Current Associate Research Fellows


Rebecca Wagner, 2021


Kinga Szálkai, 2020

Dr Kinga Szálkai is an Assistant Professor at the Department of International Relations and European Studies at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary. Previously, she worked at Antall József Knowledge Centre as a research fellow, at Central European University as a research assistant, and held several positions at Corvinus Society for Foreign Affairs and Culture. She has also lectured at various universities of Central Europe, including Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, where she is currently a visiting professor.

She earned her PhD degree in International Relations and Security Studies from the Corvinus University of Budapest. Her main research focuses on water as a security challenge in Central Asia. Her research areas also include large dams as tools of identity construction in the Soviet Union and in the post-Soviet region, theories and practice of water security, and women in Soviet Central Asia.




Nargiza Muratalieva, 2020

Research Topic: The Impact of Geopolitical Projects in Central Asia

Dr. Nargiza Muratalieva is an Associate Research Fellow at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek. Associate professor, she holds a PhD in political science, with a dissertation devoted to “Regional Policy of Russia and China in Central Asia and the SCO as a factor of interaction.” Author of the monograph “Russia and China in Central Asia”, she published over 50 articles. She currently works at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) as an editor of analytical materials. Her broad research interest are – security, political processes in Central Asia, international organizations.



Barbara Roggeveen, 2020

Research Topic: Civilizational Discourses in Contemporary Russian Foreign Policy

Barbara Roggeveen is a PhD candidate in Russian and East European Studies at the University of Oxford. Her doctoral research explores a prominent yet under-researched attempt by Russian foreign policy actors to redefine the spatial contours of Russia’s post-Soviet zone of influence - one that not only includes the post-Soviet states in Central Asia but increasingly extends eastward to China, India, and the Korean peninsula. Prior to her PhD research, Barbara graduated with distinction from the University of Oxford with an MPhil in Russian and East European Studies. She also completed a Bachelor of Laws at the Vrije University and a Bachelor in Slavic Languages and Cultures at the University of Amsterdam. Barbara has held various research positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Atlantic Council in Washington DC, and the University of Amsterdam. Her research interests include conservative ideologies in Russian politics, Russian foreign policy approaches towards the Eurasian region, and the discursive construction of post-Soviet identities.


Lambert Michael Eric, 2020

Research Topic: The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Declassified Documents on Central Asia

Historian of intelligence services focusing on the CIA activities in Europe, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. Michael received a Doctorate (Ph.D.) in History of Europe and International Relations from Sorbonne University in collaboration with the INSEAD, Europe Campus (December 2016). Prior to that, he completed the Master of Research (M. Res.) program at the Sorbonne with a thesis on ‘Russia's attitude to Estonian accession to NATO and the European Union. He is the author and co-author of politico-military and intelligence reports on European (EU-Russia) and Chinese affairs in states with limited diplomatic recognition (Abkhazia, Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Chechnya).

Technical Areas

- History of the CIA in Europe, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia
- European (EU-Russia) and Chinese affairs in states with limited diplomatic recognition (Abkhazia, Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Chechnya)

Elizabeth Militz, 2020

Research Topic: A Digital Geography of Marginalized Sexualities in Kyrgyzstan

Elisabeth Militz is a feminist, cultural and political geographer based at the University of Bern. She received her PhD in Geography from the University of Zurich in 2017. Her dissertation developed the concept of affective nationalism, based on long-term ethnographic field work, living and working experiences in Azerbaijan between 2007 and 2014. Interested in the doings of emotions and affects in enabling and shaping nationalisms and sexuality politics. Her current research examines digital spaces of sexualities and sexuality education in Kyrgyzstan where she has been conducting fieldwork since 2017. In light of a growing right-wing populism and traditionalism and thus an increase of misogyny, homo- and transphobia across the world and also in Kyrgyzstan, she studies the innovative and multiple ways in which people who are marginalized on the grounds of their sexual practices, identities and experiences appropriate digital spaces of social media for knowledge production and peer support. Apart from conducting small data research on Instagram with Russian-language content, Elisabeth conducts qualitative interviews and focus group discussions in Bishkek and Osh. Elisabeth’s work on affective nationalism, political geographies and feminist methodologies has been published as a book in 2019 and in numerous scientific journals such as Political Geography, Gender, Place and Culture and Area.  

