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Post-Soviet Central Eurasia - JTM275
Anglický název: Post-Soviet Central Eurasia
Zajišťuje: Katedra ruských a východoevropských studií (23-KRVS)
Fakulta: Fakulta sociálních věd
Platnost: od 2019
Semestr: zimní
Body: 6
E-Kredity: 6
Způsob provedení zkoušky: zimní s.:kombinovaná
Rozsah, examinace: zimní s.:1/1 Zk [hodiny/týden]
Počet míst: 16 / neurčen (15)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
Stav předmětu: vyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Poznámka: předmět je možno zapsat mimo plán
povolen pro zápis po webu
při zápisu přednost, je-li ve stud. plánu
Garant: PhDr. Jan Šír, Ph.D.
doc. et doc. PhDr. Slavomír Horák, Ph.D.
Vyučující: doc. et doc. PhDr. Slavomír Horák, Ph.D.
Neslučitelnost : JMM361, JMM703
Anotace - angličtina
Poslední úprava: doc. et doc. PhDr. Slavomír Horák, Ph.D. (20.09.2019)
The course “Post-Soviet Central Eurasia” seeks to give students a solid understanding of the nation-building processes that took place in the Central Eurasian region since the fall of the Soviet Union. The nation-building process consists of three interrelated parts – creation of national identity and ideology; construction of communication, economic and transport infrastructure that binds the nation together; establishing of state apparatus and political system that enables exercise of power over the state. Therefore, the three modules of this course would be based on these phases of the state-building process. Students will be able to comprehend key issues in Central Asian internal politics.

Cíl předmětu - angličtina
Poslední úprava: doc. et doc. PhDr. Slavomír Horák, Ph.D. (20.09.2019)

Learning outcomes

Specific knowledge:

The students will gain a more profound understanding of the Central Asia as a geographic area and its challenges on the road to progress and modernization. A multi-dimensional character of modernization and its components will also become clear.


Transferable skills:

Capacity for logical inference, analytical thinking and generalization is crucial at the master’s level. Two midterm tests with the so-called open-ended questions will contribute to the development of these qualities, which will be further reinforced by preparing a presentation.

In the process of learning students are expected to sharpen their skills in conducting discussion, delivering a presentation and drafting a piece in argumentative writing. To achieve these skills (especially the former two), students should behave in a cooperative, mutually supportive fashion.



After the completion of the course students will have clear understanding of scholars/analysts’ academic responsibility towards society

Požadavky ke zkoušce - angličtina
Poslední úprava: doc. et doc. PhDr. Slavomír Horák, Ph.D. (01.10.2019)
  • 1 final interview (50%)

    Final interview with each student based on the readings and in-class topics. 


  • 1 short presentations on particular cases (40%)

    The short presentation will be based on additional assigned reading marked "Presentation readings". The presenter will be asked to take the reading as the basis for his presentation, however you are not expected to re-narrate the content of the text only. You should provide broader context of the text, consequences or implications of the text for contemporary research. 


  • Activity in the class (10%)

    This part evaluates the activity of students in the classes. In case of substantial absence in the classes this percentage could be completely erased for particular student. 


  • Assessment

    1 (A) 100 - 91%
    2 (B) 90 - 81%
    3 (C) 80 - 71%

    4 (D) 70 – 61%

    5 (E) 60 – 51%

    6 (F) less than 50%

Sylabus - angličtina
Poslední úprava: doc. et doc. PhDr. Slavomír Horák, Ph.D. (07.10.2019)

Course program

1. Concepts, Geography, Demography, Society

Key topics: Central Asia as Eurasian pivot or black hole? Different concepts and approaches of the region. Geographical parts of the region.



Cummings, Sally. „Understanding Central Asia: Politics and Contested Transformations“. Routledge, 2013 (Chapter 2, reader).

Clarke, Michael. „The centrality of Central Asia in world history 1700-2008. From Pivot to Periphery and Back Again?“ China, Xinjiang and Central Asia. History, transition and crossborder interaction into 21st century (Mackerass, Colin - Clarke Michael, eds.). Routledge, 2009: 21-54 (reader).


Presentation readings:

Mackinder, Halford John. "The geographical pivot of history.". Geographical Journal 170.4 (2004): 298-321 (reader).

Starr, S. Frederick. In Defense of Greater Central Asia. Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, 2008.


2. Central Asia from Soviet republics to post-Soviet states

Key topics: The role of Central Asia in the Soviet Union. Soviet determinants of post-Soviet trajectories. Contemporary evaluation of late Soviet period in Central Asia.



Lewis, David. „Sovereignty after Empire: The Colonial Roots of Central Asian Authoritarianism“. Sovereignty After Empire. Comparing the Middle East and Central Asia. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2011: 178-196 (reader).

