• Nationalism in Central Asia. Post-Soviet Expediency

Lambert Academic Publishing
Publication date:

(Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh is based at the University of Melbourne and researches Middle East and Central Asian Politics, Islamic radicalism and Muslim identity in the West. He has published extensively in academic and schoalrly arena. Some of his publications include US Foreign Policy in the Middle East, and Uzbekistan and the United States.)


National identity for the Tajiks, the Uzbeks and the Turkmens is a construct derived from the Soviet period. Over seventy years of Soviet social engineering and efforts at creating a Soviet community have led to the unintended emergence of aspiring "national" elite and intelligentsia groups, trained and educated in their "national" languages and identifying Soviet-defined administrative territories as their "national" motherlands. The Soviet trained elite and intelligentsia groups in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan were responsible for the smooth transition to the post-Soviet era, and thus performed a major role in ensuring political continuity. These two states seek to legitimise themselves by claiming to defend and represent the interests of their "national" communities. The Soviet initiated process of social engineering is now being modified to serve these states. National intelligentsia groups, through their scientific, historical and creative writings, are pivotal for the dissemination of the national ideal.

MATERIAS: Nationalismus, Central Asia, post-Soviet, Islamismus