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Author: Mariya Y. Omelicheva

How Central Asia understands democracy

Since gaining independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the republics of Central Asia have undergone a diverse process of nation and state building. However, some common threads in Central Asia have emerged, including a unique understanding of the concept of democracy.

Independence was thrust upon the Central Asian republics in the wake of the Soviet Union’s dissolution, necessitating a series of fundamental processes, including state- and nation-building. While the process of constructing a national identity has been multi-faceted and contested, much of the nation-building concentrated on political regimes, who dovetailed this process to their efforts of consolidating power and legitimation. Twenty-five years later, new symbols of nationhood have replaced the old Soviet paraphernalia. Teams of national historiographers, ethnographers and political ideologues have developed new national narratives to valorise the nations. The content of the new national identities has been drawn from a variety of old and new identity markers: Muslim and Atheist, Turkic, Persian, and Slav, Eastern and Western, and modern and traditional.

October 31, 2017 - Mariya Y. Omelicheva

Uzbekistan. Stable transition into volatile future

The death of the 78-year-old leader of Uzbekistan on September 2nd 2016 has cast the country into uncharted waters and sent shock waves through a region facing multiple security concerns. The late president of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, who had ruled the country with an iron fist for 27 years, has been credited with building a stable, powerful, and secure state, albeit at the expense of civil, political, and religious freedoms. With all eyes on Uzbekistan’s internal power dealings in the run-up to the presidential election scheduled for December 4th 2016, many analysts expect a smooth and controlled transfer of power to a new president. Less discussed are the consequences of the current transition for the country and the region in the medium and long-term.

September 15, 2016 - Mariya Y. Omelicheva



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