Tajikistan in the New Central Asia: Geopolitics, Great Power Rivalry and Radical Islam

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I.B.Tauris, Aug 25, 2006 - History - 252 pages

Central Asia has become the battleground for the major struggles of the 21st century: radical Islam versus secularism, authoritarianism versus identity politics, Eastern versus Western control of resources, and the American 'War on Terror'. Nowhere are these conflicts more starkly illustrated than in the case of Tajikistan. Embedded in the oil-rich Central Asian region, and bordering war-torn Afghanistan, Tajikistan occupies a geo-strategically pivotal position. It is also a major transit hub for the smuggling of opium, which eventually ends up in the hands of heroin dealers in Western cities. In this timely book, Lena Jonson examines Tajkistan's search for a foreign policy in the post 9/11 environment. She shows the internal contradictions of a country in every sense at the crossroads, reconciling its bloody past with an uncertain future She assesses the impact of regional developments on the reform movement in Tajikistan, and in turn examines how changes in Tajik society (which is the only Central Asian country to have a legal Islamist party) might affect the region. The destiny of Tajikistan is intimately connected with that of Central Asia, and this thorough and penetrating book is essential reading for anyone seeking to make sense of this strategically vital region at a moment of transition.

 

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Contents

LIST OF MAPS AND TABLES
ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Introduction
3
The Foreign Policy of a Small Power
7
Foreign Policy Change
9
The Determinants of Foreign Policy
11
Possible Implications of Foreign Policy Change
15
A Russian Return?
76
Tajik Policy and the Engagement of Regional Powers
85
Conclusions
91
Afghanistan Uzbekistan and Tajik Policy
93
A Turn for the Worse?
107
Conclusions
123
Efforts to Strengthen the Regime
127
20012002
129

The Structure of this Book
16
Back to the Future?
17
Ancient Bactria and Sogdiana and the Persian Conquest
20
Alexander the GraecoBactrian State and the Fall of BactriaSogdiana
22
The Arab Conquest
25
The Samanids
28
The Turks Genghis Khan and the Timurids
29
The Emirate and the Russian Conquest
31
Conclusions
36
The First Ten Years of Independence
40
Light at the End of the Tunnel
45
Bandwagoning with Russia
48
Conclusions
52
BigPower Engagement and Tajik Policy
55
The Turn of Events in 2001
57
The Backdrop of Russian Influence
60
20032005
134
Into the Shadow of the Kyrgyz Revolution
146
Conclusions
148
The Dynamics on the Domestic Scene
150
SecularPolitical Protest
151
ReligiousPolitical Protest
159
EthnicNational Protest
167
Conclusions
172
Conclusions
177
Why this Change?
181
The Foreign Policy of Small Powers
182
Implications for Tajikistans Future Policy
184
NOTES
199
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND FURTHER READING
237
INDEX
249
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Lena Jonson is Associate Professor in Political Science and a Senior Research Fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. She has worked at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, London and as Political Officer at the OSCE mission to Tajikistan. Since autumn 2005 she has worked as a Cultural Counsellor for the Swedish Embassy in Moscow.

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