The collaborative research project started in 2012 and will run until end of 2015 and is supported by Volkswagen Foundation. It is a cooperative project with TU Dortmund University and the Center for International Development and Environmental Research (ZEU). It aims at analyzing the political, economic, and social dynamics in Central Asia and Europe from a comparative and an inclusive regional perspective. Taking governance, transformation, and regionalization studies into account the project’s focus is on the dynamics of governance in Central Asia and Europe including the regions’ prospects in the current decade. The project combines theoretical and empirical approaches and seeks to contribute to the research process from an interdisciplinary perspective. By including the Chinese Autonomous Province of Xinjiang and the Indian State of Kashmir in the analysis and discussion of regional cooperation in Central Asia, the project intends to broaden the scope of regional cooperation in Central Asia by looking at neighborhood policies and relations between China, India, and Central Asia. Based on an integrated understanding of Central Asia and its inner and outer cooperation structures and dynamics, the project aims at comparing Central Asian cooperation with regionalization patterns and dynamics in the European Union and wider Europe, as well as analyzing the interregional cooperation between the two regions. In doing so, this research project widens and deepens experience and networks of past projects and is based on joint research activities between Central Asian, Xinjiang, Kashmir, and German universities and research institutions.
In January 2013, the start-up workshop of the project was organized in Marburg by project partner Center for international Development and Environmental Research (ZEU) in cooperation with Bielefeld. In September 2013, the international conference “Security, Economic, and Social Challenges in Central Asia: A Region Between Cooperation and Competition” was organized by project partner TU Dortmund University in Dortmund.