EUCAM Working Paper - No. 21

Between praise and persecution: Civil society in Kyrgyzstan

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Introduction

Kyrgyzstan’s civil society has been renowned in Central Asia and beyond for its influence and activism. But with the sudden rise of a new populist president, civil society’s freedom and room for manoeuvre is becoming more and more limited. How does liberal-democratic civil society regard the turbulent political and social events that the country is going through? How does civil society see its own role in the development of Kyrgyzstan? And finally, what is civil society’s view on cooperation with the international donor community?

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Before joining the Centre for European Security Studies in 2016, Boonstra worked as senior researcher, and later as head of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia programme at FRIDE, a think tank with offices in Madrid and Brussels. He completed MAs in Contemporary History and International Relations at the University of Groningen. His work focuses on Eurasian and transatlantic security issues (in particular EU, NATO and OSCE policies) as well as on development policies and democratisation in Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia. Boonstra is member of several internal research networks and regularly comments on international issues in the media.