Marc Jeandesboz, 2020    

Research Topic: Post-Soviet Central Asia: at the Crossroads between Modernization and Modernities

Marc Jeandesboz is a PhD candidate in Contemporary History at the Université de Montréal, where he has also taught and served as a teaching assistant. He is interested in the socioeconomic evolution in the Post-Soviet as it relates to theories of modernization. For his B.Sc and M.Sc he majored in international studies with a focus on security and non-proliferation.

His PhD thesis explores the history of the former Central Asian Soviet republics during the 1990s. More specifically, it looks into the effect of reforms on culture, economy as well as science and technology. In a larger sense these developments are considered against the background of each republic’s foreign policy and security.



Philip Reid, 2020 

Research Topic: Revisiting Pivot Theory: Silk Road Initiatives in the Indo-Persian Corridor

Philip Reid has recently concluded a service career in the British Armed Forces and was a Visiting Fellow with the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi in 2018. He is currently a pre-doctoral candidate at King's College London and is a member of the Royal Institute for International Affairs and the Royal United Services Institute. Philip read Classical Persian Literature for his MA and maintains a wider interest in Islamic languages and culture. His present research encompasses the political economy of strategic infrastructure initiatives in Central and South Asia as well as a broader critique of classical realism. Recent papers include Makran Gateways: A Strategic Reference for Gwadar and Chabahar and The Belt and Road Initiative and The New Great Game: Context, Theory and Counter-Narratives.

Srdjan Uljevic, 2020 

Research Topic: Assessing India’s Efforts in Central Asia

Srdjan Uljevic is Assistant Professor at American University of Central Asia where he teaches at Department of General Education and School of Entrepreneurship and Business Administration. His academic background is multidisciplinary and includes Bachelor of Laws from University of Split, M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Central European University, Master in Contemporary China Studies from Renmin University, and Master of Social Sciences from Department of Political Science of National University of Singapore.

For about a decade, as a member of Croatian environmental NGO SUNCE, Srdjan worked with state and non-state actors in order to address and solve various environmental problems. In 2006 he went to China to conduct research on how China perceives international climate change negotiations. Ever since then Srdjan has been closely following Chinese foreign policy and international relations of Asia. More recently, he has been interested in India's grand strategy and foreign policy.
Srdjan is deeply concerned with rising nationalism across Europe and devastation that climate change will soon wreck on our societies.


Nicole Grajewski, 2020 

Research Topic: Iranian Foreign Policy in Central Asia

Nicole Grajewski is a DPhil (PhD) candidate in International Relations at the University of Oxford, where her doctoral dissertation focuses on the place of Iran within Russian discourses about international order, as well as the divergences and convergences in Russian and Iranian approaches to international relations. She received her MPhil degree in Russian and East European Studies from Oxford and completed her dissertation on Russian foreign policy towards Iran during regional military interventions. Prior to Oxford, Nicole graduated from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs with an honors degree in International Affairs, Security Policy and Middle Eastern Studies. Nicole has also worked for CNN, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Hudson Institute. Her research at the OSCE Academy examines the underlying factors shaping Iranian foreign policy in Central Asia, as well as Tehran’s bilateral and multilateral engagement with regional actors. Additionally, her research project seeks to identify Tehran’s perspective on Central Asian regional order by identifying the country’s security, political, cultural, economic interests and its normative approaches within the region.

Dr. Paradorn Rangsimaporn, 2020 

Research Topic: Exploring Relations and Cooperation between Central Asia and ASEAN

Dr. Paradorn Rangsimaporn is a Thai diplomat and independent researcher. He is currently Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission at the Royal Thai Embassy in Nur-Sultan, Republic of Kazakhstan, which also covers Thailand’s relations with the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Tajikistan. He was previously posted in Vienna, Austria, and was Head of Section for Russia, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand. He holds a BA (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, an MPhil in Russian and East European Studies and a DPhil in International Relations, all from the University of Oxford. 

His research interests are in Russian foreign policy, especially towards Asia, Russian-ASEAN relations, Kazakhstan’s foreign policy, and the international politics of Central Asia and the Caucasus. He has published articles in academic journals such as Asian Survey and Europe-Asia Studies as well as a book on Russian foreign policy towards East Asia. His current research at the OSCE Academy is on exploring Central Asia-ASEAN relations and cooperation by examining how Central Asian countries view ASEAN and its potential role as a counterweight to China, the key drivers in their relationship, including greater linkages through China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and the viability of ASEAN being one model for future Central Asian regionalism.

