Letter from the Directors

We look back at 2022, a year in which tensions in ISDP’s focus areas increased, the war in Ukraine changed the face of Eurasia and created insecurity about potential spillover effects to Asian security, and the pandemic still posed a major challenge in some areas.

This year has seen instability and conflict in many areas of ISDP’s expertise. Pressure from mainland China on Taiwan has reached alarming levels in recent months, especially since the private visit to Taiwan of Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. North Korea intensified its provocative ballistic missile tests off the coast of South Korea and Japan. Sino-U.S. tensions have been growing, and Europe expressed a more critical policy on China in the Strategic Compass. Moreover, the Twentieth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took place in October, and Xi Jinping began a historic third term in office.

Central Asia saw a serious uptick in violence as unrest affected four of the region’s five countries, rocking even the previously stable Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The Caucasus saw continued unrest between Armenia and Azerbaijan, compounded by Georgia’s internal unrest. In parallel, the geopolitical struggle surrounding the region heated up, as inklings of Turkish-Iranian rivalry in both Central Asia and the Caucasus compounded the existing competition for influence among Russia, China, and the Western powers.

The need for solid analysis, in-depth discussion, and dialogue is evident in these areas. ISDP has continued to bridge the gap between academia and policymakers by providing up-to-date analysis and forums for discussion and debate. We look forward to continuing to deepen our collaboration with sponsors and partners, receiving feedback, and meeting you at our events – in person or digitally – in 2023.


Niklas Swanström &
Svante E. Cornell