Dadabaev, Timur. "Evaluations of perestroika in post-Soviet Central Asia: Public views in contemporary Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan." Communist and Post-Communist Studies 49 (2016): 179-192 (reader).


Presentation readings:

Horák, Slavomír. "Turkmenistan at the Last Stage of Perestroika. Determinants of an Authoritarian Path." Cahiers d’Asie centrale 26 (2016): 29-49. (reader)

Anderson, John. "Kyrgyzstan: An Island of Democracy in Central Asia." (1999). (Chapter 2, chapter 1 recommended, reader).


3. Formal and informal power institutions in Central Asia

Key topics: Should political scientists analyze formal of informal institutions? Why the leader is so important in (not only) Central Asian politics? Are there „traditional“, „Soviet“ and „contemporary“ elites?



Sayarkulova, Mohira. „Reluctant Sovereigns? Central Asian States' Path to Independence“.  Sovereignty After Empire. Comparing the Middle East and Central Asia. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2011: 127-153. (reader)

Norling, Nicklas. „Party Problems and Factionalism in Soviet Uzbekistan. Evidence from the Communist Party Archives“. Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program. 2017: 98-123. (reader)


Presentation readings:

Presentations: Justin (Kazakhstan)

Horák, Slavomír. „The Elite in Post-Soviet and Post-Niyazow Turkmenistan: Does Political Culture Form a Leader?“ Demokratizatsiya, 20.4 (2012): 371-385 (reader).

Peyrouse, Sebastien. „The Kazakh Neopatrimonial Regime: Balancing Uncertainities among the "Family", Oligarchs and Technocrats“. Demokratizatsiya, 20.4 (2012): 345-370 (reader). 

Engvall, Johan. "Flirting with the State Failure: Power and Politics in Kyrgyzstan since Independence." Central Asia-Caucasus Institute - Silk Road Studies Program, Washington - Stockholm, 2011: 12-101.

Ilkhamov, Alisher. „Stalled at the Doorstep of Modern Statehood: The Neopatrimonial Regime in Uzbekistan“. Stable Outside Fragile Inside? Post-Soviet Statehood in Central Asia (Kavalski, Emilian, ed.), Ashgate, Farnham, 2010: 195-210. (reader).


4. Ideology and State-Building in Central Asia

Key topics: The Soviet ideological legacy in contemporary Central Asia. Why the leaders should be praised? Political culture and ideology in Central Asian States.

Film screening:

Halonen, Arto (director) – Frazier Kevin (producer): In the Shadow of the Holy Book, Art Films Production, Helsinki, 2007. (independent screening, the film will be provided by lecturer).


Abashin, Sergei. „Nation-construction in Central Asia“. Soviet and Post-Soviet Identities (Bassin, Mark - Kelly, Catriona, eds.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2012: 150-168 (Chapter 8).

Matveeva, Anna. „Legitimising Central Asian Authoritarianism: Political Manipulation and Symbolic Power“. Europe-Asia Studies 61.7 (September 2009): 1095-1121.

Marat, Erica. "National Ideology and State-Building in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan". Silk Road Paper, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute - Silk Road Studies Program, Washington - Stockholm, 2008: 15-29 and 71-83.


Presentation readings:

(Presentation: Anežka - National Ideologies in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan)

March, Andrew. „State ideology and the legitimization of authoritarianism: the case of post-Soviet Uzbekistan“. Journal of Political Ideologies 8.2 (2003): 209-232.

Denison, Michael. „The Art of the Impossible: Political Symbolism, and the Creation of National Identity and Collective Memory in Post-Soviet Turkmenistan“. Europe-Asia Studies, 61.7 (2009): 1167-1187.

Schatz, Ed. „What Capital Cities Say about State and Nation-Building“. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics. 9.4 (2003): 111-140.

Marat, Erica. „Imagined Past, Uncertain Future: The Creation of National Ideologies in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan“. Problems of Post-Communism. 55.1 (2008): 12-24.


Film screening:

In the shadow of the Holy Book


5. Conflict potential in Central Asia

Key topics: Real and imagined conflicts in Central Asia. Why Central Asia did not become the Eurasian Balkans?



Grävingholt, John: Crisis Potential and Crisis Prevention in Central Asia. Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik, Bonn, 2004: 65-88.

Tishkov, Valery. „Ethnic Conflicts in the Former USSR. The Use and Misuese of Typologies and Datas“. Journal of Peace Research, 36.5 (1999): 571-591.

Alternatively: Rubin, Barnett R. „Central Asia and Central Africa. Transnational Wars and Ethnic Conflicts“. Journal of Human Development, 7.1 (2006): 5-22.


Presentation readings:

(Presentation: Josef)

Matveeva, Anna. "Kyrgyzstan: tragedy in the South". Ethnopolitics Papers, 17 (2012): 2 + Tishkov, Valeriy: Don’t Kill Me, I’m a Kyrgyz. An Anthropological Analysis of Violence in Osh Ethnic Conflict. Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 32, No. 2, 1995, pp. 133-149 (JSTOR, SaGE Political Sciences).

