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Talk by Professor Dadabaev, Tsukuba University on 'Decolonizing Central Asian International Relations: Central Asia in Post-Colonial Age'

When Nov 27, 2020
from 11:00 AM to 01:00 PM
Where Zoom
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Cambridge Central Asia Forum in collaboration with the Centre of
Development Studies and GCRF COMPASS Project invites you to a talk by

Professor Timur Dadabaev, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences,
Tsukuba University


'Decolonizing Central Asian International Relations: Central Asia in
Post-Colonial Age'

Date: 27 November 2020

Time: 11-1pm

Venue: Webinar (Zoom link on request from

Everyone is welcome.

Please RSVP with Prajakti Kalra ( for Webinar link to
attend the talk.

Abstract: This presentation aims to address the main narratives used in International Relations to depict and explain inter-state relations in the Central Asian (CA) region. On the one hand, CA has been one of the Asian regions the most exposed to the changes in modern history brought by decolonisation as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the “waves” of US democratisation, the retreat and return of the Eurasian ambitions of Russia, and the rise of China and its decolonising and neo-colonising agenda, to mention just a few recent developments. On the other hand, the theoretical frames used to explain and depict the relations of major actors in CA international relations have remained largely limited to rationalist arguments (frequently seen among realists, neo-realists, liberalists, neo-liberalists, and scholars using game-theoretic or expected-utility models) along the lines of rivalry, domination, spheres of influence, and a rhetoric of “divide and conquer”. Therefore, many argue that selfishness (egoism), anarchy, right of the strong, state-centrism, materially defined national interests and sacred nature of state sovereignty are the core ideas  which define the behaviour of small and large states in CA region. What are the major limitations of the contemporary theoretical approaches towards the Central Asian region in IR? What are the implications of such deficiencies for the discipline of IR and for inter-state relations in the region? What are the features of Central Asian IR currently unaccounted for by mainstream theories? These are the questions to be discussed in the course of this talk. 


Biography: Timur Dadabaev is a Professor of International Relations and the Director of the Special Program for Japanese and Eurasian Studies at the Graduate School of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Tsukuba, Japan. He published with Communist and Post-Communist Studies, The Pacific Review, Nationalities Papers, Japanese Journal of Political Science, Journal of Contemporary China, Asian Survey, Inner Asia, Central Asian Survey, Asian Affairs, Europe Asia Studies, Strategic Analysis, Journal of Eurasian Studies, Asia Europe Journal , International Journal of Asian Studies and many others. His latest monographic books are Identity and Memory in Post-Soviet Central Asia (Oxon: Routledge, 2015), Japan in Central Asia (NY: Palgrave Macmillan 2016), Chinese, Japanese and Korean In-roads into Central Asia (Policy Studies Series, Honolulu: East West Center 2019)and Transcontinental Silk Road Strategies: Comparing China, Japan and Korea in Uzbekistan (Oxon: Routledge, 2019). His edited volumes include Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan: Life and Politics during the Soviet Era, (Co-edited with Hisao Komatsu), NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017 and Social Capital Construction and Governance in Central Asia: Communities and NGOs in post-Soviet Uzbekistan (Co-edited with Yutaka Tsujinaka), NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.