In Eurasia, religion policy is often seen as a trade-off between stability and freedom, with advocates of security and advocates of human rights often talking past one another. IGE seeks to reframe this discourse, using cutting-edge sociological and political science research, track 1.5 engagement, and innovative development projects to demonstrate that faith groups, and civil society at large, can contribute to a flourishing, resilient society.
IGE's involvement in Eurasia predates the current program by several years. In June 2006, IGE partnered with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Beijing Pu Shi Social Sciences Institute, and the Institute for Ethnic Minority Groups (China) to host a conference on “Managing Minority Rights and the Challenge of Islamic Extremism” in Vladikavkaz, Russia. This conference was the first to bring together American, Russian and Chinese experts to discuss the sensitive issue of minority rights in Russia, and included an experts’ seminar and study tour in North Ossetia and Ingushetia. In 2007, IGE, along with the Carnegie Endowment, the Pu Shi Institute, the Institute for Ethnic Minority Groups, and the Institute for Public Policy (Kyrygzstan) held the workshop "New Views on Religion and Security" in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. In addition, IGE has held several conferences in western China examining Islam's role in social stability.
From 2013-2014, IGE and the Carnegie Endowment hosted a series of conferences in Central Asia examining religion, security and citizenship. With these conferences, IGE seeks to change the local narrative on these topics, reframing it to show that religious freedom is a means, not an impediment, to security. In addition, these conferences will create a space for discussion of these issues where none currently exists.