CAIS integrates the study of Middle Eastern and Central Asian contemporary politics, international relations, history, culture, political economy and the role of Islam within the broader framework of the changing global order.
Since its foundation in 1994, CAIS teaching and research programs have specialised in the study of Central Asia, Eurasia and Afghanistan. The foundation Director of CAIS, Professor Amin Saikal, established programs of study for both the Middle East and Central Asia through the 1990s. With his first-hand knowledge of Afghanistan and the wider region, Professor Saikal developed a political science program unique in Australia.
Dr Kirill Nourzhanov joined CAIS as a lecturer in 2000 and further developed the core areas of study of Central Asia and Eurasia. He came to ANU from Moscow State University and with his expertise in Central Asia has further expanded the program to compete with other such programs around the world.
Courses on Central Asia, Eurasia and Afghanistan can be taken within all the programs at CAIS.
Current research in Central Asian Studies
CAIS is home to one of the most successful programs of Central Asian Studies in the world. As well as its teaching focus in both undergraduate and postgraduate courses, CAIS maintains a consistent enrolment in research degrees in Central Asian Studies. The list of current research projects and recent graduates provide an indication of the areas and themes involved in this research.