Legitimate and Illegitimate Violence in Islamic Thought

Islam in Central Asia: Politics, Society and Resistance

An international conference to be held at

The Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, 24th-25th November 2012

For a pdf of the conference programme, click here.


Programme (as of 19/11/12)

Sponsored by the Arab Center for Research and Strategic Studies and the Legitimate and Illegitimate Violence in Islamic Thought Project (Global Uncertainties Programme).

Friday 23rd November 2012

Delegates arrive, informal evening meal

Saturday 24th November 2012

0930: Welcome

Rob Gleave (University of Exeter, Global Uncertainties Fellow and Director of the LIVIT project)

Dr Mansour Al-Khunaizan (Arab Center for Research and Strategic Studies)

Dr Chris Wyatt (Economic and Social Research Council): Academics and Practitioners: The Global Uncertainties Programme and the Central Asian Context

1000: Panel 1:  Islam in Central Asia: Frameworks of Inquiry

Chair: Barbara Roberson (Global Policy Institute)

1000 Maria Omelicheva (University of Kansas): “Mapping out Islams in Central Asia: From Popular Practices to Official Representations”

1040 John Schoberlein (Nazarbayev University): "What Turns the Religion of Islam to the Politics of Islam?"

1120 Tea/Coffee

1150 Panel 2: Religiosity, Politics and Islam

Chair: Omar Ashour (University of Exeter)

1150 Emmanuel Karagiannis (University of Macedonia at Thessaloniki and Bryn Mawr College): "The New Political Islam in Central Asia: From Radicalism to Political Engagement?"

1230 Larry Goodson (U.S. Army War College): "How Religiosity Influences the Contest for Legitimacy in Afghanistan."

1310 Lunch

1400 Panel 3: Jihad and Insurgency in Afghanistan

Chair: István Kristó-Nagy (University of Exeter)

1400 Didier Chaudet (National University of Singapore): “Rise, Fall, and ‘Afghan’ Rebirth of Central Asian Jihadism: the IMU before and after 9/11.”

1440 Abdullah Anas: “Abdallah Azzam and the Afghan Jihad”

1520 Tea/Coffee

1550 Panel 4: The Future of Political Islam in Tajikistan: Academic-Policy Engagement in Central Asia – roundtable with Moheddin Kabiri and Tim Epkenhans

Chair: James Nixey (Chatham House)

1700 Reception

1830 Coach leaves for Evening Meal Venue


Sunday 25th November

0930 Panel 5: Islam, Ideology and Opposition in Tajikistan

Chair: John Heathershaw (University of Exeter)

0930 Sophie Roche (Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin): “The teahouse/mosque in rural Tajikistan: Negotiating state and Islam in village communities.”

1010 Kathleen Collins (University of Minnesota): “The Role of Religious Ideas in Tajikistan’s Political Opposition”

1050 Tim Epkenhans (University of Freiburg): “Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong? Religious Elites and Politics in contemporary Tajikistan.”

1130 Tea/Coffee

1200 Panel 6: Award of the 2012 Central Eurasian Studies Society Book Prize to Johan Rasanayagam for his Islam in Post-Soviet Uzbekistan: The Morality of Experience (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2011)

Chair: Rob Gleave with a presentation by John Heathershaw (University of Exeter), followed by the lecture:

Johan Rasanayagam (University of Aberdeen): “The Politics of Culture and the Space for Islam: Soviet and Post-Soviet Imaginaries in Uzbekistan”

1300 Lunch

1400 Panel 7: Islam, Modernity and Radicalisation in Tajikistan

Chair: John Heathershaw (University of Exeter)

1400 Zamira Dildorbekova (University of Exeter): "The Dynamics of Islam and Modernity in Tajikistan: Contemporary Ismaili Discourse."

1440 Ann Matveeva (KCL and Exeter): “Women's radicalisation in Tajikistan and secularist responses.”

1520 Tea/Coffee

1550 Panel 8: Central Asian Islam between local religiosity and global identity

Chair: Rob Gleave (University of Exeter)

1550 Thomas Gugler (University of Münster): "The jihadist transformation of local religiosities in Pakistan: The Lashkar-i Taiba"

1630 Alisher Ilkhamov (SOAS): “Phenomenology of Akromiya’:  Identity and Historical Context Revisited”

1710 Closing Remarks (Rob Gleave)

1900 Evening Meal


Monday 26th November

Participants depart





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