Tajikistan is one of the lesser-known and least-researched former Soviet Central Asian republics. The birth of the new state in 1991 was followed closely by a civil war which killed more than 50,000 people and displaced many tens of thousands more. While a peace agreement was signed in 1997, significant political violence continued until 2001 and intermittent outbreaks still occur today. Many claim it remains a very weak state and perhaps in danger of state failure or a return to civil war. However, the revival of Tajikistan should not simply be seen in terms of its post-conflict stabilization. Since its creation as a republic of the Soviet Union in 1920s, Tajikistan has been transformed from being a shell for socialist engineering to become a national society under a modern state. Despite a multitude of economic, social and political shocks, the Republic of Tajikistan endures.
This book places the transformation of Tajikistan in its Soviet and Post-Soviet historical settings and local and global contexts. It explores the sources of a state with Soviet roots but which has been radically transformed by independence and its exposure to global politics and economics. The authors address the sources of statehood in history, Islam and secularism, gender relations, the economy, international politics and security affairs.
This book is a new edition of a special issue of Central Asian Survey, ‘Tajikistan: the sources of statehood’, including two additional papers and a revised introduction.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: the sources of statehood in Tajikistan, John Heathershaw, University of Exeter, and, Edmund Herzig, University of Oxford
I. The roots of statehood
2. “Hapless Imperialists: European ‘Developers’ in Soviet Central Asia in the 1920s and 1930s”, Botagoz Kassymbekova, Humboldt University, Berlin
3. “Soviet population transfers and interethnic relations in Tajikistan: assessing the concept of ethnicity,” Olivier Ferrando, Sciences Po, Paris
4. “Mediating Patron-Cliental Power: the Legacy of Pre-Soviet Taxation Institutions in the Post-Soviet State”, Hafiz Boboyorov, Center for Development Research, Bonn University
II. Islam and statehood
5. “From Revival to Mutation: The Religious Personnel of Islam in Tajikistan from De-Stalinisation to Independence (1953-1991)”, Stephane Dudoignon, CNRS, Paris
6. “Defining normative Islam: Some remarks on contemporary Islamic Thought in Tajikistan – Hoji Akbar Turajonzoda’s Sharia and Society” Tim Epkenhans, University of Freiburg
III. Gender and statehood
7. “Affairs of the State: gender, sex and marriage in Tajikistan”, Colette Harris, University of East Anglia
8.“Wedding rituals and the struggle over national identities”, Sophie Roche, Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin, and Sophie Hohmann, EHESS and INED, Paris
IV. Security, economy and statehood
9. “Counter Narcotics policies in Tajikistan and their impact on state-building,” Filippo de Danieli, School of Oriental and African Studies
10. “State and security in Central Asia: the importance of local actors”, Stina Torjesen, University of Tromso
11. “The globality of Tajikistan: failed state or state transformation?”, John Heathershaw, University of Exeter
John Heathershaw is Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Exeter. He is the author of Post-Conflict Tajikistan: The Politics of Peacebuilding and the Emergence of Legitimate Order.
Edmund Herzig is Soudavar Professor of Persian Studies and Fellow of Wadham College, University of Oxford.