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Uyghur Scholars Working Group

In an effort to deal with the international crisis stemming from China’s industrial-scale repression of its Uyghur and other Turkic Muslim minorities, the New Lines Institute established the Uyghur Scholars Working Group (USWG) in 2020.

The USWG brings together experts to enhance situational awareness on the conditions that millions of ethnic Turkic Muslims face in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The group engages in research and analysis on how the U.S. government and its allies and partners can best deal with Beijing’s efforts to erase Uyghur identity and culture.

The USWG also publishes the Uyghur Series, an occasional series presenting research, analysis, and policy recommendations on the events unfolding in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the People’s Republic of China. Additionally, we host occasional events and workshops.

Sign up for our newsletter to receive our Uyghur-related content, including the latest research and analysis, and information on public events and webinars.

Founding Membership:

  • Adrian Zenz, Professor at the European School of Culture & Theology, Korntal, Germany.
  • Darren Byler, PhD from the University of Washington in 2018.
  • Rian Thum, Historian on Islam in China and India at the University of Manchester.
  • Gardner Bovingdon, Professor of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University.
  • Sean Roberts, Director of the International Development Studies Program at GWU.
  • Rachel Harris, Director of Research for the School of Arts at the University of London.



  • James Leibold, Associate Professor at La Trobe University.
  • Joanne Smith Finley,  Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies at Newcastle University, U.K.
  • James A. Millward, Professor of Inter-societal History at Georgetown University.
  • Dr. Michael Clarke, Internationally recognized expert on the Xinjiang Uyghur Region at the Australian National University.

As of June 2022, the working group is coordinated by New Lines’ Senior Non Resident Fellow Dr. Elise Anderson.