Karakalpakstan: Mirziyoyev the New “Saakashvili”? (Some Thoughts)

Widespread demonstrations in Uzbekistan’s large autonomous republic Karakalpakstan have reportedly left 18 people dead and triggered the declaration of a month-long state of emergency by the Uzbek regime. The demonstrations come after President Shavkat Mirziyoyev proposed on 1 July 2022 a new Constitution of Uzbekistan—which has since been withdrawn—that would have ended Karakalpakstan’s autonomous status and its right of secession. Karakalpakstan was established during the … Continue reading Karakalpakstan: Mirziyoyev the New “Saakashvili”? (Some Thoughts)

Review: “Soviet Nationalities Policy and Bourgeois Historians: The Formation of the Soviet Multinational State (1917-1922) in Contemporary American Historiography” – L. Zenushkina

When I first started reading L. Zenushkina’s “Soviet Nationalities Policy and Bourgeois Historians: The Formation of the Soviet Multinational State (1917-1922) in Contemporary American Historiography,” I must admit I didn’t have very high expectations. True, Soviet nationalities policy is an area I specialize in, but since I have already read multiple books published in the USSR about this subject, such as “The October Revolution and … Continue reading Review: “Soviet Nationalities Policy and Bourgeois Historians: The Formation of the Soviet Multinational State (1917-1922) in Contemporary American Historiography” – L. Zenushkina

Review: “Russia’s Protectorates in Central Asia: Bukhara and Kiva, 1865-1924” – Seymour Becker

Seymour Becker’s analysis of Russia’s conquests of the khanates of Bukhara and Khiva is considered the book on the subject. However, I did not find this book lived up to its reputation in Central Asian studies circles. What is most striking about this book is Becker’s elementary understanding of imperialism and empire. Throughout much of the book Becker seems intent on proving that Russia’s conquest … Continue reading Review: “Russia’s Protectorates in Central Asia: Bukhara and Kiva, 1865-1924” – Seymour Becker

Review: “The Formation of the Uzbek Nation-State: A Study in Transition” – Anita Sengupta

Anita Sengupta’s “The Formation of the Uzbek Nation-State: A Study in Transition” is a highly theoretical examination of nation-state formation. Unlike Adeeb Khalid, Adrienne Edgar, Arne Haugen, and other Central Asia scholars, Sengupta’s primary focus is not on the actual establishment of Uzbekistan, a former Soviet republic, nor Soviet nationalities policy, but how the transformation of Uzbekistan, first from the Emirate of Bukhara (1785-1920), then … Continue reading Review: “The Formation of the Uzbek Nation-State: A Study in Transition” – Anita Sengupta

Review: “Making Uzbekistan: Nation, Empire, and Revolution in the Early USSR” – Adeeb Khalid

Adeeb Khalid’s “Making Uzbekistan: Nation, Empire, and Revolution in the Early USSR” is a landmark study of the creation of the state of Uzbekistan and national territorial delimitation in Soviet Central Asia. The haphazard and seemingly irrational borders of the five Central Asian republics — Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan — has often been attributed Soviet (i.e., Stalin, since we all know it was … Continue reading Review: “Making Uzbekistan: Nation, Empire, and Revolution in the Early USSR” – Adeeb Khalid

Review: “How the National Question was Solved in Soviet Central Asia (A Reply to Falsifiers)” – R. Tuzmuhamedov

R. Tuzmuhamedov’s “How the National Question was Solved in Soviet Central Asia” offers a superb analysis of the socialist transformation of Soviet Central Asia. Most of the book is what you would expect from something published by Progress Publishers: constant praise for Lenin and the Great October Socialist Revolution (not that I think that’s a bad thing!). However, before you dismiss this book as ‘Soviet … Continue reading Review: “How the National Question was Solved in Soviet Central Asia (A Reply to Falsifiers)” – R. Tuzmuhamedov

Review: “The Establishment of National Republics in Soviet Central Asia” – Arne Haugen

“The Establishment of National Republics in Soviet Central Asia” by Arne Haugen is the Das Kapital of Soviet nationalities policies, especially in Central Asia. Haugen, a Norwegian scholar, methodically and scientifically examines Soviet national territorial delimitation in Central Asia. In this book Haugen examines many of the issues raised in Western scholarly works on Soviet national territorial delimitation… Stalin the Omnipotent was Responsible for National … Continue reading Review: “The Establishment of National Republics in Soviet Central Asia” – Arne Haugen

Soviet Nationalities Policy and Territorial Delimitation: “Divide at impera” or something else?

Have you ever looked at a map of Central Asia and the Caucasus? If you answered ‘yes’, then you have more than likely wondered why the borders of many of the now independent states in these regions of the former Soviet Union are so confusing and seemingly irrational. The strategic and fertile Ferghana Valley, for instance, appears to be haphazardly divided between Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and … Continue reading Soviet Nationalities Policy and Territorial Delimitation: “Divide at impera” or something else?