Event Title

After the End of History

Presenter Information

Steven Levin, Oberlin CollegeFollow

Location

King Building 243

Start Date

4-27-2018 11:00 AM

End Date

4-27-2018 12:20 PM

Abtract

Central Asia is a strange case in comparative political study. The individual countries within this region can only attest to 25 years of separate history and yet each shows remarkably different conditions. This hold especially true for human rights violations, not only in terms of the extent and degree of the abuses, but perhaps even more critically, its key targets. Therefore, it is important that we ask ourselves what explains these human rights differentiations and how well does a state-centered perspective account for it? Ultimately observations prove challenging for contemporary theories of the state in the former USSR region. While, many today flock to the state-centered perspective to explain phenomenon such as the color revolutions or the lack of Eurasian democracy, such a school of thought cannot explain certain empirical observations regarding human rights abuses. While this school of political thought would have us think that countries like Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan have no need for abusing their peoples given the large degree of elite cohesion achieved, the evidence demonstrates that this simply is not the case, especially in Uzbekistan. Moreover, this school of thought also de-emphasizes the power of international actors over domestic states, something which goes a long way towards explaining not only the Tajik state’s stability but also Rakhmon’s seemingly god-given ability for power consolidation, something which left some state-centered theorist, namely Lucan Way, completely stumped.

Keywords:

Central Asia, human rights abuses, state-centered perspective, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan

Notes

Session I, Panel 3 - Political | Confrontations
Moderator: Zeinab Abul-Magd, Associate Professor of History and Chair of International Studies

Major

Politics

Advisor(s)

Stephen Crowley, Politics

Project Mentor(s)

Stephen Crowley, Politics

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Apr 27th, 11:00 AM Apr 27th, 12:20 PM

After the End of History

King Building 243

Central Asia is a strange case in comparative political study. The individual countries within this region can only attest to 25 years of separate history and yet each shows remarkably different conditions. This hold especially true for human rights violations, not only in terms of the extent and degree of the abuses, but perhaps even more critically, its key targets. Therefore, it is important that we ask ourselves what explains these human rights differentiations and how well does a state-centered perspective account for it? Ultimately observations prove challenging for contemporary theories of the state in the former USSR region. While, many today flock to the state-centered perspective to explain phenomenon such as the color revolutions or the lack of Eurasian democracy, such a school of thought cannot explain certain empirical observations regarding human rights abuses. While this school of political thought would have us think that countries like Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan have no need for abusing their peoples given the large degree of elite cohesion achieved, the evidence demonstrates that this simply is not the case, especially in Uzbekistan. Moreover, this school of thought also de-emphasizes the power of international actors over domestic states, something which goes a long way towards explaining not only the Tajik state’s stability but also Rakhmon’s seemingly god-given ability for power consolidation, something which left some state-centered theorist, namely Lucan Way, completely stumped.