Epkenhans, Tim. The Origins of the Civil War in Tajikistan: Nationalism, Islamism, and Violent Conflict in Post-Soviet Space. Lexington Books, 2016 (Chapters 1 and 2, Jinonice library)


6. Islamic threat in Central Asia

Key Topics: Myth or reality of Islamic Extremism in Central Asia. Central Asia after Islamic State failure.

Falkowski, Maciej – Lang, Josef. Homo Jihadicus. Islam in the Former USSR and the Phenomenon of the Post-Soviet Militants in Syria and Iraq. OSW Report, Warsaw, 2015 (Chapter I, II and VII).

Khalid Adeeb. Islam and the State in Central Asia. Turkish Review, 5.5 (2015): 402-408.


Presentation readings:

Hanks, Reuel R. Narratives of Islam in Uzbekistan: authoritarian myths and the Janus-state syndrome. Central Asia Survey, 35.4 (2016): 501-513.

Edward Lemon & Hélène Thibault. „Counter-extremism, power and authoritarian governance in Tajikistan“, Central Asian Survey, 37.1 (2018): 137-159.


7. Regional cooperation in Central Asia

Key topics: Why Central Asia is not integrated from within? Could outside powers integrate Central Asia.



Rakhimov, Mirzokhid. „Internal and External Dynamics of Regional Cooperation in Central Asia“. Journal of Eurasian Studies, 1 (2010): 95-101.

Qoraboyev, Ikboljon: "From Central Asian regional integration to Eurasian Integration Space? Changing Dynamics of Post-Soviet Regionalism". Eurasian Integration Yearbook, 2010: 206-232.


Presentation readings:

Ambrosio, Thomas: „Catching the ‘Shanghai Spirit’: How the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Promotes Authoritarian Norms in Central Asia“. Europe-Asia Studies, 60.8 (2008): 1321-1344.

Starr, Frederick – Cornell, Svante. Putin‘s Grand Strategy: The Eurasian Union and Its Discontents. Central Asia-Caucasus Institute – Silk Road Studies Program, 2014. (chapters 9 and 13).


8. Economic and social transformation of Central Asia

Key topics: Shock changes versus gradual transformation. Different Strategies, similar outputs in Central Asia? The constant crisis in the region? A „Dutch desease“ and Central Asian effect.



Pomfret, Richard: The Central Asian Economies Since Independence. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2006, p. 1-22, 141-170.


Short presentation readings:

Ahrens, Joachim: Stark, Manuel: Economic Reform and Institutional Change in Central Asia: towards a new model of the development state. Private University of Applied Arts Research Papers, Göttingen, No. 5, 2012. (2 persons)

Šír, Jan: Turkmenistan. A Promised Land for Making Business? Macroeconomic Reforms under Berdymukhammedov. China Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 8, No. 3, November 2010, p. 67-92.


9. Transport in Central Asia

Key Topics: Central Asia as Eurasian transport hub or Eurasian bypass? Factors and determinants of Central Asia as transit destination. One Belt One Road and its impact on Central Asia.



Starr, Frederick – Cornell, Svante – Norling, Nicklas: The EU, Central Asia and the Development of  Continental Transport and Trade. Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, Washington – Stockholm, 2015.


Presentation Readings:

Peyrouse, Sebastien, and Gaël Raballand. "Central Asia: the new Silk Road initiative’s questionable economic rationality." Eurasian Geography and Economics 56.4 (2015): 405-420.


10. Regime transition models in Central Asia

Key Topics: Analysis of regime transitions in Central Asia. Is there a potential of „Arab Springs“ in Central Asia? More authoritarian regimes – more conflict potential and instability within the transition? Legitimization of authoritarian regimes and its leaders.



Ambrosio, Thomas. Leadership Succession in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan: Regime Survival after Nazarbayev and Karimov. Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, 17.1 (2014): 49-67. + Horák, Slavomir. "Leadership Succession in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan: Between Stability and Instability." Central Asian Affairs 5.1 (2018): 1-15.


Ó‘Beachain, Donnacha – Polese, Abel (eds.). The Colour Revolutions in the Former Soviet Republics. Successes and failures. Routledge, 2010. (Chapters 10 and 13, Introduction recommended)


Presentation Readings

Isaacs, Rico: Charismatic Routinization and Problems of Post-Charisma Succession in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Studies of Transition States and Societies, Vol. 7 (2015), Issue 1, p. 58-76.

Polese, Abel - Ó Beacháin, Donnacha – Horák, Slavomír: Strategies of legitimation in Central Asia: regime durability in Turkmenistan. Contemporary Politics, 23:4 (2017): 427-445.

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