Tajikistan is one of the lesser-known and least-researched former Soviet Central Asian republics. The birth of the new state in 1991 was followed closely by a civil war which killed more than 50,000 people and displaced many tens of thousands more. While a peace agreement was signed in 1997, significant political violence continued until 2001 and intermittent outbreaks still occur today. Many claim it remains a very weak state and perhaps in danger of state failure or a return to civil war. However, the revival of Tajikistan should not simply be seen in terms of its post-conflict stabilization. Since its creation as a republic of the Soviet Union in 1920s, Tajikistan has been transformed from being a shell for socialist engineering to become a national society under a modern state. Despite a multitude of economic, social and political shocks, the Republic of Tajikistan endures.
This book places the transformation of Tajikistan in its Soviet and Post-Soviet historical settings and local and global contexts. It explores the sources of a state with Soviet roots but which has been radically transformed by independence and its exposure to global politics and economics. The authors address the sources of statehood in history, Islam and secularism, gender relations, the economy, international politics and security affairs.
This book is a new edition of a special issue of Central Asian Survey, ‘Tajikistan: the sources of statehood’, including two additional papers and a revised introduction.