Contemporary Central Asia. Societies, Politics and Cultures
Central Asia, located at the crossroads of Russia, China, and the Islamic world, remains one of the world’s least-understood regions, despite being a significant theater for muscle-flexing by the great powers and regional players. This series, published in partnership with George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, offers deep insights into Central Asia by providing readers unique access to state-of-the-art expertise on the region. Going beyond media clichés, the series brings the study of Central Asia into the framework of social sciences and hopes to overcome the dearth of works on the region for both scholarly knowledge and undergraduate and graduate student education.
Now accepting submissions!
To be considered for publication, please contact Professor Laruelle, [email protected] and send an outline of your manuscript.
The outline should include:
- a statement on the book’s goals and methods
- a detailed table of contents
- a one-paragraph biography of author(s)
- a sample chapter or an introduction
- a prospective deadline for submission
The New Geopolitics of the South Caucasus. Prospects for Regional Cooperation and Conflict Resolution
EDITED BY SHIREEN T. HUNTER – CONTRIBUTIONS BY BULENT ARAS; RICHARD GIRAGOSIAN; MOHAMMAD HOMAYOUNVASH; SHIREEN T. HUNTER; RICHARD KAUZLARICH; SERGEY MARKEDONOV; ELDAR MAMEDOV; MOHAIDDIN MESBAHI; NONA MIKHELIDZE AND GHIA NODIA
This collection surveys the three South Caucasian states’ economic, social and political evolution since their independence in 1991. It assesses their successes and failures in these areas, including their attempts to build new national identities and value systems to replace Soviet-era structures. It explains the interplay of domestic and international factors that have affected their performance and influenced the balance of their successes and shortcomings. It focuses on the policies pursued by key regional and international actors towards the region and assesses the effects of regional and international rivalries on these states’ development, as well as on the prospects for regional cooperation and conflict resolution. Finally, it analyzes a number regional and international developments which could affect the future trajectory of these states’ evolution.
The Central Asia–Afghanistan Relationship. From Soviet Intervention to the Silk Road Initiatives
EDITED BY MARLENE LARUELLE – CONTRIBUTIONS BY GULDEN ASHKENOVA; ALEXANDER DIENER; ANTONIO GIUSTOZZI; ARTEMY M. KALINOVSKY; MARLENE LARUELLE; BRUCE PANNIER; SEBASTIEN PEYROUSE; GAEL RABALLAND; BOTA RAKISHEVA AND EKATERINA STEPANOVA
Central Asia is a relatively understudied neighbor of Afghanistan. The region is often placed into a number of historical and political contexts—a section of the Silk Road, a pawn in the “Great Game,” the “spillover” state that exemplifies the failure of US foreign policy—that limit scholarly understanding.
This edited volume contributes by providing a broad, long-term analysis of the Central Asia–Afghanistan relationship over the last several decades. It addresses the legacy of Soviet intervention with a unique first-hand selection of interviews of former Soviet Central Asian soldiers that fought in the Soviet–Afghan War. It examines Afghanistan’s norther neighbors, discussing Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan—their strategy for Afghanistan, their perception of challenges and opportunities of the country, and patterns of cooperation and conflict. The collection also looks at recent US strategic initiatives in the region, in particular the New Silk Road Initiative that envisions a growing Central Asia–South Asia connection.
Eurasia’s Shifting Geopolitical Tectonic Plates. Global Perspective, Local Theaters
ALEXANDROS PETERSEN – FOREWORD BY S. FREDERICK STARR
This anthology of articles, short studies, and interviews by Alexandros Petersen were written over the span of ten years, starting in 2004. Yet they are even more relevant today in their prescient analysis. Petersen insightfully addressed the implications of the West withdrawing its engagement from the Caucasus and Central Asia, the expansion of the Chinese influence, and Russia’s strategic interests.
