Posts by Sean Roberts

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)
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About the author

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