Although the term Central and Inner Asia is used to represent the enormous territory surrounded by Russia, China, the Indian subcontinent, Iran, the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian Sea, the region had little visibility in the West until 1990 because it was divided between the spheres of Soviet and Chinese control and influence.
Since 1990 the region has become a centre of evolving democracies and growing economies. New political structures are being developed and new economic potentials are being explored. The world’s powers are bringing their economic and strategic interests to the region.
Central and Inner Asia share the social, religious and cultural aspects of the surrounding countries and are the territory which for millennia have linked them together. The rich historical and cultural background determines current trends of development and both reaffirms national identities and helps the region to adjust to changes in local and international currents. Simultaneously, the process of reaffirmation of national identities provides the point of departure for forming new identities.