Associate Professor Kirill Nourzhanov

Deputy Director and Convenor of Higher Degree by Research studies at the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (The Middle East and Central Asia)
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: 61258374

Areas of expertise

  • Middle Eastern And African History 210310
  • Comparative Government And Politics 160603
  • Asian History 210302
  • Social Change 160805
  • International Relations 160607
  • Policy And Administration 1605
  • Other Studies In Human Society 1699

Research interests

Politics, international relations and security in contemporary Central Asia. Social change in the post-Soviet space.


Kirill Nourzhanov has an MA from Moscow State University and a PhD from the ANU. His main research specialisation is on Central Asian politics and international relations, but his interests also cover Islamic radicalism, Eurasian geopolitics, and history of the USSR.

Kirill has worked as an academic consultant on the World Bank-funded projects in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. He has served as Associate Editor of the Asian Politics and Policy journal and has been a member of the executive of the Australian Society for Inner Asian Studies. He has served as the President of the Australasian Association for Communist and Post-communist Studies twice. His research has previously been awarded funding by the Australian Research Council.

Kirill teaches Politics in Russia, Politics in Central Asia, and New States of Eurasia: The Emerging Issues in Politics and Security in the undergraduate program, and five courses in the graduate coursework program. He also supervises a number of PhD and Masters students working on relevant topics. His recent publications include The Spectre of Afghanistan: Security in Central Asia (2021) co-authored with Amin Saikal, and Soft Power in Central Asia. Politics of Influence and Seduction (2021) co-edited with Sebastien Peyrouse.

Researcher's projects

Sacred geography of Kazakhstan

Regional Security Complex in Central Asia

History of social banditry in Turkestan, Bukhara and Khiva

Current student projects

Primary supervisor for PhD projects


Beth Harris, 'The imagined geography of Central Asia produced by Western travel writing'.

Marcus James, 'Fleeing Communism: The Russian Refugee Diaspora in Iran and its Resettlement in Australia and the United States, 1930-1960'.

Margaret Norington, 'Going green: The European Union and its role in Central Asia’s energy mix'.

Ian Parmeter, 'Russian Policy towards the Middle East in the Putin Era'.

Dana Rice, 'The Dragon Next Door: Demotic Discourses on China in Kazakhstan'.

Dilnoza Ubaydullaeva, 'Internationalisation versus Securitisation:  Nation-building through Higher Education in post-Soviet Uzbekistan'. 

Past student projects

Primary supervisor for completed PhD projects at the ANU

Azima Akhmatova, “Transnational Movements in Central Asia (1991–2015): A Social Movement Theory Analysis”, 2023.

Berikbol Dukeyev, “The Politics of Memory and History Production of the Soviet Past in Kazakhstan (1992–2019)”, 2022.

Victoria Guo, “Converging Interests, Differing Motives: Understanding and Explaining China–Turkey Relations, 2002-2018”, 2022.

Zaid Alsalami, “The Philosophical Discourse of Mir Damad: A Comparative Study of Meta-Temporal Origination and Mulla ?adra’s Origination by Renewal”, 2021.

Dirk van der Kley, “An Organisational Approach to the Study of Chinese Foreign Policy in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan 2006 to 2016”, 2020.

Elisabeth Yarbakhsh, “Iranian Citizens and Afghan Refugees in the City of Shiraz”, 2017.

Shuhrat Baratov, “Hero-making as ontological security practice: Tajikistan's identity politics and relations with Uzbekistan”, 2017.

Tom Vangelovski, “Macedonia: Ethno-Religious Conflict (1991-2016)”, 2017.

Yahya Haidar, “The Debates Between Ash’arism and Maturidism in Ottoman Religious Scholarship: A Historical and Bibliographical Study”, 2017.

Aminat Chokobaeva, “Frontiers of Violence: State and Conflict in Semirechye, 1850-1938”, 2017.

Brenton Clark, “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Relations with the Republic of Tajikistan in the Post-Soviet Period”, 2016.

Grigol Ubiria, “From Tribes to Modern Nations: Soviet Nation-Building in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan”, 2013.

Christian Bleuer, “The Blurred Lines of Uzbek and Tajik 'Identity': Local Solidarity Groups and Factions during the Tajikistan Civil War”, 2012.

Barry Naughten, “US foreign energy policy and grand strategy choice: The challenge of global and regional systemic crises”, 2011.

Bruce Drummond, “Armed Sub-state Actors and the Persistence of Social Order in Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea”, 2011.

Victoria Kelly-Clark, “The Tribalisation of the State in Central Asia”, 2011.

Wendy Levy, “The politics of governance in post-war Sudan”, 2010.

Hamish McGregor, “Nationalism in the Islamic Republic of Iran 1979-2007”, 2010.

Shayeq Qassem, “Afghanistan: Prospects for Stability in Relation to Central andSouth Asia”, 2008.

Matthew May, “Economic transition in Central Asia: a comparative approach”, 2005.

Enayatollah Yazdani, “US policy towards Central Asia since the collapse of the Soviet Union: changing objectives, priorities, and means”, 2005.

Rizwan Hussain, “Pakistan and the emergence of Islamic militancy in Afghanistan: a politico-historical analysis”, 2004.



Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  02 March 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers