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Colleen Wood

Colleen Wood

Colleen Wood is a writer and educator based in St. Paul, Minnesota. She holds a PhD from Columbia University, where she studied activism and social media politics in Kazakhstan. 

Colleen Wood is a writer and educator based in St. Paul, Minnesota. She teaches courses in political science at Century College and researches human rights and digital politics in Central Asia. She holds a PhD from Columbia University, where she studied activism and social media politics in Kazakhstan.

Follow Colleen on Twitter or get in touch by email.

Posts by Colleen Wood
September 21, 2023

What Happened at the First-Ever Central Asia-US Leaders’ Summit?

By Colleen Wood
Biden met with Central Asian presidents on the sidelines of UNGA to discuss security, economic cooperation, and critical minerals. 

August 31, 2023

Soccer School Sparks Controversy in Kyrgyzstan

By Colleen Wood
FC Barcelona visited Kyrgyzstan to inaugurate two new football academies. Japarov is touchy about investigations into how the schools are funded.
August 28, 2023

Kyrgyzstan to Return Issyk-Kul Resorts to Uzbekistan

By Colleen Wood
Ownership of four lakeside resorts built during the Soviet period is another facet of water diplomacy in Central Asia. 

August 21, 2023

Atambayev Allies Courting Diplomatic Relationships

By Colleen Wood
Kyrgyzstan’s Social Democrats have limited influence on domestic politics. What to make of their sustained push for international partnerships?

August 01, 2023

Kyrgyzstan Opens the Door to Matronymics Amid Pushback – and a Power Grab?

By Colleen Wood
Some worry that the push for matronymics, the use of a second name derived from a person’s mother rather than their father, has enabled a concentration of presidential power.

July 04, 2023

Cancel Culture Hits Central Asia’s Concert Scene

By Colleen Wood
How should we interpret the recent cancellations of a number of planned concerts by Russian performers in the region?
June 23, 2023

Who Is Responsible for the Fires in Kazakhstan?

By Colleen Wood
Patterns in criticism of government officials reveal how President Tokayev views the chain of responsibility for the fires, but the broader public may disagree.

June 01, 2023

Could ‘Chicky Cha-Cha Boom-Boom’ Become Kyrgyzstan’s Soft Power Motto?

By Colleen Wood
Much of what is written about soft power in Central Asia focuses on countries like Kyrgyzstan as passive recipients of Russian, Chinese, and American cultural influence. D Billions may flip the script.

May 25, 2023

Anatomy of a Sausage Scandal in Kyrgyzstan

By Colleen Wood
Industrialized meat processing is inherently a messy business. In Kyrgyzstan, the politics of regulating the food supply and flows of trade can be just as messy. 

June 01, 2022

Rising Soviet Nostalgia in Central Asia: Kyrgyzstan’s Young Pioneers

By Colleen Wood
The seemingly benign commemoration of a Soviet-era youth organization speaks to bigger debates about Kyrgyzstan’s identity.

May 09, 2022

What’s in Kazakhstan’s Constitutional Referendum?

By Colleen Wood
On June 5, Kazakhs will vote on a package of reforms intended to transform the country from a super-presidential system to a “presidential system with a strong parliament."
March 31, 2022

Kyrgyz Authorities Try to Head off Protests With Restrictions

By Colleen Wood
Kyrgyzstani authorities are restricting protests about Russia’s war in Ukraine, but some public servants are speaking out.

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