As an Open Society Fellow, Cooley researched the impact of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on regional integration in Central Asia. His particular interest was whether the SCO sidelined Western actors by providing an alternative source of legitimacy to member states. His book on US-Russia-China competition in Central Asia, based on research he conducted as a fellow, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.
Cooley is Tow Professor of Political Science at Barnard College in New York City. He is the author of three previous books, including Logics of Hierarchy: The Organization of Empires, States and Military Occupations, (Cornell, 2005), which looks at how Soviet administrative legacies shaped the formation of Central Asian states; and Base Politics: Democratic Change and the US Military Abroad, (Cornell, 2008), which examines the political impact of U.S. military bases in overseas host countries, including Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Cooley serves on the Board of Advisors of the Central Eurasia Project of the Open Society Foundations. He has contributed policy-related articles and opinion pieces to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy and The Washington Quarterly. Cooley earned both his MA and PhD from Columbia University.