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Afghanistan After 2014

The Price of Access: Washington's Costly Central Asian Detour on the Way to Afghanistan


The Price of Access: Washington's Costly Central Asian Detour on the Way to Afghanistan

Thursday April 3, 2014


Higgins Hall 300, Boston College

with Dr. Alexander Cooley, Barnard College, Columbia University


In Central Asia, Public Cooperation and Private Rivalry

After Afghanistan, A New Great Game

Great Games, Local Rules

About the Speaker


Alexander Cooley is Professor of Political Science at Barnard College. At Columbia University, he is also Deputy Director for Social Sciences Programming at the Harriman Institute, a Doctoral Dissertation Sponsor in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences,  Member of Saltzman Institute for War and Peace Studies, and teaches at the School of International and Public Affairs. Professor Cooley’s research examines how external actors– including international organizations, multinational companies, NGOs, and foreign military bases – have influenced the development and sovereignty of the former Soviet states, with a focus on Central Asia and the Caucasus.

Cooley is the author of four academic books: Logics of Hierarchy: The Organization of Empires, States and Military Occupations (Cornell 2005; cowinner of the 2006 Marshall Shulman Prize); Base Politics­: Democratic Change and the US Military Overseas (Cornell 2008, Reviews: JFQ, APSR, PSQ, and Military Review); and Contracting States: Sovereign Transfers in International Relations (Princeton 2009), co-authored with Hendrik Spruyt of Northwestern University.

Cooley's latest book examines the multipolar politics of US-Russia-China competition for influence in Central Asia-  Great Games, Local Rules: The New Great Power Contest for Central Asia (Oxford 2012); Reviews: NYRB, International Affairs (p. 1363), Foreign Affairs, Survival, LSE Review of Books.

He is currently working on a new monograph on Central Asia's ties with offshore international financial and legal networks (Yale University Press, 2015).

In addition to his academic research, Professor Cooley serves on several international advisory and policy committees (see below); he also has testified for the United States Congress about the politics surrounding the Manas air base in Kyrgyzstan and allegations of corruption in fuel contracting practices. Cooley's opinion pieces have appeared New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs and The Washington Quarterly and he regularly provides commentary to international media outlets on Eurasia-related topics. His research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the Open Society Foundations, Carnegie Corporation, Smith Richardson Foundation and the German Marshall Fund of the United States, among others. Cooley earned both his M.A. (1995) and Ph.D. (1999) from Columbia University. Cooley is a Faculty Representative to Barnard College's Board of Trustees.