Philip Shishkin was a 2011 Bernard Schwartz Fellow at Asia Society, focusing on the turbulent dynamics of Central Asia, where years of dictatorial rule, ethnic tensions, and bewildering corruption pose significant policy riddles for the U.S. and other regional powers.
Mr. Shishkin spent 10 years as a staff reporter of The Wall Street Journal, most of it as a foreign correspondent, running their Baghdad bureau through the height of Iraq's sectarian war in 2006 and 2007. His reporting on tensions between secular and religious forces in Turkey earned him a 2008 Wilbur Award from the Religion Communicators Council. His articles on the Balkans and the Ukraine were chosen by the German Marshall Fund of the United States for its 2006 award for outstanding coverage of Europe by a journalist under 35.
Mr. Shishkin has written extensively about Central Asia, chronicling the turbulent nation-building process in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan as the two countries' acquired renewed strategic importance for the U.S., Russia, and China. In his reporting from Afghanistan, Mr. Shishkin has detailed the mechanics of heroin production and smuggling, a robust industry that is among the West's most intractable challenges. His writing on Central Asia, backed by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, appeared in Foreign Policy magazine.
Mr. Shishkin's research interests include democracy promotion, human rights, and the conduct of Western companies in resource-rich Central Asia.
This report describes critical governance and stability challenges in a region marred by staggering levels of corruption, human rights abuses, conflict, and civil unrest.