Personal profile


Dean of Graduate Studies, Scottish Graduate School of Social Science

Research overview

My research interests lie at the intersection of the study of identities, ethnic conflict and violence and the politics of natural resources. I have conducted research in the post-Soviet space (especially Central Asia and the South Caucasus) and East Asia (esp. Myanmar, Laos, and South Korea). Over the years my research has developed along the following tracks:

  1. Identities, diasporas and conflict in the post-Soviet space, particularly in Central Asia and the Caucasus. My work on Uzbek minorities in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan (Ethnic Conflict in post-Soviet Central Asia: Exit, voice and loyalty among Uzbek minorities) is forthcoming with Routledge in 2022. My article, co-authored with Margaryta Rymarenko, on 'Krym, Rossiya, navsegda? Critical junctures, critical antecedents and the paths not taken in the making of Russia's annexation of Crimea' has recently been published in Nationalities Papers (2022). An article on ‘Identity through difference: liminal diasporism and generational change among the Koryo Saram in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’ was published in Vol. 20.2 of the European Journal of Korean Studies in 2021.
  2. Comparative authoritarianism. My monograph on ‘Laos. The making of an internationalised state’ is under contract with Cambridge University Press.  I have recently completed a project on with colleagues at the Caucasus Resource Research Center in Tbilisi (Georgia), published as a special issue of the Caucasus Survey (‘Taking partly free voters seriously’, 2017 vol. 5. N. 3). I have also co-edited 'Authoritarian stability in the South Caucasus: Voting preferences, autocratic responses and regime stability in Armenia and Georgia' with Koba Turmanidze, published by Routledge in 2018.
  3. Energy, mega-projects and climate change. I have published on various aspects related to energy politics and the international relations of natural resources, climate change and economic development, the rise of resource nationalism in the smaller but resource-rich economies at China’s borders, the resource nexus, and global energy and environmental governance. The article 'Luang Prabang: climate change and rapid development' has recently been published in 'Cities. International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning' (97C, 2020). A chapter on ‘The BRICS, energy security and global energy governance’ was published in SY Kim (ed) The BRICS and the Global Economy’ (2020).
  4. Inter-Asian connections. My most recent work revolves around the study of Asian inter-connectedness in the form of development assistance, logistics, trade and investment. I am especially interested in the policies of China and Korea towards South-East Asia (especially Myanmar) and Central Asia and the effects of ODA on inequalities.  My monograph New Silk Roads, Growing inter-Asian connections: South Korea’s Quest for Energy and New Markets in Central Asia is forthcoming with Palgrave in 2022. 
  5. I am also interested in the politics of aid and shifting paradigms in development assistance. Research on the topic was published in 2022 ('The new swing of the pendulum? Cross-border aid and shifting aid paradigms in post-coup Myanmar', EUI RSC PP 2022/08 and 'Myanmar 2021: Repression and resistance in a multi-cornered conflict' (Asia Maior 2022).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, The Dynamics of Uzbek Ethno-political Mobilisation in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (1991-2003), Edinburgh University

1 Oct 200122 Nov 2005

Award Date: 22 Nov 2005

Master of Science, Identity (trans-)formation in the Ferghana Valley, Edinburgh University

1 Oct 200123 Jan 2003

Award Date: 23 Jan 2003

Master of Arts, Explaining levels of separatism in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

1 Sept 20001 Sept 2001

Award Date: 1 Nov 2001

Bachelor of Social Science, Modern nationalism in the South Caucasus. Nation- and state-building in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, Università degli Studi di Milano Statale

1 Nov 19938 Jun 1998

Award Date: 8 Jun 1998

External positions

Associate Professor, Central European University

1 Aug 201031 Jul 2017

Assistant Professor, Central European University

1 Aug 200731 Jul 2010


1 Sept 200631 Aug 2007

ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellow, Edinburgh University

1 Sept 200531 Aug 2006


  • JQ Political institutions Asia
  • JZ International relations
  • JA Political science (General)


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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