Ana-Maria Anghelescu, 2020 

Research Topic: Exploring the Relation between European Union and Central Asia in the Context of Increased Regional Interdependencies

Ana-Maria Anghelescu holds a BA in International Relations and European Studies, a MA in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and is currently a PhD candidate in Political Science at the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration in Bucharest, Romania. Ana-Maria also works in the International Relations Department of the Ministry of National Education of Romania, while being a teaching assistant for international relations courses at her university.

Her thesis explores possible areas of cooperation between Romania and Central Asia, in the context of the European Union’s strategy for the region. During her stay at the OSCE Academy, Ana-Maria Anghelescu conducts research regarding the local perceptions of the European Union in general and Romania in particular, while better understanding the place of Central Asia in the regional security complex.


Yazid Suleimani, 2020                                    

Research Topic: Policy Framework for the Implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative in Central Asia

Yazid is an Associate Research Fellow at the OSCE Academy. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering with Honors and is currently a postgraduate student in Economics at Istanbul Commerce University. He is an avid researcher, teacher and business executive. His research interests include Policy, Macroeconomics, Monetary Economics, Banking, Finance and International Economics. His business interests include Private Equity and Investment Banking.

Yazid is working on ‘Policy Framework For The Implementation of The Belt and Road Initiative in Central Asia’ at the OSCE Academy. The research aims to study and delineate optimal policy framework for the successful implementation of the Belts and Roads Initiative across Central Asia. The in depth project will include studies into Entrepreneurship, Firm and Industrial Organization, Banking and Finance, and Macroeconomic aspects of the Belts and Roads  Initiative in order to produce an optimal policy framework that will ensure the initiative’s success in                                                Central Asia and  beyond.

Dr. Sebastian Mayer, 2020 

Research Topic: Regime Complexity in Central Asian Security

Dr. Sebastian Mayer is currently DAAD Associate Professor of International Relations at the Kazakh-German University in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Associated Researcher, Institute for International and Intercultural Studies, University of Bremen, Germany. He serves as the Founding Director of the GKU’s Centre for Research & Graduate Education. Dr. Mayer obtained his PhD at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder, Germany. He has been working as Assistant Professor at the Free University of Berlin and the University of Bremen, including with the collaborative research centre “Transformations of the State”.

Dr. Mayer’s research activities include problems of collective action, IO policy cohesion and transatlantic relations in the security realm. He is particularly interested in institutional change in, and regime complexity among, international security organizations such as NATO, the EU’s CFSP and the OSCE. His regional expertise covers Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus.

Shairbek Dzhuraev, 2020

Research Topic: Politics of Foreign Policy Change in Georgia and Kyrgyzstan

Shairbek Dzhuraev received his PhD in the School of International Relations at the University of St Andrews. He previously served as Deputy Director at OSCE Academy in Bishkek and as a Dean of Academic Development at American University of Central Asia. Shairbek taught courses in Central Asian politics, Foreign Policy Analysis and International Relations at various times at American University of Central Asia, OSCE Academy in Bishkek and European University at St Petersburg. His research interests include a wide range of political and policy issues in Central Asia, with particular focus on foreign policy, political institutions and regime dynamics in the region. Shairbek holds MSc in International Relations from London School of Economics (2005).

Dr. Ana B. Perianes, 2020 

Research Topic: Women, Peace and Security in Western and Central Asia: Overview of the Current Situation and Implications for Women and Societies

Dr. Ana B. Perianes Bermúdez from Spain received her PhD in Peace and International Security at the General Gutiérrez Mellado University Institute on Peace, Security and Defence. She also holds a University Specialized Degree in Mediterranean, Near and Middle Eastern Security from the same University.

Dr. Perianes has an extensive experience in Women, Peace and Security and Sustainable Development Goals affairs. She currently coordinates Women in International Security-Spain and she has an extensive list of publications in specialized reviews.
Her main current research interests are in the area of Women, Peace and Security; The Sustainable Development Goals; Human Security; Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Security; Sahel; EU Affairs; European Security and Defence and US Foreign Affairs.

