State-building and Islam in Post-Soviet Central Asia
Author: Hélène Thibault
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Category: Social Science
Tajikistan is a key state in Central Asia, and will become crucial to the rHélène Thibault is assistant professor in Political Science at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan since 2016. Prior to that, she had been a postdoctoral researcher at the Chair for the Study of Religious Pluralism and the Center for International Studies at the Université de Montréal. Apart from research activities, she also took part in multiple election observation missions with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Ukraine.egional power balance as it transitions away from Soviet government systems and responds to the rise of Chinese financial power alongside the continuing presence of Russian military might. This book demonstrates how Soviet structures in Tajikistan have been transformed into state structures, and how national identities are formed. Helene Thibault focuses on the differences between secular nationhood in Tajikistan, and an increasingly popular and influential 'born-again' Muslim identity. Featuring extensive and original primary-source material, including 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork, Thibault demonstrates the profound and lasting influence of Soviet power structures and attitudes, and how secular and religious identities clash when building a new state in the region.
During the Second World War, as the Soviet Red Army was locked in brutal combat against the Nazis, Joseph Stalin ended the state's violent, decades-long persecution of religion. In a stunning reversal, priests, imams, rabbis, and other religious elites--many of them newly-released from the Gulag--were tasked with rallying Soviet citizens to a "Holy War" against Hitler. To the delight of some citizens, and to the horror of others, Stalin's reversal encouraged a widespread perception that his "war on religion" was over. A revolution in Soviet religious life ensued: soldiers prayed on the battlefield, entire villages celebrated once-banned holidays, and state-backed religious leaders used their new positions not only to consolidate power over their communities, but also to petition for further religious freedoms. Offering a window on this wartime "religious revolution," God Save the USSR focuses on the Soviet Union's Muslims, using sources in several languages (including Russian, Tatar, Bashkir, Uzbek, and Persian). Drawing evidence from eyewitness accounts, interviews, soldiers' letters, frontline poetry, agents' reports, petitions, and the words of Soviet Muslim leaders, Jeff Eden argues that the religious revolution was fomented simultaneously by the state and by religious Soviet citizens: the state gave an inch, and many citizens took a mile, as atheist Soviet agents looked on in exasperation at the resurgence of unconcealed devotional life.
How does empire affect the route to successor sovereign state systems and the features of the sovereignty of these systems? This unique systematic comparison of empires and of their consequences for sovereignty in the Middle East and Central Asia brings theory on empire and sovereignty to bear on empirical variation across the two regions. The novel approach to understanding the political structures of states in two significant areas of the non-European world offers an important comparative discussion of post-imperial development and sovereignty. It raises a clear set of research questions about variations of imperial practice and puts forward an attractive and persuasive case that imperial legacy has been an important variable in the post-independence period.
Domestic Life, Devastation and Survival, 1900-1950
Author: Paul Ginsborg
Publisher: Yale University Press
In this masterly twentieth-century history, Paul Ginsborg places the family at center stage, a novel perspective from which to examine key moments of revolution and dictatorship. His groundbreaking book spans 1900 to 1950 and encompasses five nation states in the throes of dramatic transition: Russia in revolutionary passage from Empire to Soviet Union; Turkey in transition from Ottoman Empire to modern Republic; Italy, from liberalism to fascism; Spain during the Second Republic and Civil War; and Germany from the failure of the Weimar Republic to the National Socialist state. Ginsborg explores the effects of political upheaval and radical social policies on family life and, in turn, the impact of families on revolutionary change itself. Families, he shows, do not simply experience the effects of political power, but are themselves actors in the historical process. The author brings human and personal elements to the fore with biographical details and individual family histories, along with a fascinating selection of family photographs and portraits. From WWI—an indelible backdrop and imprinting force on the first half of the twentieth century—to post-war dictatorial power and family engineering initiatives, to the conclusion of WWII, this book shines new light on the profound relations among revolution, dictatorship, and family.
When the Bolsheviks set out to build a new world in the wake of the Russian Revolution, they expected religion to die off. Soviet power used a variety of tools--from education to propaganda to terror—to turn its vision of a Communist world without religion into reality. Yet even with its monopoly on ideology and power, the Soviet Communist Party never succeeded in overcoming religion and creating an atheist society. A Sacred Space Is Never Empty presents the first history of Soviet atheism from the 1917 revolution to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Drawing on a wealth of archival material and in-depth interviews with those who were on the front lines of Communist ideological campaigns, Victoria Smolkin argues that to understand the Soviet experiment, we must make sense of Soviet atheism. Smolkin shows how atheism was reimagined as an alternative cosmology with its own set of positive beliefs, practices, and spiritual commitments. Through its engagements with religion, the Soviet leadership realized that removing religion from the "sacred spaces" of Soviet life was not enough. Then, in the final years of the Soviet experiment, Mikhail Gorbachev—in a stunning and unexpected reversal—abandoned atheism and reintroduced religion into Soviet public life. A Sacred Space Is Never Empty explores the meaning of atheism for religious life, for Communist ideology, and for Soviet politics.
The Russian Revolution in Asia: From Baku to Batavia presents a unique and timely global history intervention into the historiography of the Russian Revolution of 1917, marking the centenary of one of the most significant modern revolutions. It explores the legacies of the Revolution across the Asian continent and maritime Southeast Asia, with a broad geographic sweep including Iran, the Caucasus, Central Asia, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India. It analyses how revolutionary communism intersected with a variety of Asian contexts, from the anti-colonial movement and ethnic tensions, to indigenous cultural frameworks and power structures. In so doing, this volume privileges Asian actors and perspectives, examining how Asian communities reinterpreted the Revolution to serve unexpected ends, including national liberation, regional autonomy, conflict with Russian imperial hegemony, Islamic practice and cultural nostalgia. Methodologically, this volume breaks new ground by incorporating research from a wide range of sources across multiple languages, many analysed for the first time in English-language scholarship. This book will be of use to historians of the Russian Revolution, especially those interested in understanding transnational and transregional perspectives of its impact in Central Asia and Southeast Asia, as well as historians of Asia more broadly. It will also appeal to those interested in the history of Islam.