cultural Diplomacy in Tajikistan – for policy impact and better governance
  • WP3: Public outreach and sustainable communities to identify core public needs for more effective governance; organise school fairs with study packs, citizen juries and BBC Question Type discussions with local authorities to improve government performance and raise awareness for sustainable communities.

COMPASS Major Beneficiaries:

The project will develop strategic research partnerships with four top-level HEIs in European Neighbourhood and Central Asia to advance:

  • at the local/regional level, specialist knowledge and best practices in peace and security dialogue, conflict resolutions, cultural and normative identity-building, geopolitical, economic and energy cooperation
  • at the UK level, research and policy access to the hitherto 'closed' region, associated with strong autocratic regimes, conflict-torn societies, geopolitical dependencies, and a wider Eurasian civilisation, including the economic Silk Road project
  • at the global level, a new insight into ‘better global governance’ by unpacking and engaging with the notions of ‘peoplehood’, resilience, and sustainability of the increasingly fragmented and multi-order international system



University of Cambridge:

Dr Saxena (Co-I)

Dr Diana T. Kudaibergenova (PDRA)

Prajakti Kalra (Communications and Events Officer)

University of Kent Team:

Dr E. Korostoleva (PI)

Dr Eske van-Gils (PDRA)

Dr Oybek Madiyev (PDRA)

Conny Jummel

Partner institutions and countries:

Azerbaijan: ADA University

Belarus: Belarus State University 

Tajikistan: Tajik National University 

Uzbekistan: UWED


Launch Event: Minsk Dialogue 22-23 May 2018

Talk by B. Aslanbayli, VP, BP (Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey) on 'Energy resources of Azerbaijan and export of Caspian energy resources to Europe' 27 April 2018

Talk by Prof Yamanaka, Former Vice Minister of Japan, 'North East Asia: Towards the end of the Cold War' 8 June 2018

Roundtable on Role of Science in the Development of High-Tech Production and their economic aspects 27 October 2018

Roundtable on Community Dialogue and Democratisation in Uzbekistan 15 November 2018

 Upcoming Events:

Bukhara Summer School April 2018