By shifting the study of European Union (EU)–Central Asian relations from its fixed category of black-boxing both the EU and Central Asia, this article advances the case for the approach of examining multi-level and multi-actor interactions that identify the dynamic processes of reciprocal action and meaning-making that characterize the mutual cooperation. It distinguishes perceptions, interests and practices, pointing to the rationales and modes of behaviour of multiple EU and Central Asian actors. The article also advances five reasons why EU studies should take more interest in Central Asia, given that the EU’s larger external relations and security agenda extends to this region. Similarly, it shows that Central Asian studies can benefit from the analysis of the region’s interactions with external actors, including the EU, given that external actors contribute to reshaping national policy agendas and influence everyday life.
- Central Asia
- Central Asian studies
- European Union external action
- European Union studies
- International organizations