The emergence of the independent Republic of Tajikistan (Jumhurii Tojikiston) was one of the most painful state building attempts in post-Soviet history. Since 1990, this country has experienced a rise in political activism, freedom of speech, sharp political debates, collapse of state institutions, civic disorder, civil war, an internationally led peace process, return of exiled opposition and their militias, and redistribution of power. As of 2009, Tajikistan continues its gradual shift from the fragile, postwar recovery period towards a more stable, peaceful, conventional and transparent political order and an era of steady economic development. The second edition of the Historical Dictionary of Tajikistan examines this country through a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and over 600 cross-referenced dictionary entries on important persons, places, events, and institutions, as well as significant political, economic, social, and cultural aspects. It is an extremely useful aid in understanding the current situation in Tajikistan.