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The Soviet Legacy in Central Asia

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... Its purpose was, according to Kaiser, 'to educate the Turkic-Muslim nationalities in Central Asia in an effort to create an indigenous proletarian element loyal to the socialist state ' (1992, p. 254). However, the Soviet government later abandoned this policy in favour of promoting the Russian language to prevent anti-Soviet and anti-Russian sentiment developing among indigenous people, and building a tightly integrated and centrally planned economy to distance the Central Asian nations from their Arab-Iranian roots (Isayev, 1979;Glenn, 1999;Fouse, 2000). ...
... Indigenization in Kyrgyzstan after the demise of Soviet rule, also known as the nativization process (Hunter, 1996), has so far manifested itself in declaring the Kyrgyz people a titular nation 3 ; deconstruction of the Soviet identity; revival of Kyrgyz language and culture; celebration of myths, legends and epic heroes; renaming cities, towns, streets, schools and universities; and revision and rewriting of Soviet history to account for the neglected parts of the nation's past (Fowkes, 1997;Anderson, 1999;Glenn, 1999;Ismailova, 2003). Indigenization in Kyrgyzstan would be seen, to quote Edward Said, as 'the rediscovery and repatriation of what had been suppressed in the natives' past by the processes of imperialism ' (1993, 210). ...
... Indigenization in Kyrgyzstan would be seen, to quote Edward Said, as 'the rediscovery and repatriation of what had been suppressed in the natives' past by the processes of imperialism ' (1993, 210). It emerged as part of a nationalism that resurged in response to the end of state-supported Russian cultural domination (Kaiser, 1994;Fowkes, 1997;Glenn, 1999;Alaolmolki, 2001). It supplied the impetus for the de-Sovietization of Kyrgyz culture, and for rearticulating the role and importance of local language, history and traditions. ...
Article
This article raises general questions regarding the relations between curriculum and ideology in reforming, specifically indigenizing the curriculum by focusing on the importance attached to the history curriculum under reform circumstances. Through an examination of indigenization of history curriculum in the context of Kyrgyzstan, a post-Soviet republic in Central Asia, it offers a description and understanding of particular forces, interests and circumstances that surround the curriculum design process. It discusses indigenization as a political, social and cultural process, which emerges as a response to a long-term domination, neglect and denigrtation by the colonial regimes and powerful groups of the culture, languages and traditions of the indigenous people. Based on the declonization experiences of other formerly colonized nations, the article explores the implications of indigenization of curriculum for learners. It also discusses the recent educational and pedagogical practices, which have emerged to address implications of indigenization for the curriculum users, resolve its limitations and to establish new, more inclusive visions for curriculum design. The analysis is constructed on the basis of the review of relevant theoretical literature, newspaper and journal articles, history textbooks and other learning materials used in schools and universities.
... Yet, the roots of this perception in Azerbaijan are located in the Soviet period (Bennigsen, Henze, Tanham, and Wimbush 1989). In the Soviet Union, such fear of a supranational allegiance produced strong reactions against expressions of religious identity and practice in the Soviet Muslim republics (Glenn 1999). Sometimes through force, sometimes through ideological indoctrination, the Soviet center transplanted this perception in Muslim republics, including Azerbaijan. ...
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In late 2010, Azerbaijan tried to introduce a ban on hijab in all secondary schools, referring to an article of the new Law of Education that mandated school uniforms. The supporters of the ban argued that the hijab was inimical to Azerbaijani culture and law because it violated the separation of religion and state, was a propaganda tool of Islamist fundamentalists funded from abroad, and was a foreign form of clothing that did not exist in Azerbaijani culture. This article examines why hijab is the focus of controversy in Azerbaijan. The supporters of the ban offered simple oppositions, such as secularism versus theocracy, modernity versus backwardness, and national versus foreign, to explain and justify the ban. However, these dichotomies do not capture the complexities of Islam in Azerbaijan. Rather, they are polemics that blur more than they reveal. In this article, I argue that the debates around the hijab controversy in Azerbaijan are a political discourse aimed at building a nation. The key contribution of this article is to examine the wider historical trajectory of the political discourse that constructed hijab as fundamentalist, backward, threatening, and alien, through discussing the topics of secularism, Islamist politics, modernity, and nationalism.
... 9 He argues that governments use the threat of extremism to justify the perpetuation of Soviet policies, combined with reconciliatory approaches towards Islam since atheism can no longer be used to condemn religious practices and faith (Haghayeghi, 1995: 157-160). Finally, for Roy (2001b) and Glenn (1999), the issue of religion is profoundly connected to the nation state building process, and Islam forms an integral part of the new national project, while Djalilov expresses the idea that political stability in Tajikistan depends directly on state-religion relations (2006: 52). 10 The subordination of religion is seen not only as a path-dependent phenomenon, the authorities being ineluctably condemned to reproduce Soviet patterns of regulation, but also as a reinforcement of the importance of religion in the political game. As Hunter argues, the interference of the state in religious affairs as well as the attempts of the authorities to wrap themselves in some religious legitimacy contribute to putting religion on the political agenda (2001: 84). ...
