Uzbekistan, long considered the center of Central Asia, has the region’s largest population and borders every other regional state including Afghanistan. For the first 25 years of its independence, it adopted a cautious, defensive policy that emphasized sovereignty and treated regional efforts at cooperationwith skepticism. But after taking over as President in autumn 2016, Shavkat Mirziyoyev launched a breathtaking series of reforminitiatives. His slogan – “it is high time the government serves the people, not vice versa” – led to large-scale reforms in virtually every sector. Time will tell whether the reform effort will succeed, but its firstpositive fruits are already visible, particularly in a new dynamism within Uzbek society,as well as a fresh approach to foreign relations, where a new spirit of regionalism is taking root. This book is the first systematic effort to analyze Uzbekistan’s reforms.
About the Author
S. FREDERICK STARRis Chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Center whose components are affiliated, respectively, with the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington D.C. and the Institute for Security and Development Policy in Stockholm. The Founding Chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, Starr is a Distinguished Fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council. His research focuses on issues of social and economic development in Central Asia, particularly the salience of continental transport and trade. Starr was educated at Yale, Cambridge and Princeton. He was founding director of the Kennan Institute and is a former President of Oberlin College and the Aspen Institute. He contributed to the establishment of the University of Central Asia, of the Nazarbayev University, and of the ADA University in Baku. He is the author or editor of some twenty- two books and 180 articles, and the recipient of five honorary degrees.
SVANTE E. CORNELLis Director of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center. Cornell was educated at the Middle East Technical University and Uppsala University. He is a co-founder of the Institute for Security and Development in Stockholm, Sweden, and a Senior Fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council. He previously taught political science and Eurasian affairs at the University of Uppsala and at Johns Hopkins University-SAIS. He focuses on national security, regional politics, and conflict management issues in the Caucasus, as well as in Turkey, Southwest and Central Asia. He is the author or editor of eight books and some 100 articles.
Table of Contents
1 The Center of Central Asia: Uzbekistan in Regional and International Politics Svante E. Cornell 5
2 Continuity and Change in Uzbekistan, 1991-2016 S. Frederick Starr 18
3 Uzbekistan's New Foreign Policy: Change and Continuity under New Leadership Richard Weitz 41
4 The Economic Modernization of Uzbekistan Mamuka Tsereteli 82
5 Judicial and Governance Reform Mjusa Sever 115
6 Political Reforms: Elections, Political Parties, Civil Society Anthony Bowyer 146
7 Religion and the Secular State in Uzbekistan Svante E. Cornell Jacob Zenn 193
8 Foreign Coverage and Reaction to Uzbekistan's Reforms John C.K. Daly 220
9 Looking Ahead S. Frederick Starr Svante E. Cornell 237