An Update on Central Asia: Crisis in Governance, Energy Security, and the U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan


Since emerging as independent states from the ruins of the Soviet Union over 20 years ago, the five Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan have struggled with the fundamental question of statehood: how to govern their societies fairly and effectively. Also, Central Asia's vast natural resources bolster its interest to external actors.

David Merkel argues that Central Asia is an "enduring policy priority" for the United States and the European Union, but states that these actors don't seem to maintain their interest in the region, illustrated by the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Instead of adopting and implementing a long-term strategy within the region, Western involvement generally comes, Merkel elaborates, through singular "democracy, energy, or security prisms."

David Merkel will discuss Central Asia's governance challenges, the region's strategic importance to its neighbors’ energy security, and its role in regional solutions to conflict in Afghanistan.



Registration and Breakfast: 8:00 am
Program: 8:30 am

Registered ticket holders, please enjoy free admission to the Sarofim Gallery now showing Weavers' Stories From Island Southeast Asia, today during regular gallery hours: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm.


About David Merkel

David A. Merkel served as both Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, as well as Director for European and Eurasian Affairs on the U.S. National Security Council staff. He was a staff member for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House of Representatives Policy Committee. He is Managing Director of Summit International Advisors, and his expertise includes the geopolitics of energy, international financial issues, Russia, and transatlantic and Central Asian topics.


Business and policy programs at Asia Society Texas Center are made possible by support from United Airlines—Official Airline of Asia Society Texas Center. Additional support provided by Asia Society contributors and members.

United Airlines

Event Details

Thu 06 Feb 2014
8:30 AM
1370 Southmore Blvd. Houston, TX 77004 713.496.9901
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$5 Members, $10 Nonmembers. All sales final.
Add to Calendar 20140206T143000 20140206T143000 UTC Asia Society: An Update on Central Asia: Crisis in Governance, Energy Security, and the U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan 1370 Southmore Blvd. Houston, TX 77004 713.496.9901
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