Karoliina Rajala, 2020

Research Topic: The Russian Military-Industrial Complex and Military Cooperation in Central Asia

Karoliina Rajala is an Associate Research Fellow at the OSCE Academy and an independent researcher. She also works as a freelance journalist, writing primarily on the EU, Russia and Central Asia. Karoliina has obtained a MSc degree in Economics and Business Administration from the Turku School of Economics and is currently carrying out postgraduate studies at the College of Europe in Natolin where she focuses on the EU’s external relations. Previously, Karoliina has worked as a research assistant at the Ministry of Defence of Finland and accumulated experience from the European External Action Service, two missions of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland as well as Carnegie Europe. Karoliina’s research interests focus primarily on the Russian military industry as well as environmental cooperation in Russia.

Dr. Chiara Pierobon, 2020 

Research Topic: EU Prevention of Violent Extremism and Radicalisation in Central Asia: A Case Study on Civil Society Engagement in Kyrgyzstan

Dr. Chiara Pierobon completed a PhD in Sociology at Bielefeld University (Germany) and Trento University (Italy). In the past five years, she worked as post-doctoral researcher at Bielefeld University and project manager at the St. Petersburg / Bielefeld Center for German and European Studies (CGES/ZDES). Between 2013 and 2016, Dr. Pierobon was manager of the collaborative research project "Exploring Patterns of Regional and Interregional Cooperation: Central Asia, its Neighboring Countries and Europe" funded by Volkswagen Foundation. Since 2017, Dr. Pierobon has been senior manager of the research professionalization project “Between Stability and Transformation: Regional and Transnational Cooperation in Central Asia and between Central Asia and Europe?” funded by Volkswagen Foundation. Dr. Pierobon is former Visiting Professor for Macrosociology and European Societies at the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg (Germany) and former Visiting Scholar at University of California/Berkeley (USA), St. Petersburg State University (Russia), German Kazakh-University (Kazakhstan), and American University of Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan). In addition, in the past years, she was inter alia research intern at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) in Nuremberg (Germany) and at the Delegation of the European Union in Astana (Kazakhstan).

Dr. Rigina Syssoyeva, 2020

Research Topic: Eurasian Integration: Achievements and Obstacles toward a Regional Security Community

Dr. Rigina Syssoyeva, from Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan), received her PhD degree in “International Studies” at the University of the Basque Country (Spain) in 2015, after obtaining her BA and MA degrees in “International Relations” at the L. N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University (Kazakhstan) and studying as an exchange student at the University of Lapland (Finland) and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (South Korea). She currently works at "Astana International University" and the Embassy of Cuba (part-time). Her research interests include theories of regional integration, development of the Eurasian Economic Union, international cooperation in the post-Soviet area, internal politics of members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, cooperation in the Arctic region and conflict in Afghanistan. Rigina speaks Russian, English and Spanish languages.

Lidia Chikalova, 2020

Research Topic: Information Warfare between the USA and Russia on the Syrian Conflict

Lidiya is a media curator and researcher, holds two MA degrees in Politics and Security from the OSCE Academy in Bishkek and a degree in International Journalism from St. Petersburg State University in Russia. She has previously lived and worked in Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. Lidiya  continues to work as a researcher and a journalist covering political situations in conflict-prone zones. Lidiya has an extensive experience in building PR campaigns, fundraising, and project management for business associations, art institutions, and education centres like Cambridge English Assessment. She is now collaborating with UNESCO on enhancing digital pedagogy and development of digital textbooks in the Central Asian region.



Dr. Asel Doolotkeldieva, 2020 

Research Topic: Islamic Education in Central Asia

Dr. Asel Doolotkeldieva is an Assistant Professor at the American University in Central Asia. She obtained her PhD at the University of Exeter (UK). Her doctoral research was focused on the study of political change from below: protest politics in Kyrgyzstan. Asel holds her Master's degree from Sciences Po Paris (France). Her Master thesis was focused on the study of labor migration of Central Asians in Russia.
Asel has published on the topics of social mobilizations, religiosity and gender, democratization and institution-building, authoritarianism and rent-seeking of natural resources, and migration. Her current interest is focused on Islamic institutionalized and private education in Kyrgyzstan.