Article
The increasing practice of Islam in Tajikistan in the last few years has contributed to rising social and political tensions. Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Northern Tajikistan between May and October 2010, this article intends to highlight underlying religious tensions in Tajikistan, which, I argue, are the result of the emergence of conflicting voices contesting current political spaces. My intention is to revisit two concepts abundantly used in the religious literature. First, I intend to deconstruct the dichotomous relation between the state and society and try to uncover the power relations that lie behind the making, dissemination and understanding of narratives addressing the place of Islam in society. Second, I reconsider the categories of the secular and the religious by illustrating the porous character of these concepts in the Tajik context. I do so by providing accounts of local perceptions of religious politics expressed by politicians and bureaucrats, ordinary believers and representatives of the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan. Finally, I argue that the coexistence of different sets of religious and secular norms reveals that the struggle for political power in Tajikistan is now increasingly articulated around religious issues.
... Les mutations culturelles qui accompagnent l'accélération de la diplomatie culturelle turque s'accompagnent à leur tour de l'éclosion d'une identité panturque supranationale. Il faut dire que celle-ci se développe avec d'autant plus de facilité qu'en dépit de leurs efforts, les gouvernements des nouvelles républiques ont échoué jusqu'à présent dans leur tentative de créer et d'enraciner une identité nationale forte 104 . Leur projet est mis à mal par la persistance de liens tribaux sub-ethniques mais aussi dans une large mesure par l'influence grandissante de cette conscience supranationale 105 . ...
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Dans le contexte de l'apres-guerre froide caracterise par l'interdependance economique et la revolution des mass medias, un nombre grandissant d'Etats se tourne vers une nouvelle forme de diplomatie visant a accroitre en douceur leur influence internationale en projetant leurs normes culturelles et en les institutionnalisant comme principes regulant les relations internationales. La politique culturelle est notamment apparue aux dirigeants turcs comme un moyen a la fois audacieux et peu risque de tirer benefice des liens ethno-culturels qui l'unissent aux six nouvelles republiques turcophones issues de l'eclatement de l'Union sovietique pour s'affirmer comme une puissance clef du systeme eurasiatique. Dans ce but, a ete mise en oeuvre depuis dix ans une politique culturelle ingenieuse et sophistiquee dotee de ses propres organes et moyens de telecommunication. A travers l'etude de l'organisation, des diverses realisations et des performances de la politique turque, cet article tente d'attirer l'attention sur une forme encore meconnue de politique etrangere qui prefigure pourtant la diplomatie du XXIe siecle et qui est sans doute appelee a jouer un role important dans les relations internationales.
... The region's political landscape is highly influenced not only by the fact that large populations of ethnic minorities reside within these states, but also by the fact that the titular nationalities are also divided along clanic or regional lines. 50 Two countries, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, have large groups of ethnic minorities. Kazakhstan has a large Russian population, currently constituting 30 percent of the population and mainly residing in the north of the country. ...
Article
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Central Asia has witnessed a precipitous decline in the population’s welfare. This article argues that in order to ensure stability within the region, the human security of the peoples of Central Asia must be improved. To achieve such an outcome, it is argued that a Marshall Plan for contemporary times is required. Such a plan would involve the implementation of two major strategies. First, the policies of the international financial institutions and the trading practices between the Central Asian states and the industrialized countries should return to the principles of ‘embedded liberalism’ that guided the post-Second World War international economy for three decades. Second, the debt of these countries should be substantially reduced and, at the same time, welfare provision by these states should be raised as a result of this debt relief.
Article
Turkey’s greatest influence among the Turkic populations of the post-Soviet world derives not from their common ethno-linguistic roots, but from the success of Turkey’s religious outreach.
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Developmental strategies will inevitably have impacts on the society, and subsequent changes in social networks and authority structures may result in higher political salience of ethnic identity, political mobilization, and eventually identity-based conflict. This chapter employs a comparative case study of the relationship between developmental policies, socioeconomic change, and ethnic politics. Through a juxtaposition of Kurds in Turkey and Tajiks in Uzbekistan, the causal links between regional development policies and the different levels of politicization of Kurdish and Tajik ethnic identities are explored.