Rewriting the Nation in Modern Kazakh Literature. Elites and Narratives
DIANA T. KUDAIBERGENOVA
Rewriting the Nation in Modern Kazakh Literature is a book about cultural transformations and trajectories of national imagination in modern Kazakhstan. The book is a much-needed critical introduction and a comprehensive survey of the Kazakh literary production and cultural discourses on the nation in the twentieth and twenty first centuries. In the absence of viable and open forums for discussion and in the turbulent moments of postcolonial and cultural transformation under the Soviets, the Kazakh writers and intellectuals widely engaged with the national identity, heritage and genealogy construction in literature. This active process of national canon construction and its constant re-writing throughout the twentieth century will inform the readers of the complex processes of cultural transformations in forms, genres and texts as well as demonstrating the genealogical development of the national narrative. The main focus of this book is on the cultural production of the nation. The focus is on the narratives of historical continuities produced in the literature and cultural discontinuities and inter-elite competition which inform such production.
The development of Kazakh literary production is an extremely interesting yet underrepresented field of study. Since the late nineteenth century it saw a rapid transformation from the traditional oral to print literature. This brought an unprecedented shift in genres and texts production as well as a rapid growth of the ‘writing’ class – urban colonial and first generations of Soviet intelligentsia. Kazakh literary production became the flagman of republic’s rapid cultural modernization and prior to the World War II local publishing industry produced up to 6 million print copies a year. By the 1960s and 1970s – the golden era of Kazakh literature, the most read literary journal Juldyz sold 50,000 copies all over the country. Literature became the mass provider of knowledge about the past, the present and of the future of the country. Because “Kazakh readers were hungry to find out about their pre-Soviet past and its national glory” national writers competed in genres, styles and ways to write out the nation in prose, poems, essays and historical novels.
Kazakhstan in the Making. Legitimacy, Symbols, and Social Changes
This edited volume returns Kazakhstan to the scholarly spotlight, offering new, multidisciplinary insights into the country’s recent evolution, drawing from political science, anthropology, and sociology. It looks at the regime’s sophisticated legitimacy mechanisms and ongoing quest for popular support. It analyzes the country’s fast changing national identity and the delicate balance between the Kazakh majority and the Russian-speaking minorities. It explores how the society negotiates deep social transformations and generates new hybrid, local and global, cultural references.
The Origins of the Civil War in Tajikistan. Nationalism, Islamism, and Violent Conflict in Post-Soviet Space
In May 1992 political and social tensions in the former Soviet Republic of Tajikistan escalated to a devastating civil war, which killed approximately 40,000-100,000 people and displaced more than one million. The enormous challenge of the Soviet Union’s disintegration compounded by inner-elite conflicts, ideological disputes and state failure triggered a downward spiral to one of the worst violent conflicts in the post-Soviet space. This book explains the causes of the Civil War in Tajikistan with a historical narrative recognizing long term structural causes of the conflict originating in the Soviet transformation of Central Asia since the 1920s as well as short-term causes triggered by Perestroika or Glasnost and the rapid dismantling of the Soviet Union. For the first time, a major publication on the Tajik Civil War addresses the many contested events, their sequences and how individuals and groups shaped the dynamics of events or responded to them. The book scrutinizes the role of regionalism, political Islam, masculinities and violent non-state actors in the momentous years between Perestroika and independence drawing on rich autobiographical accounts written by key actors of the unfolding conflict. Paired with complementary sources such as the media coverage and interviews, these autobiographies provide insights how Tajik politicians, field commanders and intellectuals perceived and rationalized the outbreak of the Civil War within the complex context of post-Soviet decolonization, Islamic revival and nationalist renaissance.
Afghanistan and Its Neighbors after the NATO Withdrawal
EDITED BY AMIN SAIKAL AND KIRILL NOURZHANOV – CONTRIBUTIONS BY SHAHRAM AKBARZADEH; CHRISTIAN BLEUER; MICHAEL CLARKE; REUEL R. HANKS; NARGIS KASSENOVA; EMILIAN KAVALSKI; KIRILL NOURZHANOV; SEBASTIEN PEYROUSE; AMIN SAIKAL; NAZIF SHAHRANI; MEENA SINGH ROY; MAHMADYUSUF TASHRIFOV AND ALY ZAMAN