John Schoeberlein

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John Schoeberlein "is Director of the Program on Central Asia and the Caucasus at Harvard University, which he was instrumental in founding in 1993. The program coordinates activities at Harvard related to the study of “Greater” Central Asia/Eurasia, extending from the Crimea and Caucasus to the Volga Basin, Mongolia, Western China, Afghanistan and the former Soviet Central Asian republics. His main area of research is on political, social and cultural aspects of identity, ethnicity, nationality, Islam, and community organization in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. He received his Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from Harvard University. His research focuses on identity, ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, and community organization among the Islamic peoples of Central Eurasia. He has conducted a total of over five years of anthropological field research in various parts of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. He has taught courses in the anthropology, history and politics of the region as Lecturer on Central Asian Studies at Harvard University since 1993. During 1998-99, he headed the United Nations' Ferghana Valley Development Programme, working on participatory approaches to conflict resolution in the region. During 2000-2001, he was Director of the Central Asia Project of the International Crisis Group, working to diminish the possibilities of conflict in the region. He regularly lectures internationally and in the U.S., with recent appearances in Almaty, Bishkek, Tashkent, Dushanbe, Brussels, Moscow, London, Oslo, Vienna, Paris, New York and Washington, D.C.

"His current research topics include the rise of radical Islam in Central Asia, the impact of national state formation on identity in Central Asia, the factors affecting the potential for violent inter-communal conflict, and means of promoting community-level participation in economic reform. He has done development consulting work on the potential of local communities to participate in economic reform efforts, including major survey research in Uzbekistan. He gives frequent consultations to various governmental and international organizations and the press regarding developments in Central Asia.

"From 2000 to 2003, he held the position of the first President of the Central Eurasian Studies Society (, an international scholarly association supporting the enhancement of research in the social sciences and humanities focused on the region from the Black Sea to Mongolia. Under his leadership, the organization was established and grew to over 1,500 members in over 60 countries. Its 2003 conference, hosted by Harvard, attracted nearly 500 panelists and over 800 attendees." [1]

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  1. John Schoeberlein, Harvard University, accessed September 10, 2007.