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Dr. Aijan Sharshenova

Research Fellow

  R2.10, Ramphal Building, School of Cross-Faculty Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL


Dr Aijan Sharshenova joined IGSD in February 2024 as a Research Fellow working on the Horizon Europe project SHAPEDEM-EU ‘Rethinking and Reshaping the EU’s Democracy Support in its Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood’. Aijan’s research interests include democracy promotion, autocracy diffusion, foreign policy and soft power. She holds two Masters in the EU and Central Asian Studies and in International Studies, and a PhD in Politics from the University of Leeds. She authored a book on the EU democracy promotion in Central Asia and co-edited a recent book on navigating positionality in research.

In addition to her academic career, Dr. Sharshenova has worked on promoting sustainable development goals in the international development area, including within the UN system in the Middle East.

Recent publications


1) Dall’Agnola, J. and Sharshenova, A. (eds) 2023. Researching Central Asia: Navigating positionality in the field, Springer Briefs in Political Science series, available at

2) Sharshenova, A. 2018. The European Union’s democracy promotion in Central Asia, Columbia University Press & Ibidem Verlag, available at


1) Sharshenova, A. & Pierobon, C. 2023. ‘German and Russian public diplomacy in Kyrgyzstan’, Europe-Asia Studies Journal, 75(8), pp. 1384-1407, available at

2) Adambussinova, Z. and Sharshenova, A. 2023. ‘Mesta pamyati postsovetskoi nostalgii v sovermennom Bishkeke’ (Memory sites of post-Soviet nostalgia in contemporary Bishkek – in Russian), Nemonomif interdisciplinary decolonial journal, no.4, pp.4-14, available at

3) Sharshenova, A. & Crawford, G. 2017. ‘Undermining Western democracy promotion in Central Asia: China’s countervailing influences, powers and impact’, Central Asian Survey, vol.36, no.4, pp. 453-472, available at


1) Sharshenova, A. 2024 (forthcoming). ‘Polity diffusion and regime security in Central Asia’ in Elmuradov, A. and Borschelt Camelo, M.S. (eds) Shifting Security and Power Constellations in Central Asia, Nomos

2) Sharshenova, A. 2022. ‘Evolution of governance in the Kyrgyz Republic: Thirty years in transition”, in Amarasinghe, P. & Leontiev, L. (eds) Thirty years looking back: State building, rule of law and human rights in the post-Soviet space, Routledge, available at

3) Sharshenova, A. 2016. ‘The European Union’s assistance to Kyrgyzstan: Good intentions, mixed results’ in Axyonova, V. (ed.) European Engagement under Review: Promoting Values and Standards in the Post-Soviet Space, Columbia University Press & Ibidem Verlag

4) Sharshenova, A. 2015. ‘International vs. regional socialisation in Central Asia’ in Jonboboev, S, Rakhimov, M & Seidelmann, R (eds.) Central Asia: Issues, Problems, and Perspectives, Cuvillier Verlag Publishing House, Göttingen

5) Sharshenova, A. 2014. ‘Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia’ in Jonboboev, S, Rakhimov, M & Seidelmann, R (eds.) Central Asia Today: Countries, Neighbours, and the Region, Cuvillier Verlag Publishing House, Göttingen