Posts by Sean Roberts

Sean Roberts 12-11-2018
(RFE/RL) China’s campaign against Uyghur nationalism, branded by Beijing as separatism, has abruptly spiked in the last two years and spread beyond just the Uyghurs. [...]  On this week's Majlis podcat, RFE/RL's media-relations manager, Muhammad Tahir, moderates a discussion on the repercussions of Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang among the people and governments in Central Asia. Participating in the discussion from Washington is Sean Roberts...
Sean Roberts 11-16-2018
(CNN) Every day, US-based Uyghur journalist Gulchehra Hoja tries to call her family in the Chinese region of Xinjiang. Sometimes she tries up to 20 different numbers, just hoping that someone will pick up. "I know they won't pick up the phone, but I try ... nobody picks up," she told CNN in an interview from her office in Washington. She doesn't expect an answer because 23 of her family members -- including her aunt, her brothers, her cousins -- have...
Sean Roberts 03-13-2018
(Critical Asian Studies) Abstract: This article provides an overview of People’s Republic of China (PRC) counter-terrorism policies targeting Uyghurs since 2001 when the state first asserted that it faced a terrorist threat from this population. In reviewing these policies and their impact, it suggests that the state has gradually isolated and excluded Uyghurs from PRC society. Drawing on the writings of Michael Foucault, it articulates this gradual...
Sean Roberts 09-15-2015
Of all the Central Asian states, Kazakhstan has been most successful in balancing its foreign relations with a variety of global powers. The country has even branded its foreign policy as “multi-vector” to accentuate its success in maintaining a diverse set of international partners. Whether Kazakhstan’s multi-vector foreign policy is the result of conscious policy planning or an outcome of necessity is unclear, but one cannot dispute that this policy’s...
Sean Roberts 11-12-2013
(Foreign Policy) (Co-author: Scott Radnitz) — The Chinese government thinks it can thwart unrest among ethnic minorities by raising their incomes. But prosperity doesn't buy loyalty. — On Oct. 28, a car crashed in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, killing two innocent bystanders and injuring about 40 others. The incident appears to have been an act of terrorism, albeit quite an unsophisticated one, perpetrated by ethnic Uighurs, a Turkic Muslim population...
Sean Roberts 08-02-2013
(The Diplomat) While the international media has extensively analyzed the demonstrations and street clashes in Turkey, Brazil and Egypt over the last several weeks, there has been very little coverage of the street violence happening in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (aka East Turkistan). The Xinjiang violence has not been as impressive in terms of numbers of protestors and certainly offers less photographic and video documentation to make its...
Sean Roberts 04-18-2013
Recently, I wrote a PONARS Eurasia policy memo about what I termed an “unlikely succession struggle” in Kazakhstan. In this paper, I noted that, despite the popularity of President Nursultan Nazarbayev and the fact that he recently won another term as president, Kazakhstan’s public has become obsessed with the prospect of presidential succession in the country. This obsession is fueled by the natural limits of 73-year old Nazarbayev’s mortality and the...
Sean Roberts 01-30-2012
Atlantic Council/Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center report by Sean R. Roberts examining the U.S.-Kazakhstan relationship. It is published as part of the Atlantic Council January 31 conference "Twenty Years of Kazakhstan Independence and U.S.-Kazakhstan Relations." Download Publication (pdf)
Tags:

About the author

Associate Professor, Director of the International Development Studies Program
George Washington University