SOAS University of London

Centre of Contemporary Central Asia & the Caucasus

The fiddler in the steppe. The soft power of the Jewish sphere in Central Asia and the Caspian.

Bruno De Cordier
Bruno De Cordier (Department of Conflict and Development Studies, Ghent University)

Date: 1 March 2018Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 1 March 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B204

Type of Event: Seminar


On the bases of the example of the Jewish sphere, Bruno De Cordier will examine the idea and practice of civilizational and sub-civilizational soft power in the Central Asian-Caspian region. Besides a concise overview of the current position and state of the Jewish minorities in the region, the lecture aims to discuss various channels through which the interaction between the region, its societies and the wider Jewish world occurs. These go beyond the classical soft power of Israel as a state, and also include US-based Jewish charities and humanitarian organizations, and the transnational personal networks between the region’s residual Jewish communities and their kin who emigrated to Israel, the US and to a lesser extent Western Europe.

Speaker Biography

Bruno De Cordier is a professor at the Department of Conflict and Development Studies under the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of Ghent University. Before that, he was working for the international humanitarian aid sector, mostly for specialized bodies of the UN. He wrote his Ph.D. thesis on Islamic charities. His thematic interests related to the Caspian-Central Asian space include social history, identity and social mobility, the social impact of globalization, the aid economy, and the social role and position of religion and of religious actors. He lived in Central Asia for several years.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of Contemporary Central Asia and the Caucasus

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