Scholars’ Circle – Kazakhstan Protests and Government Violence ; Omicron Variant Rages and Global Vaccine Distribution Issues – January 9, 2022

Kazakhstan has erupted in protests and government violence this week. We explore the potential that these protests leads to greater democratization in this authoritarian government, and detail its recent human rights abuses.[ dur: 34mins. ]

  • Erica Marat is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Regional and Analytical Studies Department at the College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University. She is the author of The Politics of Police Reform: Society against the State in Post-Soviet Countries.
  • Robert English is Associate Professor of International Relations and Co-Director of Central European Studies Program at the University of Southern California (USC). He is the author of Russia and the Idea of the West.
  • Steve Swerdlow is Associate Professor of the Practice of Human Rights in the Department of Political and International Relations at the University of Southern California (USC). He was Senior Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. He has conducted extensive field work internationally with a particular focus on Central Asia and the Caucuses.

Vaccine hesitancy slows the effective response to Covid 19 in the Global North. Lack of vaccine distribution slows the response in the Global South. And the new omicron variant rages on. We may be fatigued of the virus, but it’s not over. We discuss vaccine inequity and distribution. [ dur: 24mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.