The New Central Asia: Geopolitics and the Birth of Nations

Overview

In a new, revised edition of his acclaimed book, Olivier Roy examines the political development of central Asia, from Russian conquests to the “War on Terror” and beyond.

During the anti-Gorbachev coup in August 1991, most communist leaders from Soviet central Asia backed the plotters. Within weeks of the coup’s collapse, those same leaders—now transformed into ardent nationalists — proclaimed the independence of their nations, adopted new ...

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Overview

In a new, revised edition of his acclaimed book, Olivier Roy examines the political development of central Asia, from Russian conquests to the “War on Terror” and beyond.

During the anti-Gorbachev coup in August 1991, most communist leaders from Soviet central Asia backed the plotters. Within weeks of the coup’s collapse, those same leaders—now transformed into ardent nationalists — proclaimed the independence of their nations, adopted new flags and new slogans, and discovered a new patriotism.

How were these new nations built among peoples without any traditional nationalist heritage and no history of independent governance? Roy argues that Soviet practice had always been to build on local institutions and promote local elites, and that Soviet administration—as opposed to Soviet rhetoric—was always surprisingly decentralized in the farflung corners of the empire. Thus, with home-grown political leaders and administrative institutions, national identities in central Asia emerged almost by stealth.

Roy’s analysis of the new states in central Asia—Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tadjikstan, Kirghizstan and Azerbaijan—provides a glimpse of the future of an increasingly fragmented and dangerous region.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“An important book. . . . Required reading for all those with a serious interest in the history and politics of central Asia.”
-Asian Affairs

,

“Lively and well written.”
-Journal of Islamic Studies

,

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814776094
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Olivier Roy is Professor at EHESS, the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences, in Paris. Among his books are The Failure of Political Islam and Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah.

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Table of Contents


Prologue     vii
Introduction     xiii
History and Identity     1
The Russian Conquest     25
Reform Movements Among the Muslims of the Empire     35
The Sovietisation of Central Asia     50
The Recomposition of Solidarity Groups During the Soviet Period     85
Political Factionalism and National Affirmation During the Soviet Era     101
From Nationalism to Independence     125
Islam     143
From Independence to Emerging Nationalism     161
A New Geo-Strategic Context     190
Notes on the Text     201
Bibliography     213
Index     216
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