The Role of Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking in Kyrgyzstan’s Ethnic Crisis
On October 10, Kyrgyzstan held parliamentary elections. According to reports, the elections were surprisingly free and fair. Unfortunately, the problem of state criminalization remains. The new government will face a tough task when dealing with this problem. The conflict that erupted in June in southern Kyrgyzstan is generally seen as being driven by external factors, such as Islamic radicals exploiting socio-economic grievances and the extreme politicization of ethnicity and identity. Although these are important factors, the role of organized crime in the outbreak of ethnic conflict should not be overlooked. Behind the conflict lies the interplay between external and domestic factors as well as the link between regional/local organized crime and the corrupt family politics of former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
Kazakhstan’s Crisis Calls for a Central Asia Policy Reboot
The recent crisis in Kazakhstan took many by surprise. Long considered the most prosperous and stable in Central Asia, it now suddenly appears fragile and weak. To draw lessons from […]
Religion and the Secular State in Kyrgyzstan
Summary Since independence, religion has become ever more important as an identity marker in Kyrgyzstan, with increased practical relevance in the everyday lives of many citizens. This religious revival poses […]
Religion and the Secular State in Turkmenistan
Summary Since gaining its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Turkmenistan has seen an increased presence of religion in everyday life. Islam has been a continuous cornerstone of Turkmen […]