Central Asia Program Series Central Asia Research Paper Publications

Can an Arab Uprising Scenario also Happen in Southern Eurasia? A Cross-cutting Look at Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan

Central Asia Research Paper No. 2, October 2012

By Bruno De Cordier

Using Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan as case studies in southern Eurasia, this paper looks into the similarities and differences in political systems and in societal conditions with relevance concerning the potential for unrest, with those of Arab countries that recently experienced some form of uprising. It argues that southern Eurasia will not be subject, in the immediate future, to a ‘chain reaction’ of unrest and regime change directly emanating from the Arab Uprising. Yet it forecasts political changes that will be much more the outcome of social mobility, changes in popular mindsets and of fault lines within the regimes themselves than they have to do with the much-quoted explanation of ‘poverty’.

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