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    CENTRAL ASIA: CONFLICT OR STABILITY AND DEVELOPMENT?

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    [摘要]
    The term Central Asia, in Western European languages at least, has no fixed definition, but in general usage today it is often used to refer to the five former-Soviet republics of Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. This is the definition which will be used here. Within this region – which encompasses an area considerably larger than India – there are striking variations in human and physical geography. Yet there are a number of features which are common to the region as a whole. These are partly the result of historic cultural bonds, and partly of the shared experience of some 70 years of Soviet rule. Hence, some generalizations are valid for all. At the same time, each state has its own specific characteristics and this, increasingly, is resulting in differentiation and divergence in domestic as well as foreign policies.
    Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, like the other constituent republics of the former Soviet Union, acquired political independence at the end of 1991.2 This did not come about as a result of national struggles for liberation but as a consequence of the sudden and unexpected demise of the Union. There had been no period of preparation and planning for this momentous change: on the contrary, the governments of the newly independent states were confronted, almost literally overnight, with the task of assuming direct responsibility for a huge range of administrative, economic,social and environmental problems. They had virtually no previous experience of self-rule, and now faced an uncertain future with limited resources in every field, from specialized personnel to technological equipment, from financial reserves to international transport and telecommunications facilities.
        Some of these problems are shared by all the former Soviet republics. However, in Central Asia they are more acute because of the lower level of development and the more critically balanced social and environmental conditions.
    During the Soviet period these republics were to a large extent dependent on all-Union economic structures and on assistance from central government. Social services, for example, were largely funded by central government subsidies. Also, the high degree of specialization in the production of raw materials had created lop-sided economies; this in turn caused a far higher degree of interrepublican trade than was to be found elsewhere in the Union. Post-1991, the abrupt cessation of central government subsidies and the dislocation of the all-Union supply, production and transportation systems, had a devastating effect on the newly independent Central Asian states. Inevitably, this caused great hardship for the population and exacerbated latent social tensions.
     
    Report Data
    © Minority Rights Group 1997
    British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
    A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
    ISBN 1 897693 36 2 ISSN 0305 6252
    Published April 1997
    Printed in the UK on bleach-free paper by MFP Design and Print
    THE AUTHORDR SHIRIN AKINER is a recognized authority on Central Asia and minority issues. She is the author of numerous articles and books on the region. Dr Akiner is Director of the Central Asia Research Forum of the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, where she also lectures on Central and Inner Asia.
     

    作者: 来源:www.minorityrights.org 发布时间:2011年08月01日