SEMINAR- Why Kyrgyzstan Matters, Bakyt Beshimov and Timothy Colton, Oct. 6

Baktybek Beshimov, Former Member of the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan;
Visiting Scholar, Davis Center

Timothy Colton, Morris and Anna Feldberg Professor of Government and
Russian Studies; Chair, Department of Government, Harvard University;
Faculty Associate, Davis Center

This event will address the major questions raised by the revolution,
popular unrest, and ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan since April 2010.
How do these events impact academic theories of post-Soviet Central
Asian countries’ transformation? Conversely, how can existing theories
of governance and international relations shed light on what happened?
What potential areas for new research have been opened by these
events?  What major questions does the coup or revolution raise for
the field of Central Asian area studies?

Baktybek Beshimov combines extensive experience in education,
politics, diplomacy, and development. From 1998 to 2009, Mr. Beshimov
led an opposition faction in the parliament of Kyrgyzstan. He served
as ambassador of Kyrgyzstan to India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh
from 2000 to 2005. Previously, he played a key role in formulating
development policy in Kyrgyzstan as a Member of Parliament and as the
national manager of the United Nations Fergana Valley Development
Program and the UNDP Local Initiative for Urban Environment Program.
Mr. Beshimov served as provost of the American University for Central
Asia from 2005 to 2007, and as president of Osh State University from
1992 to 1996, promoting a system of liberal arts education. During the
2009–2010 academic year he was a visiting researcher at the Center for
International Studies at MIT. He is the recipient of the Institute of
International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund Fellowship for the
current academic year, and will be in residence at the Davis Center
for Russian and Eurasian Studies as a visiting scholar. In April 2010
the National Endowment for Democracy awarded him the prestigious
Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellowship. Mr. Beshimov frequently
contributes to international and regional media; his coauthored book
Fergana Valley: The Heart of Central Asia will be published by John
Hopkins University in fall 2010. He envisions Central Asia as a region
of vibrant independent states with democratic political systems,
humane, visionary politics, and dynamic, innovative economies.

Timothy Colton is Morris and Anna Feldberg Professor of Government and
Russian Studies, and Chair of the Government Department at Harvard
University. His main interest is Russian and post-Soviet government
and politics. He is the author of The Dilemma of Reform in the Soviet
Union (1986); Moscow: Governing the Socialist Metropolis (1995), which
was named best scholarly book in government and political science by
the Association of American Publishers; Transitional Citizens: Voters
and What Influences Them in the New Russia (2000); and Popular Choice
and Managed Democracy: The Russian Elections of 1999 and 2000 (with
Michael McFaul, 2003). His biography Yeltsin: A Life was published by
Basic Books in April, 2008. Professor Colton was a fellow at the
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a member of the
Joint Committee on Soviet Studies of the Social Science Research
Council and the American Council of Learned Societies, and vice-chair
of the National Council for East European, Russian, and Eurasian
Research. He is currently a member of the editorial boards of World
Politics and Post-Soviet Affairs.

This event is cosponsored by the Social Science Research Council and
the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University.

Wednesday, October 6
Public Lecture

“Why Kyrgyzstan Matters”
1730 Cambridge Street, concourse level, Room S020 – Belfer Case Study Room
4:00-6:00 p.m.
Reception to follow in the concourse
RSVP to Joan Gabel (jgabel@fas.harvard.edu) by Oct. 1 if you plan to attend.

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