UND professor to spread democracy through workshop in Central Asia


Kate Menzies

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Arts & Sciences


University of North Dakota journalism professor Richard Shafer has been invited to participate in a workshop on democracy in Central Asia.

The workshop is sponsored by the Atlantic Council and the European Council on Foreign Relations, with the support of the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA), and will be held from May 14-15 in Brussels, Belgium.

This event takes place under the rubric of a new initiative, led by the Council's Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center (ECFR), called Connecting and Integrating Central Asia and the Caucasus. It aims to promote transatlantic ties with the Caucasus and Central Asian countries and their fuller integration into the international community.

Participants will include other experts on Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia, as well as a larger number of individuals who would like to become more familiar with related issues there.

Shafer will advise on developments in Kyrgyzstan since the overthrow of President Bakiyev in 2010, Kyrgyzstan's embrace of parliamentary democracy and what this new system is producing, economic developments and underlying social trends, the evolution of the country's inter-ethnic struggles and Kyrgyzstan's relations with its neighbors, Europe and the United States.

About The Atlantic Council:

The Atlantic Council is a Washington-based, not-for-profit institution that was founded fifty-two years ago as a think tank and civil society organization for nurturing transatlantic values and advancing European and American ties. Over the past several years, the Council has expanded its focus well beyond Europe to key 21st century foreign policy and security issues of importance to the transatlantic relationship.

About The European Council on Foreign Relations:

The ECFR has a distinctive network of national offices and a Council of prominent Europeans. ECFR conducts research and promotes informed debate across the continent on the development of a coherent and effective European values-based foreign policy.

About The Atlantic Treaty Association:

The ATA is a Brussels-based network facilitator organization working to strengthen transatlantic dialogue on security issues.

About Shafer:

Shafer has taught a wide range of mass communication and journalism courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels over the past 20 years.

He has also conducted journalism seminars, workshops and courses at more than 100 universities in 22 countries, and was a professional journalist at six U.S. daily newspapers, including stints as a contributing reporter for the Seattle Post Intelligencer in Asia and as a general assignment reporter for the Boston Globe. Currently his research focus is on the influence of the Soviet press system in newly independent Central Asian nations.