The Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS) successfully hosted its highly anticipated annual conference held from October 19 to 22, 2023, at the University of Pittsburgh, United States. The event brought together esteemed scholars, researchers, practitioners, and enthusiasts from across the globe to delve into the multifaceted dynamics of Central Eurasia’s ongoing transformation.
The mission of the Central Eurasian Studies Society is to facilitate communication and interaction among scholars of the Central Eurasia region and, in doing so, to promote high standards of scholarship and instruction about the Central Eurasia region; to promote cooperation among persons and organizations concerned with the scholarly study of Central Eurasia; and to promote general knowledge of and public interest in Central Eurasia.
Hosted in the vibrant city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the conference provided an unparalleled platform for comprehensive and interdisciplinary dialogue, fostering a deeper understanding of the region's evolving landscapes. CESS 2023 gathered practitioners and scholars relating to all aspects of humanities and social science scholarship across the region, including Central Eurasia, which encompasses Central Asia, the Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan, Tibet, Mongolia, Siberia, Inner Asia, the Black Sea region, the Volga region, and East and Central Europe.
The conference program encompassed a wide range of topics, including anthropology, economics, business, finance, management, cultural studies, education, gender studies, geography, history, language and linguistics, literature, media studies, political science, international relations, and law, public administration & public policy, religion, sociology and sociology of law were conducted, ensuring a comprehensive exploration of Central Eurasia regions’ diverse facets.
One of the conference's highlights was the presentation of research by the Central Asian Law project participants, shedding light on the legal cultures, business environments, and corruption dynamics in the region. Notable presentations included:
- Business associations as a driving institution in the Kyrgyz business environment, Chekhros Kilichova (Lund University)
- The Social Context of Business in Post-Soviet Uzbekistan: Informalities and Networks, Tolibjon Mustafoev (Lund University)
- Local government and everyday business life: A case study of sectors in rural Uzbekistan, Rustamjon Urinboyev (Lund University), Sherzod Eraliev (Lund University)
- Formal and informal institutions of land allocation in rural Central Asia: Theoretical considerations and empirical examples from Uzbekistan, Qazaqstan and Mongolia, Peter Finke (University of Zurich)