A Critical Reader in Central Asian Studies : 40 Years of Central Asian Survey book cover
1st Edition

A Critical Reader in Central Asian Studies
40 Years of Central Asian Survey

Edited By

Rico Isaacs

ISBN 9781032060194
Published June 1, 2022 by Routledge
220 Pages

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Book Description

Central Asian Survey has remained as the premier world-leading peer-reviewed journal for Central Asian studies for four decades. To mark the 40th anniversary of the journal, this volume is intended to be a reader of selected essays from the journal over the last four decades.

This book is not just a mere collection, but also a critical reflection on the field over that time. Each of the nine sections in the book feature a critical appraisal of the selected excerpts by young scholars who analyse the reproduced excerpts and the contribution they make to advancing our understanding of the field. The nine sections encapsulate prominent themes in Central Asian studies: history, identity and nationalism, Islam, governing and the state, informal institutions, contentious politics, gender, everyday life, and regional and global perspectives. The book is not just intended to reflect on the role of Central Asian Survey in the development of Central Asian studies, but also the aim is for the volume to be used as a teaching resource where the different sections in the collection could correlate to specific teaching weeks in courses on the region. The different contributions cover many case studies from across a range of countries that have featured in the journal over the years, and thus is not just restricted to the Central Asian republics but also includes Mongolia, Azerbaijan, and Xinjiang.

This book will serve as a great resource for researchers and students of Central Asian history, politics, culture, society, and international relations.

Table of Contents

Introduction: 40 Years of Central Asian Survey

Rico Isaacs


Section One: History


Mikhail Akulov


The Russian conquest of Central Asia (1982), Mehmet Saray

The role of the pristavstvo institution in the context of Russian imperial policies in the Kazakh Steppe in the nineteenth century (2014), Gulmira Sultangalieva

The creation of Soviet Central Asia: The 1924 national delimitation (1995), Steven Sabol

Humans as territory: forced resettlement and the making of Soviet Tajikistan, 1920–38 (2011), Botakoz Kassymbekova

Marriage, modernity, and the ‘friendship of nations’: interethnic intimacy in post-war Central Asia in comparative perspective (2007), Adrienne Lynn Edgar



Section Two: Identity and Nationalism


Kristoffer Rees


The politics of identity change in Soviet Central Asia (1984), S. Enders Wimbush

Creating national identity in socialist Mongolia (1998), Christopher Kaplonski

Imagined communities: Kazak nationalism and Kazakification in the 1990s (1999), Azamat Sarsembayev

Nationalism as a geopolitical phenomenon: The Central Asian case (2001), Farkhod Tolipov

Global Astana: nation branding as a legitimization tool for authoritarian regimes (2015), Adrien Fauve


Section Three: Islam


Galym Zhussipbek


Islam in Soviet central Asia, 1917–1930: Soviet policy and the struggle for control (1992), Shoshana Keller

Soviet Islam since the invasion of Afghanistan (1982), Alexandre Bennigsen

Islamic revival in the central Asian Republics (1994), Mehrdad Haghayeghi

The logic of Islamic practice: a religious conflict in Central Asia (2006), Sergei Abashin

Islamic discourses in Azerbaijan: the securitization of ‘non-traditional religious movements (2018), Galib Bashirov


Section Four: Governing and the State


Assel Tutumlu


Sharaf Rashidov and the dilemmas of national leadership (1986), Gregory Gleason

Authoritarian political development in Central Asia: The case of Turkmenistan (1995), John Anderson

Tajikistan amidst globalization: state failure or state transformation? (2011), John Heathershaw

Disorder over the border: spinning the spectre of instability through time and space in Central Asia (2018), Natalie Koch


Section Five: Informal Institutions


Dina Sharipova


‘Tribalism’ and identity in contemporary circumstances: The case of Kazakstan (1998), Saulesh Esenova

Neopatrimonialism, interest groups and patronage networks: the impasses of the governance system in Uzbekistan (2007), Alisher Ilkhamov

Theories on Central Asian factionalism: the debate in political science and its wider implications (2007), David Gullette

Political and social networks in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan: ‘clan’, region and beyond (2009), İdil Tunçer-Kılavuz


Section Six: Contentious Politics


Asel Doolotkeldieva


Central Asian riots and disturbances, 1989–1990: Causes and context (1991), Yaacov Ro'i

Networks, localism and mobilization in Aksy, Kyrgyzstan (2005), Scott Radnitz

Poetry of witness: Uzbek identity and the response to Andijon (2007), Sarah Kendzior

The dynamics of regime change: domestic and international factors in the ‘Tulip Revolution’ (2008), David Lewis

Post-violence regime survival and expansion in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan (2016), Erica Marat


Section Seven: Gender


Nodira Kholmatova


The politics of gender and the Soviet paradox: neither colonized, nor modern? (2007), Deniz Kandiyoti

Making the ‘empowered woman’: exploring contradictions in gender and development programming in Kyrgyzstan (2018), Elena Kim, Asel Myrzabekova, Elena Molchanova & Olha Yarova

Women of protest, men of applause: political activism, gender and tradition in Kyrgyzstan (2019), Judith Beyer & Aijarkyn Kojobekova

What's in a name? The personal and political meanings of ‘LGBT’ for non-heterosexual and transgender youth in Kyrgyzstan (2010), Cai Wilkinson & Anna Kirey


Section Eight: Everyday Life


Rano Turaeva


Household networks and the security of mutual indebtedness in rural Kazakstan (1998), Cynthia Werner

Staying put? Towards a relational politics of mobility at a time of migration (2011), Madeleine Reeves

Wedding rituals and the struggle over national identities (2011), Sophie Roche & Sophie Hohmann

‘How can I be post-Soviet if I was never Soviet?’ Rethinking categories of time and social change – a perspective from Kulob, southern Tajikistan (2015), Diana Ibañez-Tirado


Section Nine: Regional and Global Perspectives


Zhanibek Arynov


Virtual regionalism, regional structures, and regime security in Central Asia. (2008), Roy Allison

Regime security, base politics, and rent-seeking: the local and global political economies of the American air base in Kyrgyzstan, 2001–2010 (2015), Kemel Toktomushev

Blurring the line between licit and illicit: transnational corruption networks in Central Asia and beyond (2015), Alexander Cooley & J.C. Sharman

Thoroughly reforming them towards a healthy heart attitude’: China’s political re-education campaign in Xinjiang (2019), Adrian Zenz

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Rico Isaacs is an associate professor of politics at the University of Lincoln where he teaches courses in politics, nationalism, and Central Asia. His research interest concentrates on the political sociology of authoritarianism with an emphasis on the post-Soviet space focusing on Central Asia. Isaacs is the author and/or editor of five books and has published in world-leading peer-reviewed academic journals, including Europe-Asia Studies, Third World Quarterly, Contemporary Politics, Problems of Post-Communism, Nationalities Papers, and Electoral Studies, among many others. Isaacs has extensive fieldwork experience in the Central Asian region and has received funding from the European Union, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, and the British Council. He has provided consultancy for international research projects and political risk companies and has provided commentary on political developments in the region to various international media outlets. He has been serving as the editor of Central Asian Survey since 2019.