Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘The Limits of Islam in Post-Soviet Central Asia’, in Rainer Grote and Tilmann Röder (eds): Constitutionalism in Islamic
Publication year: 2011

This chapter examines the limited role of Islam in shaping the public space of post-Soviet Central Asia. It documents Soviet instruments of administrative control on Islam in Central Asia and then examines the behavior of the incumbent regimes which inherited this Soviet legacy. It shows that despite strong expectations of Central Asia’s transition from authoritarian rule to democracy following the Soviet collapse, the incumbent elite managed to thwart that process and return to the familiar modes of centralized authoritarian rule. The chapter concludes by exploring the prospects of Islam’s political role in Central Asia.