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Title: The dynamics of Uzbek ethno-political mobilization in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (1991-2003)
Author: Fumagalli, Matteo
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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This dissertation investigates the strategies and forms of Uzbek ethno-political mobilization in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. In particular, research asks why Uzbek communities in those two countries did not resort to ethnically motivated violence as many either predicted or feared, but have turned to a “quiet politics” of identity and ethnicity. Reconciling state and national identities ahs proved remarkably complex in Central Asia, given that all the five republics in the region are home to a largely heterogeneous population. Understanding what place state elites have allocated to non titular groups, and how these relate themselves to the new polity offers an interesting vantage point on the process of post-Soviet transformation. This is particularly the case as ethnic minority mobilization represents a relatively unexplored field of research in scholarship on post-communist Eurasia. This dissertation seeks to fill this gap by developing a focused comparison of Uzbek minorities in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan from 1991 until 2003. Through a combination of various quantitative (small-scale surveys) and qualitative methods (semi-structured interviews and documentary analysis) structural, ideational, and agential factors are taken into account. It is the contention of this thesis that Uzbek political behaviour can be explained as a product of a strategic calculation from the leaders of the Uzbek community in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan that any change in the administration would leave them “worse off”, despite existing and un-addressed political and cultural demands. This has shaped a counter-intuitive type of mobilization, supportive of the status quo in the state structure of power. A focus on ideas and agency also accounts for variations between the two cases. In particular group leadership appears more articulate and vocal in Kyrgyzstan, whereas it lies in a state of virtual collapse in Tajikistan.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available