The Central Asian States: Discovering Independence

By Gregory Gleason | Go to book overview

ONE
New States and Ancient Societies

In the closing days of 1991 in a hurriedly arranged meeting in Alma-Ata, Kazakstan, eleven communist party officials signed a document declaring that "the USSR shall henceforth cease to exist."1 No public referendum was held on the "Alma-Ata Declaration." No legislature was asked to ratify the agreement. No court was asked to rule on its constitutionality. No international forum was convened to discuss its global ramifications. Among the Soviet citizenry, the Alma-Ata Declaration gave rise to conflicting emotions. Surprise, resignation, and despair mixed with relief, elation, and celebration. The document was almost immediately accepted as legitimate by the international community. With this swift international acceptance of the Alma-Ata Declaration, the so-called Great Bolshevik Experiment--the seventy-year-long excursion into a new kind of civilization--came abruptly to a close. The world's largest country, a global superpower and what was very probably the most heavily armed state in history, dissolved into fifteen euphoric, anxious, confused, feuding, but at least nominally independent states.

Among these independent states were the five former Soviet socialist republics (SSRS) of Central Asia: Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tojikiston, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekiston. Each of the new states of Central Asia was a founding member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the loosely defined coordinating structure for the post-Soviet community created by the Alma-Ata Declaration. Each of the new states of Central Asia sought and soon received diplomatic recognition as independent republics from major world powers. Each of the new states joined the United Nations (UN). Each of the states sought participation in leading international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

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The Central Asian States: Discovering Independence
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • A Note on Languages In Central Asia xiii
  • One - New States and Ancient Societies 1
  • Notes 21
  • Two - Legacies of Central Asia 25
  • Notes 46
  • Three - The Soviet Socialist Republics of Central Asia 48
  • Notes 77
  • Four - Central Asian States Emergent 82
  • Notes 132
  • Five - Central Asia and the World 136
  • Notes 164
  • Six - Transition in Asia 168
  • Notes 184
  • Chronology of Events In Modern Central Asia: November 1917- December 1995 187
  • Sources on Central Asian Politics, Economics, And Society 205
  • About the Book and Author 211
  • Index 212
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