This book focuses on the newly independent Muslim republics of the former Soviet Union in Central Asia, especially Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan. It examines the recent economic and political developments in these states with reference to the lingering legacy of Tsarist Russian and Soviet rule, the resurgence of an Islamic political identity, the persistence of ethnic allegiances and rivalries, and the nascent democratic aspirations of their peoples. A distinguishing feature of the book is its emphasis on the long-standing religious, ethnic and cultural ties between the peoples of Central Asia and those of the four South-west Asian states of Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. Viewing the new alliances, rivalries and potential conflicts among these states within a regional context, the authors provide an informed assessment of the geopolitics of a region with a population of over 300,000,000 people. The implications of these regional developments for the West are also set out.
Part 1 Central Asia's catapult to independence: the new geopolitical order, Graham E. Fuller; emerging political elites, Martha Brill Olcott; the potential for political instability and regional conflicts, Boris Z. Rumer. Part 2 Forging new relations with Russia and the southern tier: Tajikistan's relations with Iran and Afghanistan, Muriel Atkin; Azerbaijan's triangular relationship - the land between Russia, Turkey and Iran, Tadeusz Swietochowski; Islam, state-building and Uzbekistan foreign policy, Henry Hale. Part 3 South-west Asia looking north: Turkey, the Caucasus and Central Asia, Sabri Sayari; Iran, the Caucasus and Central Asia, Seyed Kazem Sajjadpour; Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Central Asian States, Tahir Amin. Part 4 Rethinking the role of the great powers: Russia and the emerging geopolitical order in Central Asia, Mikhail Komarovsky; Central Asia - issues and challenges for United States policy, Nancy Lubin.