Join us for the discussion of
Trafficking and Terrorism in Central Asia
with Authors
Mariya Y. Omelicheva and Lawrence P. Markowitz
Counterterrorism experts and policy makers have warned of the peril posed by the links between violent extremism and organized crime, especially the relationship between drug trafficking and terrorism funding. Yet Central Asia, the site of extensive opium trafficking, sees low levels of terrorist violence.  Webs of Corruption  is an innovative study demonstrating that terrorist and criminal activity intersect more narrowly than is widely believed—and that the state plays the pivotal role in shaping those interconnections.

Mariya Y. Omelicheva and Lawrence P. Markowitz analyze the linkages between the drug trade and terrorism financing in Central Asia, finding that state security services shape the nexus of trafficking and terrorism. While organized crime and terrorism do intersect in parts of the region, profit-driven criminal organizations and politically motivated violent groups come together based on the nature of state involvement. Governments in high-trafficking regions are drawn into illicit economies and forge relationships with a range of nonstate violent actors, such as insurgents, erstwhile regime opponents, and transnational groups. Omelicheva and Markowitz contend that these relationships can mitigate terrorism—by redirecting these actors toward other forms of violence. Offering a groundbreaking combination of quantitative, qualitative, and geographic information systems methods to map trafficking/terrorism connections on the ground,  Webs of Corruption  provides a meticulously researched, counterintuitive perspective on a potent regional security problem.
About the Authors
Dr. Mariya Y. Omelicheva is a Professor of Strategy at National War College. She holds PhD (2007) in Political Science from Purdue University and JD in International Law (2000) from Moscow National Law Academy. Dr. Omelicheva's research and teaching interests include international and Eurasian security, counterterrorism and human rights, democracy promotion in the post-Soviet territory, Russia's foreign and security policy, and terrorism/crime nexus in Eurasia. She has published on these subjects in  Terrorism and Political Violence Europe-Asia Studies International Journal of Human Rights Central Asia Survey Cambridge Review of International Relations , and other journals. She is the author of  Counterterrorism Policies in Central Asia  (Routledge 2011), which received an Outstanding Academic Title award by Choice,  Democracy in Central Asia: Competing Perspectives and Alternate Strategies  (University Press of Kentucky 2015), and  Webs of Corruption: Trafficking and Terrorism in Central Asia (Columbia University Press, 2019, with Lawrence Markowitz), and editor of  Nationalism and Identity Construction in Central Asia: Dimensions, Dynamics, and Directions  (Lexington 2015).
Lawrence P. Markowitz  is Professor of Political Science at Rowan University and Visiting Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He specializes in comparative politics with research and teaching interests in state building, authoritarianism, and political violence in post-Soviet Eurasia. In addition to a number of articles and book chapters, Markowitz is the author of two books: State Erosion: Unlootable Resources and Unruly Elites in Central Asia  (Cornell University Press, 2013) and (with Mariya Y. Omelicheva) Webs of Corruption:   Trafficking and Terrorism in Central Asia  (Columbia University Press, 2019). 
Friday, November 15, 2019
4:00 - 5:30 PM
Voesar Conference Room, Suite 412
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E St NW, Washington, DC 20052
This event is on the record and open to the media.
The Central Asia Program
Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES)
Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University
1957 E Street, NW | Suite 412 | Washington, DC | 20052
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The Central Asia Program (CAP) promotes academic and policy research on contemporary Central Asia, and serves as an interface for the policy, academic, diplomatic, and business communities.