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Born in Pyongyang in 1914, Choe Ung-sok was a physician who lived through the Japanese colonial era (1910-1945), rule by the United States Army Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK; 1945-1948), and national division (1948). Influenced by socialism and social hygiene/social medicine during his studies in Japan, he played the role of representing the socialist camp in the discussions related to the construction of a heath care system immediately following the Liberation (1945). His key arguments were: first, the nationalization of the medical system and the implementation of nationwide programs to eradicate diseases; second, the provision of free medical services through the expansion of social insurance; third, the reeducation of the medical personnel; fourth, the provision of social sciences education to the medical personnel and the reorganization of medicine into preventive medicine; fifth, the nationalization of pharmaceutics; sixth, the laborers' establishment of autonomous medical organs (affordable clinics, medical consumers' unions through cooperatives); and seventh, the reduction of work hours to 6-8 hours, technical improvement, respite from research, and guarantee of economic life for the medical personnel. Influenced by the medical systems of the Soviet Union and Japan, such arguments stood in opposition to the right wing's plan for the construction of a relatively passive health care system at the time but, in the end, failed to be realized in southern part of Korea under the USAMGIK. Subsequently, he defected to northern part of Korea and came to participate in the task of constructing North Korea's health care system. Choe's life and design for a health care system provide examples through which one can confirm the nature of social hygiene/social medicine both during the Japanese colonial era and before and after the Liberation and the contents of the design related to a health care system as held by the socialist faction. In addition, they show that, immediately after the Liberation, there existed a broad spectrum of imagination and arguments concerning the desirable health care system. Following the division of the Korean Peninsula, South Korea witnessed the instatement of a regime that established anti-communism as the state policy and the strong influence of the United States in politics, economy, and culture. The consequent frustration of Choe's design for a health care system and his defection to North Korea frustrated the creation of a National Heath Service (NHS) in South Korea, reinforced the tendency to view NHS and social insurance as "socialist" or "communist" methods, and led to the restriction of the scope of subsequent discussions related to health care system. In conclusion, the course of Choe's life and thought went beyond the life of an individual during a period in which diverse ideologies collided through the Japanese colonial era, Liberation, and national division and symbolically demonstrates one important path of the process of constructing a health care system on the Korean Peninsula.
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INTRODUCTION Comparative education research on race and ethnicity in Central Asia deals with the constructivist nature of culture-making and nation-building. It focuses more on conceptual aspects of ethnicity and national identity, the borders issues, inter-ethnic conflict, cultural stereotypes, discrimination and inequality. Current research attempts to solve the political, cultural and moral dilemmas of ethnic/national identity, nation-building, and citizenship. In all of this, there exists the ambivalence between the desire to re-discover and construct "authentic" nations, using, among other things, consensus-building cultural, political and religious slogans and texts in Central Asia (that would satisfy both local and political agendas) and embrace the imperatives of globalisation and modernity, particularly the continuation of the Enlightenment Project of the triumph of reason, science and progress, and the construction of a Western paradigm of the civil society. Recently, Van den Bosch (2013) examined the overall complexity of the dynamics of nation-building in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Very little of educational research on race and ethnicity deals with the Western-driven models of globalisation, marketisation and information technology. The Internet, which is "both global and local in its reach", can be a powerful tool of empowerment of marginalised and disadvantaged minorities (Ciolek, 2002, p. 1). In contrast, Mitter (1993) finds that in many countries the notion of "democracy" has eroded, leading to "nationalism, ethnocentrism and racism" (pp.
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A thousand years of tyranny are better than one night of anarchy. —al-Mawardi INTRODUCTION When do religious and political ideologies come into confliet? Political and rehgious systems of belief are closely tied throughout history, sometimes working in tandem and sometimes in bitter opposition. In cooperation, religious and politiciJ ideologies can meld to create powerful feelings of nationalism, but in conflict they may produce violent exchanges between political and religious institutions. Within the Soviet Union, commnnist elites brutally attacked religious individuals and organizations because they believed that religion was antithetical to their socialist vision.i In response, religious institutions often spearheaded political opposition to communism iu the Soviet Union and bloc countries of Easteni Eurcme, with the Roman Catholic Church most famously leading a successfiil assault on communism in Poland.^ In marked contrast, Islam produced no active opposition to oomnuniism, and many Communist Part\' members and officials within central Asia openly retained their Muslim identities. Why were central Asian Muslims able to blend tbeir rehgious identities into the communist system, while Christians either reUnquished their religious identities altogether or stood in defiant opposition to communist rule? Ironically, part of the answer lies in the fact that Islam has no theological tradition which separates church antl state. In addition, economic and political circnmstances made Soviet comnmnistn more attractive to many Muslim ehtes. In the end, the stnjng political aspirations of Islam actually made it possible, as Emest Gellner states, "to simultaneonsly affirm an ancient identity and justify a strenuously Leap Forward."3 This essay examines the interaction of Islam and So\iet communism throudi a historical analysis of religious persistence in the five Soviet Republics of central ' Asia—Kiizakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. This study uncovers tiie socio-political circumstances and the unique theologic-al characteristics of Islam which made it mdleable to Soviet conununisni. Islam's ability to adapt is important to note in a world in which cun'ent events have painted Muslims as predominantly obstinate and confrontational.
