Fall 2022 - IS 322 D100

Central Asia: Conflict and Security (4)

Class Number: 5124

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 8:30 AM – 11:20 AM
    HCC 2945, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units. Recommended: IS 200.



Examines the new states of post-Soviet Central Asia, with particular reference to the relationship among democratization, development, autocracy and conflict, and the role of external actors in transnational security issues in the region. Students with credit for IS 412 may not take this course for further credit.


This course is designed to develop student expertise on Post-Soviet Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan) though an inter-disciplinary study of its politics and international relations. The core themes which will be explored include: i) the relationships among democratization, security and conflict; ii) the security implications of the resilience and fragility of autocracies and semi-autocracies; iii) the role of external actors in transnational security issues. The course introduces key academic works in the study of Central Asia and also draws upon policy literature.


These include the ability to critically analyse modern politics and security studies in Central Asia; to analyse and evaluate theories, concepts and themes of Central Asian politics. Theoretical arguments will be critiqued and applied to empirical case studies; academic texts analysed; primary sources evaluated and deployed; reasoned arguments constructed. Students will also learn to communicate effectively in oral and written form, to develop policy proposal based on empirical and theoretical works, and to work independently and with colleagues to achieve set tasks.


  • Participation 15%
  • Presentation 15%
  • Research Essay 40%
  • Scenario 15%
  • Group Position Statement 15%


Students will be required to submit their written assignments to Turnitin.com in order to receive credit for the assignments and for the course.

The School for International Studies strictly enforces the University's policies regarding plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty. Information about these policies can be found at: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/teaching.html.



This course will have a heavy reading load. Readings will mostly include journal articles which can be accessed online through the library or will be posted on Canvas.


Adeeb Khalid, Islam after communism: Religion and politics in Central Asia (University of California Press, 2014).

Marlene Laruelle and Sebastien Peyrouse, Globalizing Central Asia, M E Sharpe, 2013

Kent E Calder, Supercontinent: The Logic of Eurasian Integration, Stanford University Press, 2019

Jeff Sahadeo & Russell Zanca (eds.): Everyday Life in Central Asia: Past and Present (Indiana University Press, 2007).

Daniel L Burghart, Ed, Central Asia in the Era of Sovereignty: The Return of Tamerlane? Rowman and Littlefield Publishing, London, 2018.

Kathleen Collins, Clan Politics and Regime Transition in Central Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2006).

Mariya Y. Omelicheva, Democracy in Central Asia: Competing perspectives and alternative strategies (University Press of Kentucky, 2016).

Sally N. Cummings, Understanding Central Asia: Politics and Contested Transformations (Routledge, 2012).

Thomas Stephan Eder, China-Russia relations in Central Asia: Energy policy, Beijing’s new assertiveness and 21st Century geopolitics (Springer, 2013).


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html