The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute (CACI) was founded in 1997 to respond to the increasing need for information, research and analysis on the vast territory of Central Eurasia stretching from Turkey to Western China, encompassing eight former Soviet republics as well as Afghanistan. The Institute’s aim has been to help bring greater attention to these regions among officials and policymakers. In 2005, CACI established a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center with the Stockholm-based Silk Road Studies Program, which was created in 2002 to advance similar objectives in Europe. CACI is led by its founding Chairman, S. Frederick Starr, and Director Svante E. Cornell. More details on the activities of CACI and the Joint Center are available at its dedicated website, The Institute formally affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council in March 2017. 

CACI’s chief initiatives are the following:

  • Two biweekly e-journals, the Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst and the Turkey Analyst provide continuous analysis on and background to on current developments in the region.

  • Silk Road Papers, ranging in length from 40 to over a hundred pages, which provide an outlet for the timely publication of in-depth studies covering important issues in the region.

  • Books and Monographs, published both independently and in collaboration with established publishing houses, provide outlets for CACI’s fundamental research. Recent titles include Starr’s acclaimed Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane and Cornell’s The International Politics of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict.

  • CACI’s Forum series aims at informing Washington-based policy circles and the educated public on the region. The Institute also convenes smaller private events for policymakers.

  • The Rumsfeld Fellowship Program, organized in cooperation with the Rumsfeld Foundation, aims at raising regional leaders in government, commerce, and academia from Central Asia, the Caucasus and Afghanistan. The goal of this program is to foster better understanding and build stronger relations between the United States and countries of the region. Since its inaugural session in fall of 2008, the program has brought dozens of young leaders to the United States to conduct independent research and to meet policymakers, business leaders, journalists and academics.
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