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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
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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.

March 03, 2022

More Than Just Grains of Rice: Shedding Light on Community and Precarity in Kyrgyzstan’s Batken

By Colleen Wood
In farming communities in Batken, rice is not just a pantry staple or cultural symbol; its planting and harvesting determines the rhythm of life.
January 14, 2022

Kazakhstan: Local Politics and the Chaos in Almaty

By Colleen Wood
Resolving discontent with Almaty’s local government will be an important step in Kazakhstan’s broader political reform efforts.

November 19, 2021

Looking Ahead to Kyrgyzstan’s Unpredictable Parliamentary Election

By Colleen Wood
Despite the swell of Japarov loyalists running for parliament, it remains difficult to predict the election’s outcome.

October 28, 2021

Central Asia’s FemAgora Festival Embraces Cyberfeminism

By Colleen Wood
In its fourth year, the FemAgora festival adopts an unabashed cyberfeminist approach to activism.

August 31, 2021

SOS Taldykol: Art and Activism in in Kazakhstan

By Colleen Wood
Activists in Nur-Sultan are working to protect a reservoir from destruction, but can they be successful?
August 02, 2021

Akim Elections: More Cosmetic Reform in Kazakhstan?

By Colleen Wood
Direct election of village leadership is another example of cosmetic reform in Kazakhstan.

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