The results of the essay competition held by the Department of Political Sciences and International Relations have been announced

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This summer the Department of PSIR held an essay competition. PSIR majors from classes of 2021 and 2022 were invited to share their thoughts on this question: «Since the collapse of Soviet Union, there has been a religious revival in Central Asia. What do you think are the main reasons explaining this increase of religiosity? Do you believe it is a grassroot phenomenon or an essential component of states’ nation-building process? Which segment of the population is the most sensitive to it and why? What are the possible geopolitical repercussions of this trend for Central Asian republics?»

According to professor Jean Francois Caron, the objective was to incentivize students to work during the Summer on a research topic of interest to ambassadors representing their country in Kazakhstan. Instrumentally, it was also a way to show the diplomatic community the analytical skills of our students and to connect them together. 

The essays were personally read and evaluated by the Canadian, German, Dutch, Belgian, Spanish and the British ambassadors as well from the European Union. Following their deliberations, Diyas Takenov was awarded the first prize and Aruzhan Meirkhanova the second prize. Diyas will also be awarded a one-day internship at the embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, while Aruzhan will benefit from a similar opportunity at the embassy of Germany. Finally, they will both share a very generous money award.

Ambassadors were highly impressed with the quality of their essays that provided them with very valuable insights about the history of Islam in Central Asia.