Majlis Podcast: Academia In Peril In Tajikistan

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Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in late 1991, foreign students and researchers have done some amazing work, studying and producing articles and books about Central Asia. Outsiders have been given unprecedented access to the region in the last quarter-century, but that is now changing.

A report on decreasing academic freedom in Tajikistan was recently published on the Eurasianet website.

The report notes the growing difficulties foreign students and researchers have in collaborating with local institutions in Tajikistan and in conducting fieldwork. The same has been true in other Central Asian countries.

This latest episode of the Majlis podcast is devoted to discussing the challenges to cooperation between Central Asian and foreign educational institutions, what has changed in recent years, and what can be done to reverse this process and foster better ties.

Moderating the discussion is RFE/RL's media relations manager, Muhammad Tahir.

From the University of Toronto, professor Ed Schatz, coauthor of the Eurasianet article and also a former president of the Central Eurasian Studies Society, joined the discussion. Nazira Sodatsayrova, originally from Tajikistan but now studying at Tsukuba University in Japan and doing research on the mobility of Tajik students, joined the talk. I once did sociological research in Central Asia, so I was interested to hear about the changing environment there, and I threw in a few comments of my own.

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