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Civil Society in Central Asia

edited by M. Holt Ruffin and Daniel Waugh

Publication Year: 1999

Published by: University of Washington Press

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pp. vii

The analytical essays in the first part of this book are in large part the product of a two-day conference held in 1998 and organized by the Center for Civil Society International and the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, in Washington, D.C. At that conference, a wide variety of issues and views were considered, and debate was sometimes lively and hard-hitting. ...

Maps of Central Asia

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pp. viii-ix

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pp. 3-26

Civil Society in Central Asia addresses important problems of social, political, and economic change in the newly independent countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The area they encompass has a rich culture and long history-for the most part little known or understood in the West-in which nomads on horseback, great centers of Islam, and agricultural settlements ...

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Civil Society in Central Asia

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pp. 27-33

Civil Society in Central Asia? Until very recently, few would have considered this to be a fruitful object of study, let alone a title for a book. Yet a combination of developments, most of them indigenous to the region but others originating elsewhere, have thrust this topic to the fore. This has occurred with breathtaking speed, even though the development of civil ...

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The Legal Regulation of NGOs: Central Asia at a Crossroads

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pp. 34-56

Proceeding at an uneven pace, the three nations of the Central Asian Union have now reached an important crossroads in their treatment of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Each nation inherited the late Gorbachev-era style law on public associations and has built on this base in the enactment of a Civil Code envisioning noncommercial corporate structures. In order to provide a sustainable platform ...

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Freedom of Association and the Question of Its Realization in Kazakhstan

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pp. 57-70

Kazakhstan is a constitutional republic. According to the constitution ratified by the referendum of August 30, 1995, nearly all power in Kazakhstan is concentrated within the executive branch, specifically in the authority of the president. The powers of the president as well as the activity of the government cannot be controlled by the society. The legislative and representative branches-the parliament ...

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Government and Nonprofit Sector Relations in then Kyrgyz Republic

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pp. 71-84

By many accounts, the Kyrgyz Republic is an example of democratic development in post-Soviet Central Asia, one where the institutions of "civil society" are growing rapidly. Testimony to this is to be seen in the development of the grassroots NGO community-between 1991 and 1996 more than 800 NGOs had been established. Yet their impact has been all too limited because of their failure to establish cooperative relations with the government. ... By many accounts, the Kyrgyz Republic is an example of democratic development in post-Soviet Central Asia, one where the institutions of "civil society"

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Environmental NGOs and the Development of Civil Society in Cental Asia

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pp. 85-108

Environmental NGOs have played a significant role in the development of civil society in Central Asia. Within the NOD community, environmental groups are among the strongest organizations; they have the longest history and have made significant contributions, not only to improving the environment, but also to building a society in which citizen participation is becoming a reality. While democratic reform has yet to reach most Central ...

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Kolkhoz and Civil Society in the Independent States of Central Asia

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pp. 109-121

Central Asian societies are still mainly rural; 60 percent of the Uzbek population, for instance, lives in rural areas, and the figure is higher if we consider only ethnic Uzbeks, because non-Muslim minorities tend to live in cities. The birth rate is higher in the countryside, and there is still no massive rural migration: the rural population will thus keep its weight for a while. On the other hand, the few active democratic movements ...

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Prospects for Development of an Independent Media in Kazakhstan

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pp. 122-134

The history of independent media development in Kazakhstan reveals many of the obstacles to the emergence of civil society in Central Asia. In the circumstances of transition from the Soviet system, where individuals' constitutional rights and freedoms are only gradually being established and there is still insufficient check on abuse of authority, the media can play a critical role. Unfortunately, the government ...

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Can Uzbekistan Build Democracy and Civil Society?

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pp. 135-157

The process of building civil society in Uzbekistan cannot be characterized in simple black or white. As in many other states, the situation is more complicated than that. The basis for creating civil society does not yet exist in Uzbekistan. The purpose of this essay is to explore the reasons why and to suggest ways by which the situation might be changed. ...

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Civil Society and Identity in Uzbekistan: The Emergent Role of Islam

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pp. 158-179

Civil societies" are likely to emerge when a shared sense of identity is manifest among members. This may be marked by a common feeling of purpose, a shared concept of morality and social norms, and a uniform substrate of collective identification. Prior to the collapse of the Soviet system, these elements were partially supplied, at least superficially, by Marxist-Leninist ideology. The wholesale jettisoning ...

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Islam and Tajikistan's Human and Ecological Crisis

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pp. 180-197

To the world at large, the catastrophic situation that has prevailed in Tajikistan is little understood. At the root of the political strife which has dominated the news are serious socio-ecological problems. While Islamic tradition in the country is strong, its nature and relationship to the current crisis are little appreciated. The emphasis of Western countries has been to model development on the values of industrialized secular democracies. In Tajikistan, traditional Islamic ...

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Women's NGOs in Central Asia's Evolving Societies

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pp. 198-213

A nongovernmental sector has emerged in each of the five former Soviet Central Asia nations, with organizations (NGOs) managed by women or primarily serving women, and the family being among the strongest. Through NGOs, women are learning to balance an acknowledgment of their societies' religiously rooted traditions with an entrepreneurial drive to improve the social and economic status ...

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The Real Work: Sustaining NGO Growth in Central Asia

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pp. 214-231

The Kyrgyz Republic has proven during the years since independence in 1991 that it is a country willing to change and adapt in the process of transition to democracy and the development of a civil society. Among the marked changes that have taken place is the development of a substantial NGO community. There are some 1,000 registered NGOs in the nation. They have grown with ...



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pp. 235-263


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pp. 264-279


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pp. 280-290


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pp. 291-294


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pp. 295-310

Online Resources

E-mail Lists

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pp. 313-314

Web Sites

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pp. 315-319

Internet Access Centers in Central Asia

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pp. 320-321


About the Authors

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pp. 325-329


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pp. 330-331

E-ISBN-13: 9780295800530
E-ISBN-10: 0295800534
Print-ISBN-13: 9780295977959
Print-ISBN-10: 0295977957

Publication Year: 1999

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Asia, Central -- Politics and government -- 1991-.
  • Civil society -- Asia, Central.
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