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Post-Soviet Central Asia has inherited a set of circumstances conducive to the revitalization of religion. The renewal of Muslim awareness and identity in Central Asia may not be surprising, but the growth of Christianity is, especially in its Protestant form within indigenous Muslim communities. This article, based on qualitative field research, reviews one example of this development: the process of conversion to Protestant Christianity among Muslim Kyrgyz in Kyrgyzstan. A prominent aspect of this social movement has been the ways in which Kyrgyz Christians have entered into a dynamic process of engaging with issues of identity and what it means to be Kyrgyz – a process that has sought to locate their new Christian religious identity within, rather than on the margins of, familial and ethnic identity, and one that challenges the normative understanding of Kyrgyz identity: that to be Kyrgyz is to be Muslim. While providing the context for Kyrgyz conversion, this discussion primarily focuses on the way Kyrgyz Christians utilize a number of different discursive strategies to contest normative Kyrgyz identity constructs and to legitimize a Kyrgyz Christian identity.
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The objective of this thesis is to analyze the authoritarian Karimov regime in post-Soviet Uzbekistan on a comprehensive basis and shed light on the domestic and international factors that has shaped this regime. The thesis consists of three main parts. The first part of the study defines the concepts of democracy and authoritarianism and provides the criteria to determine if a regime is democratic or authoritarian. The second part applies the theoretical framework developed in the first part to Uzbekistan. The third part deals with the factors that helped Karimov to strengthen his authoritarian rule in the country. The main argument of this study is that the incumbent leadership in Uzbekistan has failed to take steps to establish democracy in the country in post-Soviet period. The changes that were introduced proved to be only decorative, they lacked substance. The president of the country, Islam Karimov, has aimed at consolidating his own authority rather than establishing democracy and that his attempts to realize this aim resulted in the strengthening of executive branch in Uzbekistan at the expense of legislative and judiciary, silencing of the opposition forces, curtailment of the civil and political rights of the citizens, restriction of autonomy of civil society organizations and media.
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The objective of this thesis is to analyze the authoritarian Karimov regime in post-Soviet Uzbekistan on a comprehensive basis and shed light on the domestic and international factors that has shaped this regime. The thesis consists of three main parts. The first part of the study defines the concepts of democracy and authoritarianism and provides the criteria to determine if a regime is democratic or authoritarian. The second part applies the theoretical framework developed in the first part to Uzbekistan. The third part deals with the factors that helped Karimov to strengthen his authoritarian rule in the country. The main argument of this study is that the incumbent leadership in Uzbekistan has failed to take steps to establish democracy in the country in post-Soviet period. The changes that were introduced proved to be only decorative, they lacked substance. The president of the country, Islam Karimov, has aimed at consolidating his own authority rather than establishing democracy and that his attempts to realize this aim resulted in the strengthening of executive branch in Uzbekistan at the expense of legislative and judiciary, silencing of the opposition forces, curtailment of the civil and political rights of the citizens, restriction of autonomy of civil society organizations and media. Keywords: Democracy, Authoritarianism, Uzbekistan, Islam Kerimov, separation of powers, opposition, participation, civil and political rights, civil society, media. Thesis (M.S.)--Middle East Technical University, 2004. System requirements: World Wide Web.
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Recent analyses of terrorist groups reveal their dependency on complex logistical, financial, and operational relationships with other groups. Advantaged by the technological advancements of the last two decades, many terrorist and criminal organizations are now linked through complicated networks. Therefore, experts dedicated to uncovering and unraveling terrorist strategy, can easily get lost in the scattered patterns of today's terrorism. A web-like structure allows for flexible, though well-connected leadership, and widespread recruitment opportunity. One recent terrorist group that has benefited from network organization is the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). The IMU was a formidable group because of its experienced and charismatic leadership and significant fund raising abilities made possible by various criminal ties. A case study of the rise and fall of the IMU will help to reveal the multifaceted structure of networked terrorism, particularly in Central Asia and along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border region. Understanding a group's ties helps in assessing its true motivations. The IMU was often characterized as a purely militant Islamic group, when its ties to the drug trade were far stronger. This study questions the former classification and as a result is useful in assessing other groups in the region with criminal ties.
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