The "Policy Turn:" Questions, Critiques, Prospects
That research, or academy, and policy making are difficult bedfellows is not a secret: their problematic fellowship has been and is still being fervently discussed. These debates, however, seem to not have made it to Kyrgyzstan, or Central Asia, for that matter. We believe that while it is vain to condemn policy making outright, we do need a more critical, or socio-culturally reflexive, approach to it. CASI suggests taking the lead in this endeavor in the following way:
1) By organizing an AUCA workshop on policy making in which supporters and opponents of current policy making within the university can speak out. The workshop can take place in one or two days, depending on the number of AUCA participants. Our ambition is to invite two or three external discussants, the choice of whom will be settled later.
2) By extending and formalizing the debate within the framework of an international workshop on "the policy turn." We plan to convene colleagues from the US and Europe, as well as from Kyrgyzstan and other Central Asian countries, who have not only extensive experience in both research and policy making but who have also produced critical and constructive contributions to the relationship between research / academy and policy making.
As an outcome of these two consecutive events, we aim to design a new course on the challenges of competitive policy making for senior and graduate students in the social sciences, and a special issue or a collective volume of outstanding contribution to the topic.