 Dr. Aijan Sharshenova, 2020 

Research Topic: A Russia’s Soft Power in Kyrgyzstan: A Study of Russian Influence in Central Asia Download Abstract

Dr. Aijan Sharshenova is an Associate Research Fellow at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek. Dr. Sharshenova holds a PhD in Politics and Master’s degree in International Studies from the University of Leeds, UK, and Master’s Degree in the EU and Central Asian Studies from the Institut für Europäische Politik and the Centre international de Formation européenne. Prior to joining the OSCE Academy on full-time basis, Dr. Sharshenova has worked at the UN and UNDP country offices in Bahrain. She also worked at the International Peace Institute’s office in Bahrain and development projects in Kyrgyzstan. Dr. Sharshenova’s research specialization is democracy promotion and democratization, post-Soviet authoritarianism, and international development. Her regional expertise is post-Soviet Eurasia. Recently, Dr. Sharshenova published her book ‘The European Union’s Democracy Promotion in Central Asia’ available on Amazon.

Tamás Kozma, 2019

Research Topic: Turkmen Natural Gas in the European Energy Security Discourse: Perceptions, Outlooks, Realities Download Abstract

Tamás Kozma heads the Asian and African Relations Office of the Antall József Knowledge Centre, in Budapest, Hungary. Also he is a doctoral candidate in Geopolitics at the University of Pécs. Obtained his BA and MA degrees in International Relations at the Corvinus University of Budapest. His primary research interest is energy geopolitics in Turkey, South Caucasus, Central Asia, and in the broader Middle East. His doctoral dissertation is focusing on Turkey’s energy policy aspirations, its participation in international energy projects, and its energy-based cooperation with different countries. Tamás Kozma’s articles are published by the Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, by Turkish Policy Quarterly, and also by a number of Hungarian journals and textbooks.

Miguel Iglesias Lopez, 2019 

Research Topic: Geographies of European Security Cooperation in Central Asia Download Abstract

Miguel Iglesias Lopez is an Associate Research Fellow at the OSCE Academy and a PhD student in International Relations and Political Science from the Graduate Institute in Geneva (IHEID), where he obtained an MA in International Relations and Political Science. He has a BA in Political Science from the University of Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium. His doctoral research is centred on European security cooperation on the borders of Central Asia.  



Niva Yau Tsz Yan, 2019 

Research Topic: The Belt and Road Initiative in Central Asia and South East Asia Download Abstract

Yau Tsz Yan is a Junior Researcher at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek and a graduate from the University of Hong Kong. Ms Yau’s research focuses on China’s Western Peripheral Diplomacy, including Central Asia and Afganistan. Her research interests center on China’s strategic thinking in the 21st century, including the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Chinese private military security companies (PMSCs) and authoritarian technology. Ms Yau frequently writes for Eurasianet and the Diplomat to update China in Central Asia affairs. Prior to the Central Asian focus, Ms Yau was a Research Assistant at the Belt and Road Strategic Research Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where she worked with Belt and Road actors and issues in the South East Asian region.


Olivier Korthals Altes, 2019

Research Topic: The policy-practice gap of European assistance of Security Sector Reform to Central Asia Download Abstract

Olivier Korthals Altes is an Associate Research Fellow at the OSCE Academy, and an Erasmus Mundus exchange student to Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty. He’s enrolled in the MSc program Conflicts, Territories and Identities at his home institution Radboud University Nijmegen, and has a BA degree in History at the University Utrecht. At the OSCE Academy, Olivier conducts research for his master thesis on the policy-practice gap of European assistance of Security Sector Reform to Central Asia.


AykokuArzieva, 2018   

                                         Research Topic: Understanding Normative Implications of Development as Perceived and Experienced by  People in Post- Soviet Kyrgyzstan  Download Abstract

Aykokul is an Associate Research Fellow at the OSCE Academy and a PhD student in Anthropology and Sociology of Development at Geneva Graduate Institute. She has MA in Sociology and Social Anthropology with Specialization in Urban and Global Studies from the The Central European University and BA in Sociology from the American University of Central  Asia and Bard College. Aykokul also has a Pre-Degree Certificate in Tourism Guidance, Diploma of Higher Honor from the Vocational School of Tourism and Hotel Management, Kyrgyzstan-Turkey ''Manas'' University.




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